Engineering Service Descriptions from Legacy User Interfaces: An Asset Management Example



Alexander Johnston and Mark Lycett

School of Information Systems, Computing and Mathematics

Brunel University







Systems integration across organizational boundaries faces new challenges in semantic and syntactic interoperability. Legacy systems represent critical assets within organizationsí enterprise that often encapsulate unique business functionality, along with organizational assumptions and perspectives. Exposing this functionality is essential for sharing business behaviour across organizational boundaries, as are bridging semantic differences. In this paper we use a non-invasive method to expose financial Web Services from a commercial legacy system by wrapping User Interfaces. We show that interoperability is affected by legacy structures exposed in the resulting service interface. We argue that syntactic service technology is not sufficient to overcome semantic conflicts caused by exposing legacy behaviour to new user populations, and that semantic service descriptions are required to bridge the semantic gap.

KEYWORDS: Web Service, Legacy, Interoperability, Interface Reengineering, Semantic Conflict, Granularity, Design Research.