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Web Services and Semantics (WS2) Project

The Web Services and Semantics Project (IST-FP6-004308) is a specific support action (SSA) in IST's FP6 (financed by European Commission's IST Programme) running for 2 years, from July 2004 to December 2006, in order to promote Web services and work on integration of semantics.


Project Summary

The World Wide Web Consortium's main role is to standardise Web technologies by creating and managing Working Groups that produce specifications (called "Recommendations") that describe the building blocks of the Web, and produce them freely available to all, as part of the Web open platform.

The goal of WS2 is to support the W3C in administering its Web services related standard activities, their wide adoption in the European industry, and their evolution toward achieving efficient and interoperable communications within distributed software, as well as rich and complex interactions, exploring use of Semantic Web technologies. WS2 includes European outreach activities on existing W3C Recommendations and fostering the development of new specifications with significant European participation.

The project is led by the W3C European branch, hosted by ERCIM, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics. The W3C itself was founded by the Web's inventor, Tim Berners-Lee. W3C has been active in the area of Web services since the year 2000, and has already produced the first bricks of interoperability in this domain (e.g. SOAP 1.2).

The impact foreseen for this project is that it will enable a wider range of use, from business processes to collaboration tools, of the current generation of machine-to-machine Web Services interaction, as well as promoting the extension of these technologies based on new requirements from the industry, using recent and open technology like W3C Semantic Web technologies. The input of the European industry is very important at that point in time, as our industry is well positioned as an advanced user of these Web Services layers, and it was less as a producer of these first bricks (role usually held by American software makers).

The mission of Unit D3 (Software technologies and distributed systems) of the IST programme is to foster the acquisition of knowledge and stimulate innovation, and to promote global competitiveness of the European industry in software and services. Web services represent a strong potential for a better integration of business activities on the Web within European countries as well as in global e-marketplaces. Standardisation in this domain will also lead to improve quality and productivity of the development of distributed and/or embedded software. Moreover, cooperation with standards bodies will be a contractual requirement in FP6 projects.

The WS2 outreach activities will increase awareness and visibility of W3C's Web services specifications within Europe. Earlier works on this area have shown limited but increasing commitment of European participation. WS2 will strive to make this W3C work on Web services among the most visible areas of W3C's work in Europe. Preliminary W3C discussions have already shown promising connections between Web Services and Semantic Web technologies, and with WS2, we plan on increasing the participation of industrial and academic European constituencies currently working in these two fields.

The WS2 technical activities, done through its European staff, will provide European research and industry with competent partners within the W3C community, providing guidance with the standardisation processes currently in place at W3C through its working groups, studying the state of the art and monitoring the other standardisation activities in the domain (e.g. OASIS), and helping to raise the level of European participation.

Project Objectives

The WS2 Project has the following key objectives:

  1. Increase the awareness of existing and forthcoming W3C Web services Recommendations within European research and industry;
  2. Raise the level of participation of European research and industry in W3C's Web services specifications
  3. Support the strategic objectives in IST by ensuring that European research and industry will have competent dialogue partners within the European W3C Team during the course of FP6


Additional materials

Project-internal coordination site [Restricted Access]
Press Releases and press clippings: Year 1 and Year 2
All press releases and clippings related to Web Services.
Full description and updates on the deliverables associated with WP1.
Workpackage description - WP1: Outreach [Restricted Access]
Full description and updates on the deliverables associated with WP1.

Carine Bournez, Project Technical Coordinator
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