Cloud computing is yet another one of those old realities repackaged as a new idea, with a fancy new buzzword. The Internet has long been represented in network diagrams as a cloud, to indicate that users and applications don’t have a precise picture of what lies out there, nor do they need one … The idea of cloud computing is that even more traditionally controlled applications can evolve into Internet applications — supplied by an indeterminate and constantly changing service environment.
Cloud computing is a general concept that incorporates software as a service, and as such is very semantic web friendly. SOA fits into this category also, as does web 2.0 (in more basic manner). After all, web 2.0 was about providing specific enabling services to aggregate and syndicate data (content). This has matured to the point where original services now integrate with others, or have been extended by users themselves.
In some ways one could think of the Semantic Web as “the world wide database” – it does for the meaning of data records what the Web did for the formatting documents. But that’s just the beginning. It actually turns documents into richer data records. It turns unstructured data into structured data. All data becomes structured data in fact. The structure is not merely defined structurally, but it is defined semantically.
In other words, it’s not merely that for example, a data record or document can be defined in such a way as to specify that it contains a certain field of data with a certain label at a certain location – it defines what that field of data actually means in an unambiguous, machine understandable way. If all you want is a Web of data, XML is good enough. But if you want to make that data interoperable and machine understandable then you need RDF and OWL – the Semantic Web.