Wednesday, December 31, 2008

TopBraid Composer 3.0 goes into beta

While this blog has been dormant for a couple of months, we have not been idle! This final day of the year marks the first beta release of TopBraid Composer 3.0. This release comes packed with numerous new capabilities and improvements or bug fixes to existing features.

One of the reasons for the long delay between the releases (2.6.2 came out in August 2008) is the fact that we have reorganized the development team. We have hired some more developers and in order to give each of the products of the TopBraid Suite sufficient attention, I am now sharing the team leadership with Jeremy Carroll. Jeremy, who is well-known as one of the original creators of HP Lab's Jena API, is spearheading a major redesign of our TopBraid Live platform and TopBraid Ensemble, and the outcome of these changes will be particularly visible in the second beta of TBC. Another side effect of having Jeremy on board is that I can focus on creating new features again.

One of the major new features in 3.0 is support for the SPARQL Inferencing Notation (SPIN). We have been working on SPIN for many months now and it is already in routine use in several of our own projects. The beta release is the first opportunity for me to expose this to the public. In my on humble opinion, SPIN is a potentially very significant addition to the Semantic Web stack. I will write more about it in follow-up blog entries in the next couple of days.

The work on SPIN also allowed me to revisit the core of the SPARQLMotion engine, and numerous improvements have been included, in particular for the development of Web Services using SPARQLMotion. It's now easier than ever to build complete web applications using SPARQLMotion. TopQuadrant's new online service SPARQLpedia is an example application that is hosted on a public TopBraid Live server that uses SPARQLMotion scripts to manage a repository of SPARQL queries on a Sesame database. I will write more about this in the next few days as well.

There are many other changes and new features in the TopBraid Composer 3.0 beta. Please download it and let us know what you think!


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