Saturday, August 26, 2006

TopBraid Composer 1.2: Sesame and Multi-User Support

The new 1.2.0 release of the ontology development platform TopBraid Composer introduces multi-user support as well as full editing and querying support for Sesame.

Sesame is a popular and highly scalable open-source RDF store from Aduna. As far as I can tell, TopQuadrant is the first vendor to provide a complete ontology editor for the Sesame platform.

Sesame support in Composer comes in two flavors: Sesame native databases and Sesame remote repositories. The Sesame remote option is particularly attractive as it allows users to directly connect to any Sesame repository via an HTTP connection over the Web. This way, multiple users can access and edit a shared repository, committing their changes similar to a CVS system.

I did some testing, connecting to servers in Holland from my home in California. I was actually surprised about the performance of the stream of triples crossing the ocean: changing resources in the editor takes about one second only. Brilliant work by the Sesame developers! Of course we need more experience to fine-tune the system, and I hope to get some user feedback for real-world test cases, but the start is more than promising.

On another level, I am once more speechless by the power of RDF. No matter what some people argue - RDF is just great. The simplicity to reduce everything into triples opens many, many doors, for example from a software developer's point of view. Once you are in the triples world, it does not really matter whether the triples come from a local file, a database, a remote server or a virtual triple store that in reality wraps a legacy database. All these triples can be queried, cached, converted, mapped, filtered and edited consistently.

And in TopBraid Composer, it's triples all the way up to the top!


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