SemanticStudio is an ontology development tool with presentations in various formats, including visual presentation, and persistence into semantic repositories, filesystems or databases.
SemanticStudio allows to develop ontologies by using different presentations, among which there is an inner kernel presentation on which all other presentations are based. In our terms, all presentations are *re-presentations* of the kernel presentation. The kernel presentation is close to the “in-memory” model of Jena but it differs in many aspects which we regard as further abstraction from presentation details. In development of Semantic Studio, as well as other our tools, we have been using our own framework.
The presentations are grouped into 3 modes – Design Mode, Source Mode and Graphic Mode. The user can develop the model by working with any presentation and can switch to another presentation, including the graphical, to continue development from there. Due to the kernel presentation, synchronization between presentations is “instant”. SemanticStudio can be also treated as a converter between various standards of SemanticWeb.
Design Mode is user-friendly, by which we understand closeness to natural languages and we recommend that a user develops his model in this mode. The user writes triples of words and, optionally, and in parallel, - a comment in natural language with same meaning as the triple. We recommend to use in comments the words used in triples, whereby to also contribute to the development of our tool which we plan to equip with learning to understand natural language based on statistical methods. Currently, the tool does not come with this feature of learning, but comments are useful for the user to learn the triples approach.
Because natural language does not explicitly use namespaces, the studio keeps track of namespaces “behind the scenes” and shows the namespace prefix to the user only when he moves the mouse over a word. This complies with human communication practice where a human does not state explicitly the implicit knowledge, but can disclose it, if this is needed for better understanding.
The new words acquire the namespace of the currently developed ontology, the vocabulary of which cumulates on the vocabulary panel. The old words take the namespace which the user selects from a drop down list during typing, which also offer to select the word from the selected vocabulary, or the studio guesses the word upon typing the first letters. User has also the option to selecting a word directly from Vocabularies. The user can import a new vocabulary into Vocabularies panel, by indicating the ontology, the vocabulary of which is to be extracted and imported.
The feature planned for the future releases will search for ontologies in a repository and allow the user to work with many vocabularies from ontologies in the repository.
Source Mode is a set of presentations in N3, NTriples and RDF in several flavors. You can develop ontologies in this mode, but we said this to be Source Mode exactly because we regard the ontologies built according the standards as more oriented to applications than humans, and SemanticStudio is meant to create the source of the model “behind the scenes” as a compiler of a programming language. Only the N3 presentation singles out among the presentations of Source Mode as oriented both to humans and applications.
Graphic Mode represents the ontology created in other modes, or visually, and allows to define graphic styles for resources and defaults across the model. Graphic Mode also allows for two layouts of graphical presentation, zooming in and out and printing the graphical presentation. In order to simplify navigation through a large ontology, it offers a graphical navigator.
SemanticServer is a web server for delivery of content from semantic repositories across the web to software applications and people, as well as management of semantic repositories hosts.
Currently, SemanticServer comes with its own SPARQL processor which is also visual. The user can draw a diagram of the query - the tool builds the query and displays it result. Here is an example
"Give me the description of the DCMI specification issued on 11 July 2005."
Our approach to security, access control and trust is based on the idea of service of the SemanticServer to the external applications on the web. An external application as a client sends a request to the server, and the server works with the repository and delivers information based the relationship of the client to the repository. One type of relationship is public. Only a human client with due access can work with a repository or certain objects within repository according the access rights.
The tool has advanced features for user/group management
and features for resource meta-data management