Enterprise Semantics

Keynote Video and Updates from the Amsterdam Fire Department

image of Bart van Leeuwen and fellow fire fighters in front of burning buildingBart van Leeuwen, software executive (netage.nl) and firefighter (Amsterdam Fire Department), has a story of practical application of Semantic Web technologies that we have covered before here at SemanticWeb.com and in our Semantic Technology & Business Conference series. Below, we offer the video of the keynote address he delivered in June at the San Francisco event.

His, like many of the most successful Semantic Web case studies, is a story of iterative growth and agile development, a mixing of technical and cultural challenges and solutions. Even since Bart’s keynote at the recent London SemTechBiz conference, there have been developments, and we caught up with him to hear the latest (video after the jump).

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Semantic Tech Development: The European Edge

A blogger from the IKS Project recently wrote a response to our own Jennifer Zaino’s article, “On What Shores Will Semantic Tech Be Better Commercialized?” The author opined, “EU funded projects like LOD2 and IKS do represent a significant edge for companies that are ready to take advantage of Big Data; the problem is… how? These large European-funded projects had contributed with a great wealth of open-source technologies but, we know from the experience acquired in the last two years, that implementation costs are a blocking point for small to medium enterprises. Now rather than getting lost in the hidden traps of Semantic Tech, let’s get an overview of what can be really done to increase the competitiveness of European companies and why it is worth our attention.” Read more

Insights from the SemTechBiz Conference – UK

The Semantic Technology and Business Conference – UK took place in London last week at the Millennium Goucester Hotel, and a number of themes emerged from the two-day event. A few of the sessions are highlighted below, but first, let us turn to some of the attendees to share some of their favorite insights and takeaways:

Public Sector Semantics

Professor Nigel ShadboltThere was a lot of interest in the Public Sector work. One of the presentations that highlighted the Open Data movement was Nigel Shadbolt‘s Keynote presentation about the recently launched Open Data Institute. We have covered the ODI here, and Professor Shadbolt shared some exciting insights and perspectives on the Open Data economy. In his presentation, he referred to a report on which he collaborated that was published by Deloitte Analytics. This free white paper is available for download.

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SemanticWeb.com “Innovation Spotlight” Interview with Andreas Blumauer, CEO of Semantic Web Company

If you would like your company to be considered for an interview please email editor[ at ]semanticweb[ dot ]com.

In this segment of our “Innovation Spotlight” we spoke with Andreas Blumauer, the CEO of  Semantic Web Company. Semantic Web Company is headquartered in Vienna, Austria and their software extracts meaning from big data using linked data technologies. In this interview Andreas describes some of the their core products to us in more detail.

Sean: Hi Andreas. Can you give us a little background on your company? When did you get started in the Semantic Web?

Andreas: As an offspring of a ‘typical’ web agency from the early days of the internet, we became a specialized provider in 2004: The ‘Semantic Web School’ focused on research, consulting and training in the area of the semantic web. We learned quickly how the idea of a ‘semantic web’ was able to trigger a lot of great project visions but also, that most of the tools from the early days of the semantic web were rather scary for enterprises. In 2007 we experienced that information professionals began to search for grown-up semantic web solutions to improve their information infrastructure. We were excited that ‘our’ main topics obviously began to play a role in the development of IT-strategies in many organizations. We refocused on the development of software and renamed our company.

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The Semantic Link – September, 2012

Paul Miller, Bernadette Hyland, Ivan Herman, Eric Hoffer, Andraz Tori, Peter Brown, Christine Connors, Eric Franzon

On Friday, September 15, a group of Semantic Technology thought leaders from around the globe met with their host and colleague, Paul Miller, for the latest installment of the Semantic Link, a monthly podcast covering the world of Semantic Technologies. This episode includes a discussion about Big Data and Semantics, as well as some discussion of general trends in the Semantic Technology space.
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Ask the Author – IT of the Future: Semantic Cloud Architecture

Image of the paper cover - I.T. of the Future: Semantic Cloud ArchitectureRecently, we published Yefim “Jeff” Zhuk’s article, “IT of the Future: Semantic Cloud Architecture.” The paper has been a very popular free download (available here).

One of the readers, Lev Gorodinski (CTO, EPaySpot), approached Jeff directly with some questions and the two engaged in a conversation filled with insights that they wanted to share with our readers. They are kindly allowing us to republish the thread in its entirety.

Photo of Lev GorodinskiLev Gorodinski: I’ve read the article and have some bigger picture questions and comments which likely warrant several discussions. Overall, I am interested in methodologies which aim to bridge the gap between knowledge and its technical manifestation and am therefore interested in the subject matter.

The term “sandbox” in BASE may create the impression that it isn’t a production level system. I think that both the goal of BASE to “Decrease the number of manual operations required for business changes” and its notion of a “playground” are essential to making it ready for production. This will allow an agile and iterative development and exploration process.

