3RoundStones Execs Discuss SemTech Start-Up Winner Callimachus Enterprise — And The Drive To A Semantic Web Ecosystem
As the Semantic Web Blog recently noted, 3RoundStones’ Callimachus Enterprise emerged as the winner of the Top Semantic Technology Start-up competition that was held at the Semantic Tech & Business Conference (#SemTechBiz) in San Francisco a few weeks ago. The commercially supported Linked Data Management system, now being piloted by eight companies, will this summer be released to the general public as Version 1.0.
Callimachus Enterprise is distinguished not only by its technology, but by CTO David Wood’s presentation that spoke to the real business needs of the enterprise today – including rapidly demonstrating value, in its case around exposing, connecting and visualizing disparate enterprise content – and also in that it provides a way for organizations to deal with their enterprise information in an entirely cloud-based solution. It leverages the Amazon cloud.
“A lot of companies are using cloud-based solutions for travel and expense tracking,” says CEO Bernadette Hyland. “But this is the beginning of a new wave.”
Among the other notable capabilities V. 1.0 will bring to the table is full integration with Franz Inc.’s AllegroGraph persistent graph database and finalization of single sign-on capabilities via OpenID and (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) LDAP protocols. The product grows out of some three years of development of 3RoundStones’ Callimachus Open Source Project, a Linked Data framework for more easily building data-driven applications, by re-purposing more and re-combining new data faster and less expensively than using traditional relationship technologies. “The role of Callimachus Enterprise in the enterprise environment,” says CTO David Wood, “is to navigate, visualize and provide a platform to build applications of Linked Data. AllegroGraph provides a scalable, robust repository for Linked Data.” The integration in Callimachus Enterprise 1.0 will be with the upcoming AllegroGraph V. 4.8.
In its open source project life, Callimachus started off with the Sesame RDF database to hold the data for data-driven applications. “Sesame is quite a good project and we have been happy with it, but it’s not ultimately as scalable as some of our enterprise customers have need for,” says Wood.
“So when it came time to create Callimachus Enterprise, particularly for paying enterprise customers, we wanted to give them a scalability strategy that not only scaled up on a given computer on a given machine, but also scaled out across a number of machines, so they could deal with very large data sets.” AllegroGraph, which last year reached a goal of being the first to load and query a NoSQL database with a trillion RDF statements, and the cloud make those grades.
3RoundStones says the eight current users of the solution are in international business and academic publishing, pharma, health care and the federal government. “All of them have disparate data to connect from many different silos,” says Hyland. “XML, relational databases, spreadsheets….Those are core structured data buckets we deal with.” The partnership with AllegroGraph actually was the result of 3RoundStones’ customers telling it that they were already interested in or working with AllegroGraph, and requesting Callimachus Enterprise support those efforts – an encouraging indicator that more companies are seeing the value of semantic web technologies, and of vendors getting their offerings in the space to work well together.
“No small start-up can go into a large international company and claim it is the solution to solve 100 percent of their problems,” says Wood. “If you work well with others, you will get farther faster. And we are trying to do that, to partner proactively and build a greater ecosystem.”
That greater ecosystem encompasses a philosophy based on open standards. “The way you expose proprietary data sources through a Linked Data system like Callimachus Enterprise is that you make it available as a SPARQL endpoint, and however you choose to expose enterprise content as a SPARQL endpoint is up to you,” Wood says.
And a greater ecosystem seems key to growing momentum for adoption of Linked Data and semantic web technologies by the enterprise, Hyland thinks. “Customers in the DoD or the private sector are going to be more encouraged and more likely to do more with semantic technologies if they feel there is an ecosystem of multiple vendors and contractors working together, vs. little boutique specialist companies who view everything through their own mindset,” she says.
“Callimachus Enterprise and the graph database approach and web architecture and standards let you begin to navigate enterprise data like you navigate the web,” Hyland says. “And it lets you navigate and address the 20 plus-year old problem that is data integration.”