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Different Web Service standards like WSDL, WS-Security, WS-Policy etc., henceforth referred to as WS*, factorize Web Service management tasks into different aspects, such as input/output, workflow, or security. The advantages of WS* are multiple and have already achieved industrial impact. WS* descriptions are exchangeable and developers may use different implementations for the same Web Service description. The disadvantages of WS*, however, are also apparent: even though the different standards are complementary, they must overlap and one may produce models composed of different WS* descriptions, which are inconsistent with each other, but the reasons for the inconsistencies are not easily determined. This is the case because there is no coherent conceptual model of WS*, i.e. terms with equivalent semantics are introduced differently in the respective XML-DTDs. Thus, it is impossible to ask for conclusions that come from integrating different WS* descriptions. Hence, discovering such Web Service management problems or asking for other similar kinds of conclusions that derive from the integration of WS* descriptions remains a purely manual task to be done by the software developers accompanied by little to no formal machinery.


Paper presented at the W3C Workshop on Frameworks for Semantics in Web Services, Innsbruck, Austria, June 9-10, 2005.