Enterprise behemoth Oracle (news, site) recently announced its support for OpenCalais (news, site), a semantic Web service from Thomson Reuters. The native support comes within release 2 of Oracle Spatial 11g, giving both users and developers direct access to OpenCalais’ natural language processing capabilities.
Benefits of the new development include enabling users to extract rich semantic metadata about people, places, companies and events.
The incorporation of OpenCalais is rumored to be pretty straightforward. The essence of the integration is souping up just about any type of text or HTML document with useful metadata. By directly calling the API, the new metadata is extracted through natural language processing (NLP) that identifies the who, what, and when within unstructured content.
OpenCalais was acquired by Reuters back in 2007. Now, as part of a company as big as Oracle, OpenCalais can really show of its ability to handle massive document transactions. And when we say “massive” we mean up to 40,000 transactions per day at a maximum rate of four transactions per second as far as the Basic version goes. For those needing more transactions, a commercial version is also available.
Why Should You Care?
Excellent question. Xavier Lopez, Director, Spatial & Semantic Technologies, Oracle Server Technologies, offers some insight: "Connecting the OpenCalais service — which has helped popularize semantic technologies in the developer community — with Oracle Database is a compelling value proposition for our customers," he said. "This interoperability lets users quickly process documents in different formats such as Microsoft Word and Adobe PDF to extract semantic metadata that can be used for more semantically complete searches in Oracle Database 11g."
Echoing the appreciation is Barak Pridor, CEO, ClearForest (the Reuters company that produces OpenCalais): "We at Thomson Reuters are extremely pleased with the integration of OpenCalais into Oracle Database 11g R2. Together, we're making it easy for enterprise and commercial users to leverage the only SaaS model semantic extraction tool with the scalability, reliability and stability they need to support production-grade solutions."
For the rest of you, imagine leveraging this semantic metadata extraction service if you're running WordPress or Drupal. Kinda cool, right? If this type of thing strikes your fancy, we recommend hitting up the Oracle User FAQ for more information.