Norwegian CMS provider Webnodes AS is releasing a standalone solution called Webnodes Semantic Integration Server. The server is comprised of a SPARQL endpoint and an SDShare protocol-based integration server.
Webnodes Feels Your Integration Pain
According to Webnodes, the main goal of releasing Semantic Integration Server (SIS) is to minimize the “pain,” cost and time typically associated with integrating different software systems. The server ships with connectors for OData- and SPARQL endpoints and any ODBC (open database connectivity)-compatible RDBMS (relational database management system). Depending on edition, users can also create custom endpoints for software that is incompatible with these systems and SIS can feed raw data to another SPARQL or HTTP endpoint.
Resuable software components called adapters enable the reuse of software code in integrations by delivering content to and from the SIS core, which is built around a new W3C community-developed protocol called SDShare. The SDShare protocol is specifically designed for sharing data among different software systems and is based on RDF and RSS technologies. Systems publish notifications about changes to data and content being exposed through RSS feeds .
Data is stored in RDF format, a schemaless format developed for the semantic web that can merge data from multiple sources. SPARQL, an RDF query language, serves as the basis for the main SIS endpoint.
Webnodes SIS comes in two versions -- a low-cost RDF/SPARQL edition that only includes an RDF/SPARQL adapter and an enterprise edition that includes all the standard adapters and allows users to build custom adapters.
Come Together Right Now
In a CMSWire guest column, Lee Feigenbaum, co-founder and VP of Marketing for Cambridge Semantics, referred to semantic web technologies as a “Swiss Army knife for enterprise information management. They provide a cohesive foundation for agile data integration, for evolving applications as business requirements change, and for delivering to knowledge workers a greater understanding of the information in front of them.”
Feigenbaum listed other key advantages of semantic web technology as including “allow(ing) owners of diverse but related data to collaborate on each other’s data without requiring months and months of upfront coordination” and “(evolving software) to incorporate new sources of data and new business requirements more quickly than before.” Basically the semantic web focuses on data and what it means, rather than on the particulars of how that data is created and stored, which in today’s interconnected environment makes a lot of sense.
What Semantic Web Means for Online Publishers
While the semantic web has potential impact for a wide variety of businesses, online publishers in particular can benefit from its functionality. As described in a July 2012 posting on SemanticWeb.com, “if semantic standards and tools are widely adopted in the publishing world, this could have huge implications for content and data syndication.”
Specifically, online publishers can potentially create “virtual librarian” systems capable of both delivering and receiving semantically linked data and content. This means any publisher could easily discover another publisher’s content just by creating related content, and automatically link relevant content to their own or have their content automatically linked to relevant content of other publishers. Semantic tools aimed at large publishers currently exist, and SemanticWeb.com expects a revolution in online publishing to occur once vendors being targeting smaller publishers with semantic solutions.