Chapter 6 concludes that BC Semantics should be made available on-line in a form that is both understandable by humans and computer applications. A shared network--or web--of definitions of BC terms (name, property names, units) enriched by relations, constraints, and various expressions of knowledge, as an interface between demand and supply, and between service providers and their clients, seems a good way to improve the information and knowledge flows through the chains, and consequently improve the value adding performance of the BC industry. Based on such a network it seems possible to develop `smart' applications that are able to act as if they really understand us and our technical communications, and to participate in the various BC processes on an equal basis. Computers are masters in fast and faultless communication of complex data. By elevating the level of Semantics used in their communications to the same level used by us humans, `smart' computer applications can in the future become professional and reliable co-workers with useful added skills.

Some of the core solution concepts (the use of Internet and XML) were demonstrated by the EU project eConstruct's case, see section 4.4. eConstruct's case showed that XML and the Internet are a good fit for BC; that REST web services are handy; that a single big Taxonomy doesn't work that well.

This chapter describes the development of the bcoWeb. At the core, bcoWeb aims to provide a basis upon which BC process innovation can take place. Starting point is the idea that object definitions can be organised in many ways, i.e. alphabetic, according to a Classification system or a number of Classification systems, system wise (system, sub system, aspect system), in is-a or part-of hierarchies, etc., but that a more elaborate Ontology web should aim:

  1. To increase the matching process of demand and supply (or offering). Demand, transaction and supply innovation requires a much better insight in each others information and knowledge.
  2. To support capturing and re-use of BC related information and knowledge.
  3. To facilitate the development of `smart' computer applications that behave as if they `understand' the meaning of the language(s) used in BC.
  4. To involve `smart' computer applications to directly (without human interference) participate in the information and knowledge processing tasks.
Reinout van Rees 2006-12-13