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Self-Service Development of Linked Data Applications with the Information Workbench


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With existing datasets growing and new data being added constantly, the Linked Open Data (LOD) cloud becomes increasingly interesting for the Enterprise, allowing companies to augment and complement internal knowledge with external information. The development of domain-specific applications that benefit from LOD repositories, though, is often a time-consuming and costly task. In our talk, we present the Information Workbench, an Open Source self-service platform for the fast development of domain-specific linked data applications.

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Self-Service Development of Linked Data Applications with the Information Workbench

  1. 1. Peter Haase, Tobias Mathäß, Michael Schmidt, Andreas Eberhart, Ulrich Walther fluid Operations AG Self-Service Development of Linked Data Applications with the Information Workbench ISWC Shanghai, November 11, 2010
  2. 2. Increasing Popularity of Linked Open Data • LOD cloud as of Sep 2010 • 25 billion triples • 395 million RDF links • Covering various domains • Media • Life Science • Geography • Publications • …
  3. 3. New Opportunities • Established standards define common data models, vocabularies, semantics • RDF/RDFS, OWL, SPARQL • From data silos to a web of data • Innovative applications that • Integrate data from various domains and sources • Repurpose the data in unexpected ways • Leverage semantic technologies for improved search and presentation • Allow for addressing expressive information needs • Benefits of Linked Data in the enterprise • Semantically integrate and interlink data scattered among different information systems • Cross the chasm between enterprise-internal and public data
  4. 4. Challenges in Building Linked Data Applications • Discovery of relevant data sources • Heterogeneity in various dimensions  Location, ownership of data (internal / external, open / closed)  Identifiers, structure and vocabularies • Structured and unstructured data • Quality of Linked Data • Various forms of imperfection (erroneous, incomplete, imprecise data) • Trustworthiness • End-user oriented interfaces and interaction paradigms • Interfaces that operate over large amounts of data, flexible and dynamic schemas • Meaningful aggregation of the data • Support for expressive information needs, while retaining intuitive interfaces
  5. 5. The Information Workbench • Platform for Linked Data Application Development • Base functionality to build applications without any programming • SDK for easy extensions • Available in Open Source at • Covering the entire lifecycle of interacting with Linked Data  Discovery of data sources  Integration of data sources  Visualization  Search and Exploration  Collaborative generation of data • Targeted at • Linked Open Data, Linked Government Data • Linked Enterprise Data • Combinations thereof
  6. 6. Information Workbench Architecture • Extensible, widget-based UI • Resource-centric presentation • Living UI, which exploits semantics of underlying data • Large collection of predefined widgets, easily extendable • Search and information access • Coexistence of structured and unstructured data • Different search paradigms (keyword and faceted search, semantic query completion) • Data integration through providers • Convert data from a data source into the RDF data format • Customizable, easily extensible • Use of public LOD registries
  7. 7. Self-Service Application Development 1. Linked Open Data Discovery Visually explore data sets and identify those relevant for your application 2. Data Integration Integrate the data sets into your application with the click of your mouse 3. Customization of the Frontend Declaratively customize the user interface using a selection of widgets 4. Extending the Platform with own Components Use APIs and SDKs to implement your own widgets, providers, etc. EverythingSelf-service!
  8. 8. Discovery of Data Sets • Access to data registered at global registries, e.g.,, … • Based on metadata vocabularies (voID, DCAT) • Sort/filter data sets by topic, license, size and many more facets to identify relevant data • Visually explore data sets
  9. 9. Data Integration • Integrate relevant Linked Data sources with the click of a button • Support for different distributions of the data • RDF dumps • SPARQL endpoints • URI lookup • More to come • Add providers for internal and external legacy data sources • Interlink different data sets • Exploit existing links and mappings between data sources • Use third party mappings • User-generated mappings (pay-as-you-go) • Integrate components for automated link/mapping discovery
  10. 10. Structured Data in the Frontend
  11. 11. Wiki-based Interface
  12. 12. Widgets for UI Customization • Declaratively specify UI based on available pool of widgets using simple wiki-based syntax • Widgets have direct access to the database • Embed dynamic data, visualizations, forms, etc. • Type-based template mechanism Wiki Page in Edit Mode … … and Displayed Result Page
  13. 13. Widgets: Visualization and Exploration
  14. 14. Widgets: Analytics and Reporting
  15. 15. Widgets: Mashups with Social Media
  16. 16. Live Demo
  17. 17. Your Way to the Information Workbench • Public demonstrator with examples from many domains • Download installable binaries or Amazon EC2 image Try the free Amazon Micro instance! • Source code and SDK (LGPL license) • Also see brochure in your conference bag
  18. 18. Summary • Platform for Linked Data application development • Addressing complete lifecycle of interaction with the data • Simple process for application development 1. Linked open data discovery 2. Data integration 3. Customization of the frontend • Extensible via SDK
  19. 19. Thank you for your attention! CONTACT: fluid Operations AG Email: Altrottstr. 31 Website: Walldorf, Germany Tel.: +49 6227 3849-567