Re: request for info on Semantic Web business applications

Frank Manola wrote:
> a.  Actual instances of (what you think are) existing business 
> applications of Semantic Web technology (and pointers to more 
> information, if it's available).  The general outline of what I'm 
> looking for here is something like:
> FOO (a company, industry sector, etc.) is applying BAR (a Semantic Web 
> technology or language) to do BAZ (some kind of work)
> Prototypes being developed in conjunction with customers can be 
> included, if they're identified as such, but I'm not looking for 
> speculation about things that *could* at some point reasonably be 
> Semantic Web applications, unless they're considered a potential future 
> extension of some more concrete activity.  Also, I'm not using 
> "applications" here to mean programs that parse or store or edit RDF, 
> OWL, etc., or things of that sort. "Applications" here means things like 
> interchange of real estate or scientific data, knowledge collection and 
> management, metadata about resources of various kinds, agents and other 
> "smart" applications, etc.  Finally, "business" isn't restricted to 
> private enterprise;  government applications are fine too.

Hi Frank, others,

Aduna's products "AutoFocus", "Metadata Server" and "Spectacle"[1]
pretty much match this description. This suite of applications analyzes
files, e-mails, etc., indexing their contents and storing metadata like
creation dates, titles, authors and file types in Sesame, an RDF/RDFS
database[2]. This information can then be used to find files using Aduna
AutoFocus or Spectacle. I'll give a brief description of the three

Aduna AutoFocus is an end-user application that can disclose both
private and shared information sources. Private information
sources are sources like the local file system or an e-mail box on an
IMAP server. Shared information sources are sources that are disclosed
through a Metadata Server (see description below). AutoFocus allows
users to search files and e-mails using keyword searches on the content
and selection of specific metadata values. The overlap and differences
between the various search criteria are shown graphically in a "cluster

Aduna Metadata Server is a server based product that allows central
indexing of shared information sources for a group of people using
AutoFocus, or for a web-based presentation using Spectacle. The Metadata
Server wraps a Sesame server, adding functionality for defining and
scanning information sources and for scheduling automatic rescans. The
wrapped Sesame server can be queried like any other Sesame server.
AutoFocus and Spectacle use this feature to query the metadata stored in
a Metadata Server using SeRQL[3] queries.

Aduna Spectacle is the server based alternative to AutoFocus. It offers
faceted navigation (or "guided exploration") through a set of files
based on the metadata that is available in a Metadata Server. Being a
server based solution, Spectacle does not offer the rich interaction
with the available information that is being offered by AutoFocus.
Otherwise, the two applications offer similar functionality.

We are currently investigating ways to integrate available "external"
meta data like FOAF into our products. Other points of interest include
the use of user-defined light-weight ontologies and sharing of meta data
between users. These additions will increase the Semantic Web component
in the products even further.

More information can be found at Aduna's website[1]. Aduna AutoFocus is
free for personal use, so I suggest you give it a try.


Arjohn Kampman


Aduna BV -
Prinses Julianaplein 14-b, 3817 CS Amersfoort, The Netherlands
tel. +31-(0)33-4659987  fax. +31-(0)33-4659987

Received on Wednesday, 2 March 2005 17:14:01 UTC