Semantic Web and Web Services can live together, says Berners-Lee
09:43, 21 May 2003 UTC | Edd Dumbill

In his opening keynote at the Twelfth International World Wide Web conference, the Director of the World Wide Web Consortium explained how the two main thrusts of the development of the web do not compete, but can work together.

The Semantic Web project is Tim Berners-Lee's brainchild, seeking to create a machine processable web. It draws its followers predominantly from the more research-oriented members of the web community. The development of Web Services on the other hand has been largely driven by commercial interests, major players including Microsoft, IBM and BEA.

In the past there has been the perception that these two avenues of development were in opposition to each other. Web Services drew criticism for not respecting the web's existing architecture, and the Semantic Web project for its aspirational nature, not meeting today's needs.

Berners-Lee described the two technologies in the context of system integration: characterizing the Semantic Web as data integration, and Web Services as program integration. He also identified areas where the two could work together: discovery mechanisms such as UDDI and WSDL are ideally placed to be implemented using semantic web technology; RDF could be sent as a SOAP payload, remote RDF query and update should use SOAP; semantic web business rules engines could interact using SOAP.

Web Services meet immediate technology needs, said Berners-Lee, while the Semantic Web has the potential for future exponential growth. There are many ways in which the two areas could interact in the future, and the W3C does not intend to limit their work to one area or the other.

Related resources

xmlhack: developer news from the XML community

Front page | Search | Find XML jobs

Related categories