John Walker of NXP recently discussed Linked Data as the future of data integration in the enterprise. He writes, “The main business drivers for this have, so far, been mostly internal: how to ensure product data is available across internal systems in an easy-to-use and efficient manner. In many areas simple XML messages and other B2B standards are applicable, but within a portfolio of over 20,000 products across a broad variety of functions and technology it simply is not possible to describe the complex properties of an electronic component with a handful of standard XML elements. Also the tree-based XML DOM soon starts to become a limitation when dealing with a highly-interlinked web of information. The answer (as it turns out) is quite simple: think graph.”

He goes on, “The benefits of the Linked Data approach are clear: we provide data consumers a single, trustworthy, easy to use source of information about our products. The Linked Data is the API. The benefit to our end-customer is that the information published on our website, data sheets, selection guides and partner websites is consistent and up-to-date. Following the basic Linked Data principles we have assigned HTTP URIs as names for things (resources) providing an unambiguous identifier. Next up we have converted data from a variety of sources (XML, CSV, RDBMS) into RDF.”

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Image: Courtesy NXP