IKS Technology Stack Release 5.0 now available

According to our development roadmap we have released IKS 5.0 which is available from the IKS Google Code project homepage. Let me explain a little bit what you can expect from this release.

As all our previous releases, this one is based on a snapshot release of Apache Stanbol since there is no official Apache Stanbol release yet (but we are also working on that). The included Stanbol snapshot is from October 5, 2011 and it contains the latest development branch with all features that were available since that day. As things are moving fast these days in Apache Stanbol, you may have a good chance to get more features if you check out the latest trunk of Apache Stanbol instead of using the packaged IKS 5.0 release. So you’re invited to check out and experiment!

Start the Engine

The IKS 5.0 release is a convenient release to make it easy for people to start and try out IKS technology without having to checkout and compile the stuff by themselves. So after you have downloaded the IKS 5.0 launcher JAR file, you can start the IKS server by the following command in a shell.

java -jar iks-5.0-launcher.jar

This will bring up the IKS and by this an instance of Apache Stanbol listening on port 8080 of your machine. Next step is to browse to the local start page by pointing your browser to

http://localhost:8080

This will show you the IKS start page with release notes and links to further readings about how to use IKS technology.

One important thing to notice here is that Apache Stanbol is not running on the root “/” path but instead on http://localhost:8080/stanbol. So if you would like to try out some CURL examples that send requests to Stanbol, you will need to use http://localhost:8080/stanbol instead of http://localhost:8080.

What’s in It?

Now let’s explore what’s in this IKS 5.0 release. The first thing you may notice when enhancing some content using the JSON-LD as the output format, is that the output has changed. We have upgraded the JSON-LD serializer to the latest JSON-LD 1.0 specification to support a more easy to use data format for web developers. With JSON-LD any JavaScript developer should have no problems in accessing the enhancement information provided by Apache Stanbol.

Next thing to notice is the new Keyword Linking Engine that comes with Apache Stanbol. As we have blogged before is this engine useful when you have your own custom vocabulary and would like to identify entities in texts according to that vocabulary. Additionally, Apache Stanbol now supports multiple languages for content enhancement. The only restriction may be that the quality of the results vary depending on the processed language. The CMS Adapter component of Apache Stanbol got a complete rework and supports now bidirectional mappings between external RDF data and JCR/CMIS content repositories as we have described here.

At the VIE and VIEĀ² front we can report that VIEĀ² is now integrated in VIE so that these two projects are now joined as one. The VIE component is not yet part of IKS 5.0 but we are working on a demo integration for IKS 5.1. The VIE project is hosted at GitHub.

For the components that are still operating in lab mode we can announce also some improvements. The Apache Stanbol FactStore is working with a basic set of features but is still not complete. Hopefully, we have a more stable version by the end of this year. The Apache Stanbol Reasoners are also improving and will be part of the standard Apache Stanbol components in the near future. For better demonstration of the semantic technology within IKS and particular in Apache Stanbol we have started to work on a small Firefox extension that is capable of analyzing a web page and showing found enhancements. Maybe this could be improved to become a nice little application in the future that shows the power of Apache Stanbol.

What’s Next?

Because things are moving fast, we have decided to try to publish IKS releases more frequently. The next release will be the IKS 5.1 release expected to be published on October 17, 2011. In this minor release we will see the WebVIE demo and the Apache Stanbol Reasoner components included.

Author: Fabian

I'm a software engineer and researcher in the field of model-based software development with focus on software architectures and application frameworks at the Software Quality Lab (s-lab) of the University of Paderborn. I'm passionate about open-source software development and an active developer of the Apache Stanbol project.

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