SESA: Emerging Technology for Service-Centric Environments October 18, 2007

The IEEE Software magazine published in the November/December issue our article entitled SESA: Emerging Technology for Service-Centric Environments where we discuss the innovative SOA technology based on the semantic service descriptions. We first outline a number of governing principles for the SESA design, research and implementation such as the service-oriented principle, the semantic principle, and the problem-solving principle. Following these principles, the SESA defines a set of essential functionalities (middleware services) required for the automation of the service provisioning process such as discovery, adaptation, fault handling, monitoring, mediation, and so on. The important aspect of the SESA lies in the semantic description of business services. The SESA adopts the semantic model introduced by WSMO (Web Service Modeling Ontology) extending WSDL service descriptions with semantics for information model, functional service definitions, behavioural descriptions and non-functional properties. We discuss in detail all these service semantics and illustrate their use on a number of examples. In addition, we describe the business services integration process facilitated by the SESA middleware services composed of so called late-binding phase and execution phase.

Our work on the SESA has been done in the context of the EU project Knowledge Web, OASIS Semantic Execution Environment Technical Committee, roadmap for the research agenda of the European Technology Platform NESSI (its Semantic Technology working group), and STi2 initiative. The future direction of this work will be to integrate the SESA platform with major enterprise technologies and to expand the SESA towards large-scale SOA on the Web. Both these directions will be subject of research and development in the upcoming Irish and the EU projects, namely Lion, COIN and SOA4ALL.