Current middleware solutions, e.g., application servers and Web services, are very complex software products that are hard to tame because of intricacies of distributed systems. Their functionalities have mostly been developed and managed with the help of administration tools and corresponding configuration files, recently in XML. Though this constitutes flexibility for developing and administrating a distributed application, the conceptual model underlying the different configurations is only implicit. To remedy such problems, Semantic Management of Middleware contributes an ontology-based approach to support the development and administration of middleware-based applications. The ontology is an explicit conceptual model with formal logic-based semantics. Its descriptions may therefore be queried, may foresight required actions, or may be checked to avoid inconsistent system configurations. This book builds a rigorous approach towards giving the declarative descriptions of components and services a well-defined meaning by specifying ontological foundations and by showing how such foundations may be realized in practical, up-and-running systems.

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