In the previous Describing Services in the Internet of Services, the idea behind the Internet of Services was described. In the meantime, the USDL specification has been updated, and so have the tools. As you probably know, some tools for creating documents in the USDL format are available as open source software via the SourceForge platform. This is in particular the USDL Editor for creating USDL based service descriptions with a comprehensive user interface. However, the underlying USDL Model library is open source as well. This library is used to deal with the data structure, which means it provides an API for accessing the attributes and elements of USDL. Additionally, the model library can be used to read and write XML-based USDL files.
Both tools, the USDL Editor and the USDL Model have been updated to the latest specification USDL 3M5 and also contain some bugfixes. They are available on SourceForge and can be downloaded: editor download, model download. Please do not use the SDN version of the USDL Editor any longer, as it is outdated.
As an example for using USDL in the daily business, consider a German medium-sized company, which happens to be a market leader in turbine construction. For the first time in the company’s history, products have to be exported to Siberia. This requires a 4th party logistics provider (4PL) as well as additional services such as customs clearance, container rental, GOST R certification, etc.
Today the company is forced to look up the yellow pages and to tediously inquire the set of required individual services by social interaction. In the future, the Internet of Services enables service providers to publish business and operational aspects via USDL. Service marketplaces and USDL allow for efficiently finding and selecting services and service bundles. More detailed explanation about this example and the USDL files are located at http://www.internet-of-services.com/index.php?id=589&L=0.