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Schema matching is the technique of identifying objects which are semantically related. In other words, schema matching is a method of finding the correspondences between the concepts of different distributed, heterogeneous data sources. Schema matching is considered one of the basic operations for schema integration and data processing. It has been recognized by a large range of applications as a basic technique for matching different data representations.
Schema matching does not have a unique or universal solution as identification of semantics of schema objects is an extremely difficult, time-consuming process and is a highly intelligent process. Schema matching is a highly subjective technique.
There are different schema-matching techniques such as:
Currently, schema matching is performed manually, although that has significant limitations. If performed manually, schema matching is extremely time-consuming and could be infeasible, especially if there are dynamic environments or large evolving schemas. In many cases, experts do not fully agree with the final results from schema-matching techniques.
Many applications make use of schema matching. In the case of databases, schema matching is the first step for generating a view definition and program. Knowledge-based applications that make use of schema matching help in alignment of ontologies. Web applications and health care use schema matching to align records and reports. Schema matching also helps e-commerce to align various message formats.