Common meta model for workflows in Manufacturing and SOA
In the physical world, standards such as S88 and S95 defined generic workflow models to describe the flow of information for manufacturing processes. Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) has become the pervasive buzzword in the software industry. Similarities with well-known meta models for physical workflow patterns can help us to understand the potential of the SOA paradigm when complex collaboration of Web Services is required.
We examine the Ontology Web Language for Services (OWL-S) as an appropriate framework to orchestrate Dynamic Collaboration Processes (DCP) of objects in distributed environments. The Web Services Definition Language (WSDL) together with the ontology-based semantic markup via OWL-S defines an explicit Web Service Profile, Process Model and Grounding. OWL-S Web Services may be executed automatically through machine-reasoning about the service collaboration. Automatic Web Services discovery, service invocation and dynamic composition and object interoperation provide opportunities for streamlining and potentially enhancing distributed manufacturing processes and supply chain operations.