atom feed4 messages in org.w3.semantic-webRe: The Open Group SOA Ontology
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Chris HardingJul 15, 2008 6:27 am 
AzamatJul 15, 2008 3:13 pm 
Florian LautenbacherJul 18, 2008 7:59 am 
Chris HardingJul 20, 2008 6:14 am 
Subject:Re: The Open Group SOA Ontology
From:Florian Lautenbacher (
Date:Jul 18, 2008 7:59:10 am

Dear Chris,

thanks for your email to the w3c-newsletter. I read the first time about the SOA
ontology and think it's quite a good approach for describing all the concepts in
an SOA. However, I got a few questions when I read through the specification
where I think you might help me with:

-The SOA ontology says that it aims to be (potentially) a basis for model-driven
implementation of an SOA. How shall this exactly be done? Are there several
levels of the ontology defined in order to refine the ontology in several models
or are you thinking about some automatical code generations (more general
ontology at top level and an additional grounding to existing services lateron)?

-In other ontologies for web services there is often the notion of input,
output, preconditions and effects (IOPE). There are effects in the SOA ontology,
but no preconditions defined on a service? Is this on purpose?

-The effect is simply an OWL-DL-class. Are any languages envisioned for
describing effects (such as KIF, SWRL, RuleML or R2ML)? - KIF and SWRL are e.g.
used in OWL-S.

-Rules and Policies: are there links or recommendations to other languages that
allow the specification of Rules (SBVR, SWRL, URML, etc.) or Policies (KAOS,
Rei, Ponder2, etc.)?

-Is there a way to specify non-functional properties of a service (Quality of
service, costs, etc.)? Not only for software services, but also for other
services this would be quite interesting (Joe's car wash does always cost $5,
except on Sunday then it's $7)

-How is a contract detailed? Are there any mandatory properties that need to be
described? (e.g. costs)

-Solutions: In the context of services one often talks about goals that need to
be achieved by the composition of services. And this composition is then
normally a possible solution. However, in your ontology I don't find any
correspondence between solution and composition (or the notion of goal itself).

-Are there constructs that define how a composition of services (in your
terminology a system) shall be achieved? (sequences, alternative flows, etc.)? I
didn't find any.

-The part about requirements, design and implementation in my opinion is not
that specific for an SOA. Are there thoughts to describe this in an own ontology
(as e.g. the Software Process Engineering Metamodel, SPEM, simply focuses on
these parts, too) and simply integrate this other ontology into the SOA

-Concerning the messages and message types: how is the relationship thought to
WSDL or SAWSDL? Are there already examples how WSDL (or better annotated WSDL
like SAWSDL) can be combined with the SOA ontology?

-How is the relationship to business process modeling standards such as BPMN?
You mentioned that the SOA ontology related the Service to other areas such as
business process modeling but not exactly how.

-Figure 25: Architecture Building Block is an abstraction of Anything? How can
the concept of "Anything" be abstracted? Probably the arrow might go the other

-How is the Architecture Development Activity linked to the Design? There is no
connection in your specification, but probably it might be part of the design
(as is the development of an architecture often during the design phase in
software engineering)

-A question not about the concepts in the SOA ontology: Why didn't you use UML
class diagrams in your models? That would make it much easier (at least for
software engineers) to understand what they are about...

Thanks for clarification and best regards,


--------------------------------------- Dipl.-Inf. Florian Lautenbacher

Programming Distributed Systems Lab Institute of Computer Science University of Augsburg Universitätsstr. 14 86135 Augsburg, Germany

phone: +49 821 598-3102 fax: +49 821 598-2175

-------- Original-Nachricht --------

Datum: Tue, 15 Jul 2008 14:27:25 +0100 Von: Chris Harding <> An:, Betreff: The Open Group SOA Ontology

Hi -

For some time now, The Open Group has been developing a formal ontology for SOA. We made an early version available for comment by W3C members over a year ago. We have now reached the stage where we believe that it is almost complete, and are exposing it to outside bodies for review and comment prior to its final review within The Open Group.

The ontology is a formal OWL ontology, but the draft also includes extensive heuristic explanations of its concepts. We believe that it complements work on OWL-S and WSMO, in that it includes a compatible concept of "Service" and relates this to concepts in other areas, including Enterprise Architecture and Business Process Modeling.

The draft is publicly available at We would very much appreciate your input, not only on the relation of this work to OWL-S and WSMO, but on all aspects that are of interest to you. We will address comments received at this stage before creating the draft for final Open Group review. I therefore invite you to review the draft, and to send me comments on it.


Chris ++++

======================================================================== Dr. Christopher J. Harding Forum Director for SOA and Semantic Interoperability THE OPEN GROUP Thames Tower, 37-45 Station Road, Reading RG1 1LX, UK Phone (mobile): +44 774 063 1520 ======================================================================== The Open Group Conference & Member Meeting Featuring the 19th Enterprise Architecture Practitioners Conference InterContinental Hotel, Chicago, USA, July 21-25, 2008 ======================================================================== TOGAF is a trademark of The Open Group