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I-ESA 2007 Tutorial: UN/CEFACT e-Business framework: Closing the semantic gap of Service-Oriented Architectures

Service-Oriented Architectures are emerging as the next-generation standard for seamless and automated e-Business infrastructures and cross-organizational Enterprise Application Integration. However, existing SOA concepts only concentrate on technological issues and do not address semantic level standardization. To be truly effective, SOA standards must be extended to the semantic level. Through the Core Components Standards Stack (CCTS), the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) is developing an evolutionary and collaborative approach for the standardization of both business processes and data that closes the semantic gap existing in current SOA deployments. The EU-funded project GENESIS leverages the UN/CEFACT-based standards to establish a Web service-based e-Business platform. Building on both the UN/CEFACT standards and the emerging GENESIS project, this tutorial presents a prototype environment for modelling CCTS conformant business data. Practical exercises are performed to demonstrate its real- world applicability and the great advantages for increasing cross-organizational SOA. As the presenters are actively involved as members/ group chairs of the UN/CEFACT, they will also provide detailed insights into latest developments and standardization activities of this organization.

Preliminary Agenda:

  • 1. Current approaches and related research work
  • 2. UN/CEFACT e-Business framework in a nutshell
  • 2.1. Overview of the composite of modular specifications and the notion of collaborative and evolutionary modelling
  • 2.2. CCTS as a major lever for modelling business information
  • 2.3. UMM as affiliated approach for modelling collaborative business processes
  • 2.4. Interconnection between the UN/CEFACT semantic modelling methodologies and SOAs as a technical foundation
  • 3. Presentation of a first use case of the UN/CEFACT framework
  • 3.1. GENESIS project overview
  • 3.2. Advantages and challenges of applying UN/CEFACT standards to a e-Business platform
  • 4. Presentation of prototype modelling environment
  • 4.1. Requirements of a semantics-oriented modelling tool for both business processes and data
  • 4.2. Practical exercise with a first prototype: Modelling of a commonly used process including the involved business documents
  • 5. Conclusion and outlook on future research challenges in the field of seamless cross-organizational interoperability

Target Audience

The tutorial is mainly related to the following topics:

  • Industrial Data Standards
  • Next-generation SOA
  • Next-generation e-Business Standards
  • Enterprise Interoperability
  • Enterprise Application Integration
  • Semantic Meta-Data
  • Semantic Data Mapping
  • Context-Driven Data Engineering
  • Conception of Enterprise Modelling Environments


The authors of this tutorial are.

  • Christoph Schroth (SAP Research CEC St. Gallen, Switzerland)
  • Till Janner (SAP Research CEC St. Gallen, Switzerland)
  • Gunther Stuhec (SAP AG, Walldorf, Germany)
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