IKS Paris Workshop Wrap-up

© Flickr/IKS

The fifth IKS community workshop took place last week in Paris. More than 90 participants, representing a diverse group of stakeholders came together to learn how semantic technologies can extend current content management experiences.

Apache Stanbol semantic engine, VIE user interface for semantics on the client’s browser

The IKS community workshops provide an open platform for discussion around the deployment of IKS technology. In Paris the focus was on the IKS technologies that are now available as part of Apache Stanbol and VIE. Apache Stanbol is  an open source semantic engine for content management systems, it is freely available (permissive license) and through its modularity has been proven to be easily usable in various contexts. Currently stable features include named entity extraction and linking, several experimental components were also on display  –

© IKS / Flickr

among them support for local taxonomies as linking target, document categorization and term disambiguation as well as the use of rules to refactor results and to make them traceable,. Another IKS technology on show in Paris was VIE, a way of making RDFa encoded semantics interactive. VIE is based on client-side javascript libraries that make it easy for user interface developers to leverage semantic annotations irrespective of whether they come from Stanbol or from elsewhere.

Talking “semantics”

The event included selected industry opinion leaders and innovators sharing their views on various aspects of semantic content management: Seth Grimes (Alta Plana) focussed on text analytics and Lynda Moulton (Outsell’s Gilbane Group) provided a succinct look at the current semantic technology provider market. Stephane Croisier (Jahia) as well as Janus Boye (Janus Boye) highlighted the tensions arising from the lack of maturity of semantic technologies on the one hand, the missing semantic applications and the high expectations of customers, on the other hand. Mark Greaves (Vulcan)  showcased various examples of applications on the basis of semantic wiki technology.

Market adoption of Apache Stanbol 

The two IKS technologies Apache Stanbol and VIE are now available for market adoption. The first phase of adoption was already on display in Paris. Two industrial IKS partners demonstrated their integration of Stanbol and VIE in their CMS products – Nuxeo DM and the Midgard CMS. But not only IKS partners showed the value of the semantic engine, also early external adopters from the CMS vendors and integrators community demonstrated how they had used Stanbol to extend their systems: GOSS Interactive and XIMDEX for their own product, Zaizi for Alfresco, punkt.netServices for Drupal, and in one use case for the research department of the French energy provider EDF.

Semantic Vendors Market

© IKS / Flickr

Several semantic vendors and academic organizations presented their incumbent tools in the area of semantic knowledge extraction (Saplo), document analysis (SalsaDev), vocabulary creation (Semantic Web Company/Poolparty), linked data aggregation (University of Leipzig/LIMES) and a linked media (Salzburg New Media Lab/ LMF). IKS  acknowledges their contributions to the semantic CMS community and aims at leveraging added value for both, Apache Stanbol as an easy to use unifying semantic platform and semantic tools vendors as producers of specialized engines.


© IKS / Flickr

The workshop was also aimed at hands-on developers. One hackathon with about 20 participants was dedicated to Apache Stanbol, its  architecture and use. The demand for multi-lingual support, vocabulary definition, taxonomy extraction and linking with the Stanbol software emerged as themes for future work. The second hackathon was around the VIE set of libraries that make up the IKS component for managing semantics at the user interface.

What’s next?

IKS will keep its focus on providing the semantic engine for content management systems with a growing number of high-quality, dedicated engines – we are indebted to an increasing number of developers and early adopters forming a great community

Meet  us at the London Semantic Tech Conference in September 2011, at the J.Boye Conference in November 2011, and Apache Conference North America in November 2011. More Apache Stanbol and VIE hackathons are also in planning for 2011, stay tuned for details. 

Looking forward to meeting  you at the next IKS event!


Author: Wernher

Wernher Behrendt is senior researcher at Salzburg Research and the coordinator of the IKS project

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