Scientific and technological objectives of the project
In today’s fiercely competitive economy, companies across enlarged Europe are realizing that new
initiatives such as e-Business, customer relationship management and business intelligence go hand-inhand
with the proven organization-wide enterprise application integration (EAI) strategy.
More and more, EAI involves integrating information and
processes not only across the enterprise but also beyond organizational walls to encompass business-to-business
integration supporting large scale value-added supply chains across the enlarged Europe.
Business process fusion is the transformation of business activities that is achieved by integrating the
interfaces of previously autonomous business processes by pipelining different middleware technologies
and enabling the effective (semi-)automated exchange of information between various systems within a
company or between enterprises.
Despite the above mentioned trends, users and professionals have high expectations towards software
applications and enterprise application integration. They want to access the content they need, while this
content must be accurate and free of redundancy. So, the enterprise applications must be intuitive and easy
to use, reusable and extendable, implemented in a short and inexpensive way and within the current IT
legacy environment. Enterprise applications and information systems also need to support a more general
notion that involves relating the content and representation of information resources to entities and
concepts in the real world.
This need imposes the use and interpretation of semantics in enterprise application integration. Semantic
interoperability will support high-level, context-sensitive information requests over heterogeneous
information resources, heterogeneous enterprise applications, hiding systems, syntax, and structural
heterogeneity. This semantically enriched approach eliminates the problem of knowing the contents and
structure of information resources and the structure and architecture of heterogeneous enterprise
We claim that recent innovations in the development of Semantically-enriched Service-Oriented Business
Applications (SE-SOBA) – which enlarge the notion of SOA by applying Semantic Web Service technology
and using ontologies and semantic web mark up languages to describe data structures and messages
passed through web service interfaces – will provide a dynamically reconfigurable architecture that will
enable enterprises (including SMEs) to respond quickly and flexibly to market changes, thereby
supporting innovation and business growth, increasing the potential for an improved return on IT
investments and a more robust bottom line. This is the innovation area addressed by the FUSION project.