Structured Data and Web Services Framework for Drupal Unveiled
CORALVILLE, IA, June 16, 2009 -- Structured Dynamics today unveiled twin products that will bring exciting new structured data capabilities to the popular Drupal open source content management system. The first of these open source products is structWSF, a platform-independent Web services framework for RDF. It is paired with the conStruct module that links Drupal to this framework while leveraging existing Drupal capabilities.
"There has been some promising effort to expose RDF data from Drupal for some time," said Michael Bergman, CEO of Structured Dynamics LLC. "However, our innovation looks through the other end of the telescope," he said. "Our new conStruct structured content system enables external structured data to actually 'drive the application'. We think Drupal is the perfect host to demonstrate this new paradigm of 'data-driven apps'," Bergman added.
The conStruct Drupal module makes the connections between existing Drupal capabilities and the structWSF Web services framework. structWSF provides a standard suite of Web services, an innovative means to access and manage datasets, and the hooks to underlying structured data stores and full-text search engines.
structWSF is a platform-independent Web services framework for accessing and exposing structured RDF data. Its central organizing perspective is that of the dataset. These datasets contain instance records, with the structural relationships amongst the data and their attributes and concepts defined via ontologies (schema with accompanying vocabularies).
The structWSF middleware framework is fully RESTful in design and is based on HTTP and Web protocols and open standards. The initial structWSF framework comes packaged with a baseline set of about a dozen Web services in CRUD, browse, search and export and import.
All Web services are exposed via APIs and SPARQL endpoints. Each request to an individual Web service returns an HTTP status and optionally a document of resultsets. Each results document can be serialized in many ways, and may be expressed as either RDF or pure XML.
In initial release, structWSF has direct interfaces to the Virtuoso RDF triple store (via ODBC, and later HTTP) and the Solr faceted, full-text search engine (via HTTP). However, structWSF has been designed to be fully platform-independent. The framework is open source (Apache 2 license) and designed for extensibility.
conStruct SCS is a structured content system that extends the basic Drupal content management framework. conStruct enables structured data and its controlling vocabularies (ontologies) to drive applications and user interfaces.
Users and groups can flexibly access and manage any or all datasets exposed by the system depending on roles and permissions. Report and presentation templates are easily defined, styled or modified based on the underlying datasets and structure. Collaboration networks can readily be established across multiple installations and non-Drupal endpoints. Powerful linked data integration can be included to embrace data anywhere on the Web.
conStruct provides Drupal-level CRUD (create - read - update - delete), data display templating, faceted browsing, full-text search, and import and export over structured data stores based on RDF. Depending on roles and permissions, a given user may or may not see specific datasets or tools within the Drupal interface. Search and browse results are similarly sequestered depending on access rights.
Unveiled at SemTech 2009
Bergman unveiled and demoed the two products today at the 2009 Semantic Technology Conference in San Jose, California. He did so during his talk on, "BKN: Building Communities through Knowledge, and Knowledge Through Communities." SemTech 2009 is a premier semantic Web event, which has been steadily growing and now exceeds 1000 attendees.
Sponsorship and Further Details
structWSF has been under development by Structured Dynamics for some time. Its linkage and incorporation within the Drupal system has more recently been supported by the Bibliographic Knowledge Network.
BKN is a major, two-year, NSF-funded project jointly sponsored by the University of California, Berkeley, Harvard University, Stanford University, and the American Institute of Mathematics, with broad private sector and community support. BKN is developing a suite of tools and infrastructure for citations and bibliographies within the mathematics and statistics domain based on semantic technologies for professionals, students or researchers to form new communities.
structWSF will soon be available for download from the OpenStruct (http://openstructs.org) Web site. The conStruct system will also soon be available under GPL license. See its home site at http://constructscs.com or within the Drupal module system (http://drupal.org/project/construct).
About Structured Dynamics LLC
Structured Dynamics assists enterprises and non-profit organizations and projects to adopt Web-accessible and interoperable data. The basic premise is that the data itself becomes the application. Via structured, linked data and a combination of products and Web services, information in any form and from any source can now be integrated and made interoperable. Linked data is based on open standards to interconnect any form of relevant information on the Web -- on demand and in context. The company Web site is at http://structureddynamics.com; it is headquartered in Coralville, IA.
Michael K. Bergman
Structured Dynamics LLC
Tel: 319/621 5225