Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

KAON server

Application servers provide many functionalities commonly needed in the development of a complex distributed application. So far, the functionalities have mostly been developed and managed with the help of administration tools and corresponding configuration files, recently in XML. Though this constitutes a very flexible way of developing and administrating a distributed application, e.g. an application server with its components, the disadvantage is that the conceptual model underlying the different configurations is only implicit. Hence, its bits and pieces are difficult to retrieve, survey, check for validity and maintain.

To remedy such problems, we here present an ontology-based approach to support the development and administration of software components in an application server. The ontology captures properties of, relationships between and behaviors of the components that are required for development and administration purposes. The ontology is an explicit conceptual model with formal logic-based semantics.

Therefore its descriptions of components may be queried, may foresight required actions, e.g. preloading of indirectly required components, or may be checked to avoid inconsistent system configurations - during development as well as during run time. Thus, the ontology-based approach retains the original flexibility in configuring and running the application server, but it adds new capabilities for the developer and user of the system.

The proposed scheme resulted in an infrastructure called Application Server for the Semantic Web that additionally facilitates plug'n'play engineering of ontology-based modules and, thus, the development and maintenance of comprehensive Semantic Web applications. Ontologies serve various needs in the Semantic Web, like storage or exchange of data corresponding to an ontology, ontology-based reasoning or ontology-based navigation. Building a complex Semantic Web application, one may not rely on a single software module to deliver all these different services.

The developer of such a system would rather want to easily combine different - preferably existing - software modules. So far, however, such integration of ontology-based modules had to be done ad-hoc, generating a one-off endeavour, with little possibilities for re-use and future extensibility of individual modules or the overall system.

The infrastructure is implemented in a system called KAON SERVER} which is part of the KArlsruhe ONtology and Semantic Web Toolsuite (KAON)

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Institute AIFB
76128 Karlsruhe
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