What do service-oriented architecture (SOA), databases, program logic, business process and program management have in common? All of these elements within a single enterprise should share the same set of terminology and conventions. There ought to be a unifying foundation that logically binds all of these pieces together into one common picture. However, this is seldom the case, and that fact is one of the primary reasons why systems integration has traditionally been so costly, time-consuming and ultimately unsuccessful. There is, though, a practice area emerging specifically to deal with what may likely be the most pivotal of all enterprise technologies – this new practice is semantic integration. The goal of this article is to provide a high level overview of semantic integration as a community of practice and to explore the practical implications and impacts associated with it in the context of a variety of typical IT projects or issues.


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