Press Release

New Semantic Storage Option Added to Drupal 7


CORALVILLE, IA, June 17, 2013 -- Structured Dynamics (SD) today released a new data storage back end that brings the full power of semantic technologies to Drupal. In essence, this new Drupal module, structFieldStorage, enables Drupal data -- in part or in whole -- to leverage the entire semantic technology stack of the Open Semantic Framework (OSF). This option brings significant semantic capabilities to the popular Drupal content management framework.

"This week marks more than three years we have been contributing semantic technology capabilities to Drupal via our roster of conStruct modules," said Frédérick Giasson, SD's chief technology officer and developer of the new module. "This is our most exciting interaction with Drupal to date. In essence, we now can run Drupal directly from an RDF triplestore and take full advantage of our broader OSF stack," he said.

For standard Drupal, as it ships out of the box, everything ends up being saved into its default storage system, most often MySQL. SD's new module enables Drupal administrators to choose to save specific (or all) fields and their values into a remote structWSF instance. This option replaces Drupal’s default storage system for the chosen content types and their chosen fields. By using this structFieldStorage system, all of the local Drupal 7 content can be queried via any of structWSF’s web service endpoints (which includes a SPARQL endpoint) and the data gets converted and indexed as RDF data. 

There are currently a few other field storage systems that have been developed for Drupal 7. The most cited one is the MongoDB module, and there is also Riak. But, according to Giasson, "we have extended the number of core widgets that are compatible with our new semantic storage system and have improved how Drupal natively handles content revisions, as well."

The structFieldStorage module is already compatible with multiple field widgets and external contributed Drupal 7 modules. However, because of Drupal’s nature and the flexilble design of the structFieldStorage module, any field for any content type may be assigned to either the default (MySQL) or semantic (OSF) storage. Even if "standard" widgets are not yet compatible with the structFieldStorage module, "nothing will break in a migration", said Giasson. "Meanwhile, we are able to provide the Drupal administrator the complete semantic, search, Web service, import/export, total content, and import/export capabilities of the OSF," he said.


"This module fully accounts for all create-read-update-delete functions, and is able to offer the standard Drupal developer a familiar interface," Giasson said. He also said the design addresses synchronization issues related to having (potentially) more than one data store.

The new module code may be found at: http://drupalcode.org/project/construct.git/tree/refs/heads/7.x-1.x-structfieldstorage:/modules/structfieldstorage.


First and Largest Local Government Site to Exclusively Embrace Semantic Technologies

The City of Winnipeg, the capital and largest city of Manitoba, Canada, just released its “NOW” portal celebrating its diverse and historical 236 neighborhoods. The NOW portal is one of the largest releases of open data by a local government to date, with some 57 varied datasets now available ranging from local neighborhood amenities such as pools and recreation centers, to detailed real estate and economic development information. Nearly one-half million individual Web pages comprise the site, driven exclusively by semantic technologies. Nearly 10 million RDF triples underly the site.

In announcing the site, Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz said, “We want to attract new investment to the city and, at the same time, ensure that Winnipeg remains healthy and viable for existing businesses to thrive and grow.” He added, “The new web portal, Neighbourhoods of Winnipeg—or NOW—is one way that we are making it easy to do business within the City of Winnipeg.”

NOW provides a single point of access for information such as location of schools and libraries, Census and demographic information, historical data and mapping information. A new Economic Development feature included in the portal was developed in partnership with Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. (EDW) and Winnipeg REALTORS®.

Our company, Structured Dynamics, was the lead contractor for the effort. An intro to the technical details powering the Winnipeg site is provided in the complementary blog post by SD’s chief technologist, Fred Giasson. These intro announcements by SD will be later followed by more detailed discussions on relevant NOW portal topics in the coming weeks.

Background and Formal Release

But the NOW story is really one of municipal innovation and a demonstration of what a staff of city employees can accomplish when given the right tools and frameworks. SD’s real pleasure over the past two years of development and data conversion for this site has been our role as consultants and advisors as the City itself converted the data and worked the tools. The City of Winnipeg NOW (Neighbourhoods of Winnipeg) site is testament to the ability of semantic technologies to be learned and effectively used and deployed by subject matter professionals from any venue.

