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Re: UML-OWL Generator, A product to convert UML into OWL

From: Elisa Kendall <ekendall@sandsoft.com>
Date: Mon, 04 May 2009 11:20:16 -0700
Message-ID: <49FF31E0.7040006@sandsoft.com>
To: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>
CC: public-owl-dev@w3.org
Hi Dan,

We've never been approached.  Several UML vendors have talked with us 
about building plug-ins for their tools, which we did originally for 
Rose and are migrating to MagicDraw, EA RSA, etc., which may be one 
reason.  I think the real reason has been limited demand, though.  If 
IBM had enough requests, we would have heard from them in one way or 
another about it by now.  As it is, we get a few requests via their 
partner program now and again.  Since the first of this year, we've seen 
more interest from users of a couple of the vendors in particular, but 
that's very recent (from our perspective).  Most of our customers are 
either government or very large businesses who have really difficult 
problems to solve in information architecture, already have a large 
developer base in UML, and know of us through OMG.  We also have 
customers who are long-time Protege users, who need the UML either to 
submit to projects like caBIG or a variety of diagrams to explain 
complex ontologies to their customers/users. There is clearly a larger 
potential audience -- but most have not recognized that separation of 
concerns in the services they are producing includes separating the 
terminology and information infrastructure from the source code.  That's 
still a real stretch for most mainstream development organizations, even 
if they do use UML.

A few weeks ago I made a presentation at Enterprise Data World in Tampa 
with a colleague from JPL, and at that same conference there were a 
number of discussions on why there hasn't been more interaction between 
the data management community and Semantic Web technologies -- I would 
argue that the same reason holds there -- there simply hasn't been as 
much demand as we all thought there would be, at least not yet, in part 
due to the need for more cross-disciplinary education.

In any case, it's very interesting that someone thinks there is a demand 
for this -- I will look forward, as you might imagine, to hearing more 
about that.



Dan Brickley wrote:
> On 4/5/09 17:41, Elisa Kendall wrote:
>> Hi Bijan,
>> I hadn't intended to point this out myself (since I'm assuming the folks
>> who we've been exchanging email with have seen it and don't believe that
>> it is an issue for their work), but thanks.
>> We had what we believed were some key insights years ago, confirmed with
>> Grady Booch in fact, that led us to believe that in order to create a
>> "proper" mapping from a UML model to OWL, you needed to understand more
>> about the semantics of the model than might be available from
>> traditional reverse engineering. This was early work to tease out some
>> of the issues, including the need for not only a of the language
>> metamodel but an ontology of critical terminology in order to "do the
>> right thing". We still use this approach in our tools, but have refined
>> it significantly since 2000/2001 when we did the original research, as
>> you might expect. The approach covers the combination of the methodology
>> and the transformation to OWL (or other things). It predates ODM
>> substantially, but our current work has been updated to support parts of
>> the standard.
>> When we submitted our inputs to ODM (and since, with subsequent updates
>> to the standard), we agreed to license any relevant patents to anyone
>> who was interested at reasonable commercial rates. That would include
> Did anyone go ahead and license the patents commercially? What 
> definition of "reasonable" are you following?
> Dan
>> the one you found. We are also planning to contribute some of the work
>> to an emerging Eclipse project, the Eclipse/MDT project, and hope to get
>> the ODM metamodels, profiles, and APIs out in the Galileo release coming
>> out next month, fyi. None of those components require a license to our
>> patent from a usage perspective.
Received on Monday, 4 May 2009 18:20:48 UTC

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