Service-oriented computing has become one of the predominant factors in current IT research and development. Web services seem to be the middleware solution of the future for highly interoperable distributed software solutions. In parallel, research on the Semantic Web provides the results required to exploit distributed machine-processable data. To combine these two research lines into industrial-strength applications, a number of research projects have been set up by organizations like W3C and the EU. Dieter Fensel and his coauthors deliver a profound introduction into one of the most promising approaches the Web Service Modeling Ontology (WSMO). After a brief presentation of the underlying basic technologies and standards of the World Wide Web, the Semantic Web, and Web Services, they detail all the elements of WSMO from basic concepts to possible applications in e-commerce, e-government and e-banking, and they also describe its relation to other approaches like OWL-S or WSDL-S. While many of the related technologies and standards are still under development, this book already offers both a broad conceptual introduction and lots of pointers to future application scenarios for researchers in academia and industry as well as for developers of distributed Web applications.

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