Photo of Jeff ZhukJeff Zhuk: The primary purpose is setting a common ground where business analysts and developers can collaborate on real business tasks. For some companies this ground can serve in production and other companies might feel more comfortable to use it as a playground for safe development and testing before copying to production. The role of the playground will be growing without growing maintenance cost.
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IT of the Future: Semantic Cloud Architecture

In July of 2011, we published a series of articles, “From Business as Usual to Knowledge-Driven Architecture” by Yefim “Jeff” Zhuk. The series outlined enterprise IT of the future with integrated software and knowledge engineering, further expanding on ideas originally described in the book “Integration-ready Architecture and Design.”

Image of the paper cover - I.T. of the Future: Semantic Cloud ArchitectureToday, we are pleased to offer Jeff’s latest article as a 27-page PDF file. In this new article, he focuses on the process of transitioning from IT architectures of today to Semantic Cloud Architecture with very practical “baby steps” — steps which require minimum upfront investment. The emphasis of this article is on collaborative work of business and enterprise architects with the Business Architecture Sandbox for Enterprise, (BASE) that was demonstrated at the 2012 Semantic Tech and Business Conference –San Francisco.

Zhuk says, “The discussed approach is gradually shifting the focus of IT from technology to information by standardizing business event processing, placing the seeds of semantic technology in the current business ground, and establishing a self-sustaining process of transformation to semantic cloud architecture. The article provides the context and speaks technical details for this transition.”

Read/Download the full paper (registration required)

As a teaser, here is the beginning of the article and Section Headings…

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R2RML and Direct Mapping: W3C Proposed Recommendations

Photo of Juan SequedaYesterday, the W3C announced the advancement to Proposed Recommendations of two Relational Database to RDF (RDB2RDF) documents: 1) R2RML: RDB to RDF Mapping Language and 2) A Direct Mapping of Relational Data to RDF. Additionally, two Working Group Notes were also published: R2RML and Direct Mapping Test Cases and RDB2RDF Implementation Report.

Given that a vast amount of data in enterprises and on the web resides in Relational Databases, it is paramount to have methods that expose relational data as RDF, in order for Semantic Web applications to interact with Relational Databases. The R2RML and Direct Mapping standards bridges this gap. Direct Mapping is an automatic default mapping and R2RML is a mapping language where users can customize the mappings. With these two standards, we will now be able to see more and more relational data in the Linked Data cloud and part of Semantic Web applications.

A little bit of RDB2RDF history

Tim Berners-Lee wrote a Design Issue on “Relational Database on the Semantic Web” dating back initially to 1998. During the 2000′s, several tools, such as R2O, D2RQ, Virtuoso RDF Views, Triplify, Ultrawrap, were built that would expose Relational Databases as RDF and even allow SPARQL to be executed directly on the relational database.

In October 2007, the W3C organized a workshop to discuss the interest of mapping relational databases to RDF: RDF Access to Relational Databases. The outcome of this workshop was the formation of the RDB2RDF Incubator Group in 2008. The objective of this group was to classify existing approaches to map relational databases to RDF and to then further decide if a standard was necessary. The Incubator Group had a face-to-face meeting in October 2008. The Incubator Group concluded its work with two deliverables: a Survey of Current Approaches for Mapping of Relational Databases to RDF and the RDB2RDF XG Final Report. The conclusion was to recommend the formation of a Working Group to standardize a mapping language.

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semYOU Launches New Version of sem.ProjectPoint

semYOU has released a new version of their cloud project management software, sem.ProjectPoint. According to the company, “With modules like Task-Manager, Open-Points or Meeting-Manager it’s possible to manage Tasks, Appointments and Milestones more efficiently in teams. The user interface is similar to MS Office, guarantees high usability and does not need long training. A new center of gravity in the new version represents the visualizing of Tasks, Appointments and Milestones. Over 100 new features guarantee a permanent clear overview about the project status and the different project sections. The new report function makes it possible to show the different project sections like Tasks, Appointments, Open Issues, etc. in just one view like pie charts. Getting a detailed overview about the status is guaranteed.” Read more

Somewhere Over the Semantic Horizon

Courtesy: Flickr/prusakolep

What’s on the horizon for the semantic web? It was a question pondered by expert panelists last week at the Semantic Technology and Business Conference in San Francisco.

Siri – and its possible clones and descendents – came up as a signpost on the road ahead, pushing the notion of personal assistance ever forward.  “Siri made a huge splash. It opened eyes to the idea of not just using semantics to move information around but using a natural language system with some semantic interpretation to perform actions, like putting reminders on your phone,” noted Mark Greaves, director of knowledge systems at Vulcan.

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