Organizations use several applications to support business processes. To properly support organization information needs, applications should be integrated. Application integration can be performed at three layers: data, message, and process. Data integration deals with moving or federating data between multiple data stores, bypassing the application logic and manipulating data directly in the database. Message (or service) integration addresses messages exchange between the integrated applications. Process integration, in turn, views enterprises as a set of interrelated processes and it is responsible for handling message flows, implementing rules and defining the overall process execution.
Semantic conflicts can occur in any layer, arising whenever applications are built based on different conceptualizations. Neglecting semantic conflicts in application integration can lead to integrated solutions that fail in achieving their purposes. To avoid semantic conflicts, the meaning of the interchanged information has to be shared between the applications. In this context, ontologies can be used as an interlingua to map the concepts used by different applications, enabling data, service and process understanding.
Ontology-Based Approach for Semantic Integration (OBA-SI) deals with integration at data, service and process layers by using ontologies to assign semantics to applications’ structural and behavioral conceptual models. A premise of OBA-SI is that semantics assignment must be independent of the integrated solution itself. Thus, OBA-SI focuses on assigning semantic to the elements to be shared and establishing a semantic agreement between the applications at the conceptual level (i.e., before implementation).
The first version of OBA-SI was published in:
This first version of OBA-SI uses domain ontologies to support semantic integration.
From practical experiences using OBA-SI, we noticed that domain ontologies are not enough to properly assign semantics to services and processes. Task ontologies would be more suitable for this matter, since they describe the conceptualization related to a generic task or process.
We first explored the use of task ontologies to assign semantics to services when integrating applications to support the software measurement process. For that, we created a specialization of OBA-SI, named OBA-MSI (Ontology-Based Approach for Measurement Systems Integration), which is presented in the following paper:
We, then, extended OBA-SI, producing its current version. The current version of OBA-SI uses domain and task ontologies to address semantics at data, service and process layers. Moreover, OBA-SI activities were refined and detailed, providing guidelines for performing integration (at conceptual level) in the three layers. The current version of OBA-SI was published in:
The complete description of OBA-SI current version is available at: