Web Systems: Semantic Management of Distributed Web Applications

D. Oberle, S. Staab, A. Eberhart
2006 IEEE Distributed Systems Online  
An ontology-based approach facilitates the management and administration of distributed Web applications developed using application servers and Web services. Application servers and Web services offer many possibilities for developing Web applications, but they also present new challenges. For instance, managing component dependencies, versions, and licenses is a typical problem in an ever-growing repository of programming libraries. Similarly, Web services let developers reap advantages
more » ... y similar to those of application servers. However, developers and administrators must cope with local management issues as well as incorporate external, possibly varying dynamic information about third-party services. Specifying issues such as transactions, session management, and user rights in an application-independent way facilitates managing application servers and Web services. Developers achieve this by configuring generic software with the help of administration tools and corresponding XML configuration files. This lets you flexibly develop and administrate a distributed application; however, because configuration files lack a coherent formal model, they don't provide a high level of abstraction to facilitate management, even if they're more or less human-readable XML. So, it's difficult or often impossible to query a system for conclusions that come from integrating several descriptions. We remedy the problem by applying semantic technology that is, ontologies and inference engines in the middleware solutions. We contribute a state-of-the-art management ontology and propose a design to integrate the ontology infrastructure in existing application servers. We implemented a prototype of our proposed scheme in KAON SERVER, an amalgamation of JBoss and the KAON ontology tool suite. Our motivation: Management problems Of the several use cases we've identified in previous work, 1,2 we use two in this section to show the difficulties of managing application servers and Web services. We don't intend to show how to solve these specific use cases. Rather, we demonstrate how seemingly trivial problems that involve handling the source code and configuration files of different software components and Web services lead to complex situations that are hard for software developers or administrators to understand.
doi:10.1109/mdso.2006.33 fatcat:a65rri6nwrbzxj4ked3qfwz42y