Web Services are being adopted as the enabling technology to provide net-centric capabilities for many Department of Defense operations. The Navy Enterprise Portal, for example, is Web Services-based, and the Department of the Navy is promulgating guidance for developing Web Services. Web Services, however, only constitute a baseline specification that provides the foundation on which users, under current approaches, write specialized applications in order to retrieve data over the Internet. Application development may increase dramatically as the number of different available Web Services increases. Reasons for specialized application development include XML schema versioning differences, adoption/use of diverse business rules, security access issues, and time/parameter naming constraints, among others.
We are currently developing for the US Navy a system which will improve delivery of timely and relevant meteorological and oceanographic (MetOc) data to the warfighter. Our objective is to develop an Advanced MetOc Broker (AMB) that leverages Web Services technology to identify, retrieve and integrate relevant MetOc data in an automated manner. The AMB will utilize a Mediator, which will be developed by applying ontological research and schema matching techniques to MetOc forms of data. The AMB, using the Mediator, will support a new, advanced approach to the use of Web Services; namely, the automated identification, retrieval and integration of MetOc data. Systems based on this approach will then not require extensive end-user application development for each Web Service from which data can be retrieved. Users anywhere on the globe will be able to receive timely environmental data that fits their particular needs.