In announcing the site on May 13, Mayor Sam Katz also released a short four-minute introductory video about the site:

- See more at: http://www.mkbergman.com/#sthash.U1wysAyj.dpuf

First and Largest Local Government Site to Exclusively Embrace Semantic Technologies

The City of Winnipeg, the capital and largest city of Manitoba, Canada, just released its “NOW” portal celebrating its diverse and historical 236 neighborhoods. The NOW portal is one of the largest releases of open data by a local government to date, with some 57 varied datasets now available ranging from local neighborhood amenities such as pools and recreation centers, to detailed real estate and economic development information. Nearly one-half million individual Web pages comprise the site, driven exclusively by semantic technologies. Nearly 10 million RDF triples underly the site.

In announcing the site, Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz said, “We want to attract new investment to the city and, at the same time, ensure that Winnipeg remains healthy and viable for existing businesses to thrive and grow.” He added, “The new web portal, Neighbourhoods of Winnipeg—or NOW—is one way that we are making it easy to do business within the City of Winnipeg.”

NOW provides a single point of access for information such as location of schools and libraries, Census and demographic information, historical data and mapping information. A new Economic Development feature included in the portal was developed in partnership with Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. (EDW) and Winnipeg REALTORS®.

Our company, Structured Dynamics, was the lead contractor for the effort. An intro to the technical details powering the Winnipeg site is provided in the complementary blog post by SD’s chief technologist, Fred Giasson. These intro announcements by SD will be later followed by more detailed discussions on relevant NOW portal topics in the coming weeks.

Background and Formal Release

But the NOW story is really one of municipal innovation and a demonstration of what a staff of city employees can accomplish when given the right tools and frameworks. SD’s real pleasure over the past two years of development and data conversion for this site has been our role as consultants and advisors as the City itself converted the data and worked the tools. The City of Winnipeg NOW (Neighbourhoods of Winnipeg) site is testament to the ability of semantic technologies to be learned and effectively used and deployed by subject matter professionals from any venue.

In announcing the site on May 13, Mayor Sam Katz also released a short four-minute introductory video about the site:

- See more at: http://www.mkbergman.com/#sthash.U1wysAyj.dpuf

First and Largest Local Government Site to Exclusively Embrace Semantic Technologies

The City of Winnipeg, the capital and largest city of Manitoba, Canada, just released its “NOW” portal celebrating its diverse and historical 236 neighborhoods. The NOW portal is one of the largest releases of open data by a local government to date, with some 57 varied datasets now available ranging from local neighborhood amenities such as pools and recreation centers, to detailed real estate and economic development information. Nearly one-half million individual Web pages comprise the site, driven exclusively by semantic technologies. Nearly 10 million RDF triples underly the site.

In announcing the site, Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz said, “We want to attract new investment to the city and, at the same time, ensure that Winnipeg remains healthy and viable for existing businesses to thrive and grow.” He added, “The new web portal, Neighbourhoods of Winnipeg—or NOW—is one way that we are making it easy to do business within the City of Winnipeg.”

NOW provides a single point of access for information such as location of schools and libraries, Census and demographic information, historical data and mapping information. A new Economic Development feature included in the portal was developed in partnership with Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. (EDW) and Winnipeg REALTORS®.

Our company, Structured Dynamics, was the lead contractor for the effort. An intro to the technical details powering the Winnipeg site is provided in the complementary blog post by SD’s chief technologist, Fred Giasson. These intro announcements by SD will be later followed by more detailed discussions on relevant NOW portal topics in the coming weeks.

Background and Formal Release

But the NOW story is really one of municipal innovation and a demonstration of what a staff of city employees can accomplish when given the right tools and frameworks. SD’s real pleasure over the past two years of development and data conversion for this site has been our role as consultants and advisors as the City itself converted the data and worked the tools. The City of Winnipeg NOW (Neighbourhoods of Winnipeg) site is testament to the ability of semantic technologies to be learned and effectively used and deployed by subject matter professionals from any venue.

In announcing the site on May 13, Mayor Sam Katz also released a short four-minute introductory video about the site:

- See more at: http://www.mkbergman.com/#sthash.U1wysAyj.dpuf

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About Structured Dynamics LLC

Structured Dynamics assists enterprises and non-profit organizations to adopt Web-accessible and interoperable semantic data. The basic premise is that the data itself becomes the application. Via structured, linked data and a combination of semantic technologies and Web services, information in any form and from any source can now be integrated and made interoperable. The company Web site is at http://structureddynamics.com; it is headquartered in Coralville, IA.

Press Contacts:
Michael Bergman
Structured Dynamics LLC
Tel: 319-621-5225
Email: mike at structureddynamics dot com