W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-owl-comments@w3.org > May 2010

Commercial Software Applications and OWL

From: Bisaillon, Brian (MGS) <Brian.Bisaillon@ontario.ca>
Date: Fri, 21 May 2010 12:38:20 -0400
Message-ID: <1C464124395D6A479177E3938FEFCDEA0534E78B@CTSPITDCEMMVX21.cihs.ad.gov.on.ca>
To: <public-owl-comments@w3.org>
Hello Working Group participants,
 
I work for the Government of Ontario and lately I have been conducting a
lot research related to the use of Semantic Web technologies in
Information Management. I am particularly interested in topics such as
e-Discovery, Findability, Metadata, Ontologies, Open Data/Information
Initiatives, Recordkeeping, Search, Visualization and many other
interrelated topics as well. Our unit is kind of a think tank for
Information Management here in my office. We are looking at innovative
ways of dealing with:
 
- Adopting open standards optimized for the semantic web
- Better connectivity, communication and information sharing
- Creating new semantic information models for common government
transactions
- Dealing with the Exponential Growth of Information
- Ensuring government information is optimized to express knowledge
(human and machine readable)
- Establishing the electronic record as the official record (move away
from paper records)
- Identifying, attracting and retaining knowledgeable and skilled IM
staff
- Identifying business records related to organizational
functions/activities/transactions
- Implementing functional classification according to ISO 15489 and the
DIRKS methodology
- New tools to support reasoning and inference (i.e., correlating data
to provide automation)
- Providing Authoritative Information for Accountability/Transparency
- Providing high quality knowledge for making business decisions
- Reducing pressure, long hours, delays, project failures, e-Discovery
litigation settlements
- Separating classifying, organizing and finding information using
metadata, search & visualization
 
Challenges include:
 
- BUY vs. BUILD mentality across government (a big problem when it comes
to information management)
- Competing standards for office file formats (ODF vs. OOXML debate;
OpenOffice vs. Microsoft Office)
- Lack of maturity in the industry (BI, ECM, EIM, Metadata, Portal,
Search, WCM... convergence?)
- Most COTS (Commercial-Off-The-Shelf Software) is not optimized for the
Semantic Web (open standards)
- Open Source Policy is restrictive and most of our procurements involve
COTS through RFP/VOR process
- Rapid changes in technology, increased complexity, disruptive
technologies, limited staff
- Research shows lack of user satisfaction with many of the
aforementioned industry technologies
- Users in need of a recordkeeping / records management system that is
easy to use (too complex)
- Too much vendor hype (EIM vendors claim to be able to do anything and
everything; many acquisitions)
- Very heterogeneous environment using many different APIs, data
formats, languages and protocols
 
Unfortunately, this is only the tip of the iceberg. We really want to
explore what the Semantic Web can do for us to help us address some of
these challenges. We see the power in the Semantic Web and at the same
time we are struggling to find commercial and open source software that
can be used in an enterprise-wide setting for a large organization such
as ours.
 
My question to you:
 
What do you feel are the most viable commercial and open source software
offerings in use today that use and/or combine technologies such as RDF,
RDFS, OWL, OWL-S, RIF/SWRL and SPARQL to deliver:
 
- e-Discovery and Freedom of Information Requests
- Enterprise Metadata and Ontology Management
- Knowledge, Mind Mapping and Visualization Tools
- Semantic Enterprise Search and Findability
- Web Services and XML High Performance/Reliable Messaging
- Other Solutions?
 
I understand that it's possible to combine the concepts of discovery,
findability, metadata, mind mapping, ontology, search, visualization,
web services, etc. Therefore, I've always wondered if any open source or
commercial vendors have been smart of enough to look at all of those
areas and combine approaches to deliver really powerful solutions? I
know it's possible, I just haven't seen it yet.
 
The most advanced sounding solution I've heard of with respect to
metadata at least has been:
http://www.hisoftware.com/press/mds2004.html
http://www.hisoftware.com/press/mds60.htm
http://www.hisoftware.com/SMPD/Index.html
 
The problem they've discussed in their press releases and on their
product page is the exact problem that our organization faces. This is
the only solution I have ever heard of that addresses this so far. I
want to find more solutions like this one. If these guys were smart
enough to come up with this, I'm sure others were smart enough to come
up with something as well.
 
In the end, I figured this working group (the actual creators of the
open standards in the first place) would probably be able to at least
point me in the right direction. I'm in close contact with my manager
and our Chief Information & Privacy Officer. I'm in a position where I
can make a difference and this is why I'm asking for help.
 
Sincerely,
 
Brian Bisaillon | I&IT Policy Advisor
Access, Discovery & Business Recordkeeping
Phone: 416.325.8541 | E-mail: brian.bisaillon@ontario.ca
Internet: http://www.accessandprivacy.gov.on.ca/english/index.html
<http://www.accessandprivacy.gov.on.ca/english/index.html> 
Intranet: http://intra.collaboration.gov.on.ca/mgs/ocipo
<http://intra.collaboration.gov.on.ca/mgs/ocipo>  
 
Received on Sunday, 23 May 2010 21:49:01 GMT

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