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 applications.

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.


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