OpenLink Unleashes Enterprise & Cloud-based Middleware for the Semantic Web
BURLINGTON, Mass, June 17, 2008 -- OpenLink Software announced today a major new version of its OpenLink Data Spaces (ODS) platform that can integrate leading third-party Web applications while simultaneously transforming them to include Semantic Web and structured data capabilities. With ODS, most leading blogs, wikis, content management systems, forums, and other collaborative applications on the Web can now publish structured data through a single interface, or enhance their own local 'data spaces' by ingesting structured data from external sources.
"Since we have been mediating data for more than a decade, and have intimate understanding of all relevant protocols, we were in the unique position to be the first to bridge the promise of the Semantic Web with real apps and real data," said Kingsley Idehen, President, CEO and founder of OpenLink. "This version of ODS culminates the efforts we began in 2006, to make the transition to a 'Web of Data' -- what some are calling Web 3.0 -- a reality."
ODS, in combination with OpenLink's flagship Virtuoso Universal Server, provides a total solution for creating Semantic Web structured data sources from existing Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 applications. Virtuoso can host the applications without modification as stored procedures within its virtual datastore; ODS provides the wrapping and protocols for publishing internal data and ingesting external data in the RDF data model that is the basis for the Semantic Web.
"In essence, Web 3.0 or the Semantic Web allows us to blow apart the old document boundaries of the current Web by treating any object -- people, places, things, capabilities -- as data that can be separately referenced and managed," said Idehen. "With ODS, everyone can 'mesh up' these data objects into new emergent forms with added value. The entire Web now becomes a universally accessible database, with the ability for every individual or organization to assemble her own personal or collective 'data space' tailored to their specific needs," he added.
OpenLink's background in data access middleware provided the insight that led to this version of ODS. "While there are quite a few specific product names, most of the current collaborative applications on the Web are built from a relatively small number of similar basic platforms," said Idehen.
Through both a general API and specific application support, ODS and Virtuoso can host and integrate virtually any 'LAMP'-like application that runs on Linux (L), Windows, UNIX or Mac; has an Apache (A) or other Web server; keeps its data in a MySQL (M) or other SQL relational database; and is written in a scripting language such as Perl, Python, PHP (P), or similar (e.g., Ruby). In one variant or another, most products in the functional areas of weblog, wiki, feed aggregator, social network, bookmark manager, discussion forum, photo gallery and shared file space are based on a LAMP or WAMP (Windows) or similar platform. ODS provides functional support in each of these areas and across these platform types.
The market applications of ODS are therefore close to universal. ODS is specifically comparable to major products such as WordPress, Drupal, MoinMoin, Blogger, Metaweblog, MediaWiki, Trac, phpBB, Moveable Type, Joomla, Textpattern, TWiki, Typo, blosxom, FusionBB, Socialtext, DotWiki, b2evolution, DokuWiki, Vanilla, etc. ODS can also be used by itself in any of the functional areas without requiring an external application.
"The real power of ODS is that existing applications that reside on the Web as individual data silos can now be given their own 'data space' and integrated or extended with a single structured RDF data interface within ODS," said Idehen. "This same power can then be further extended to integrate and link data across multiple, distributed ODS installations, in keeping with the architecture of the Semantic Web."
Newly available is an OpenLink Data Spaces AMI (Amazon Machine Image), bundling the Virtuoso Universal Server, OpenLink Data Spaces (ODS), OpenLink Ajax Toolkit (OAT), and a collection of 3rd party applications (Wordpress, MediaWiki, phpBB3, and others). In moments, the ODS AMI delivers --
- Point of presence on the Linked Data Web that meshes your Identity and your Data via URIs
- SPARQL endpoint for SPARQL Protocol based access to your Data
- (X)HTML based Interactive SPARQL Query Builder for SPARQL Query By Example
- (X)HTML based Linked Data Browser/Viewer
- System generated Social Network Profile & Contact Data via FOAF
- System generated global Data Space overview via SIOC
- System generated OpenID and automatic integration with FOAF
- Transparent Integration with Facebook
- Transparent integration with Amazon S3 for data backup and restore
- Built-in support for SyncML, enabling data synchronization with Mobile Phones
All of this is done in the Internet Cloud, with no need to negotiate colocation contracts, enlarge corporate server rooms or network facilities, or pursue any other typical activities around adding a server.
ODS is an integrated environment for hosting multiple applications, which may vary by function or platform. The data in each of the constituent applications exists as an individual data store. ODS provides a RDF data 'wrapper' for each of these stores, which are then mapped into a single, unified representation using such Semantic Web schema as SIOC, SKOS, FOAF, AtomOWL, Annotea bookmarks, or Annotea annotations.
The result of this unified distillation is called a 'data space.' Data spaces thus become a Semantic Web-compliant way to publish data (via RSS or Atom feeds, for example), 'meshed' data from multiple sites, or to provide a query 'endpoint' and query language for external users through protocols such as SPARQL. After a simple one-time action of moving an existing applicable Web application to an ODS/Virtuoso hosting, users thereafter gain the benefits of integration and data inter-linkedness.
Such integration brings further benefits to applications using other shared protocols such as Web services, WebDAV-based content and file management, OpenID for single sign-on (SSO), GData support, OpenSearch support, support for other syndication formats, and any other useful shared protocols that may emerge.
"There is a current misconception that the Web 2.0 network of social sites and tagging, and the Semantic Web, are mutually exclusive. ODS proves this false by transparently generating Semantic Web presence from existing Web 2.0 and Web 1.0 assets, which continue to function as before" said Idehen. "I think ODS shows we can now stop using the future tense when we talk about the Semantic Web."
OpenLink Data Spaces is available in both commercial and open source versions. For further information on ODS, go to http://virtuoso.openlinksw.com/wiki/main/Main/OdsIndex.
About OpenLink Software
OpenLink Software, Inc., is a leading technology innovator and enabler of the Semantic Web, with strengths in universal platform, protocol, schema and data access, transformation, hosting, and management. OpenLink's product lines include the flagship high-performance and secure Virtuoso Universal Server for integrating and managing multiple protocols, Web services and data sources; Virtuoso Sponger for transforming all varieties of data forms to RDF; OpenLink Data Spaces (ODS) for integrating all forms of collaborative Web apps while exposing them through a single Semantic Web interface; the comprehensive OpenLink Ajax Toolkit (OAT); and related database drivers and middleware. Both commercial and open source versions are available.
OpenLink's strengths derive from unmatched experience and commitment to real-world practices. Industry standards supported include SQL, XML, RDF, RDF Schemas, ODBC, JDBC, ADO.NET, OLEDB, SPARQL, GData, XQuery, XPath, XSLT, XML/A, OpenSearch, WebDAV, HTTP, NNTP, Atom Publishing, RSS, SOAP, GRDDL and more. 32- and 64-bit platform support includes Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, Solaris, IBM AIX, HP-UX, and other UNIX flavors. Hosting and integration support is provided for all leading RDBMs, leading triplestores, LAMP applications, and many more.
OpenLink Software is privately held, with offices in the U.S.A. and the United Kingdom. It has been the leading provider and technology innovator in the universal data-access middleware market since 1993; over 10,000 companies currently use its products worldwide. The company web site is http://www.openlinksw.com/.