Monday, April 21, 2008

Semantify Your Web Apps with Triplify

Alright, "semantify" may not be an actual word, but you can probably guess at its meaning: "add a semantic layer to." In this case, we're looking at a small plugin called Triplify that reveals the semantic structures of web applications by converting their database content into semantic formats.
About Triplify

To grasp what this all means, we'll translate into plain English:

A large part of the content on the web is generated by web applications that are driven by databases on the back-end. For example, look at the top 15 most popular web apps hosted at Sourceforge:

Sourceforge Projects, Image via

However, the structure and semantics in these relational databases behind apps, such as those above, are not accessible by search engines. What Triplfiy does is use the structured nature of the databases behind these and other, similar apps to generate semantic data.
How It Works

The Triplify plugin generates database views by performing a small number of queries against the web app's database. These views are then converted into a semantic format - either RDF, JSON, or Linked Data representations. Once in this format, data can then be shared and accessed on the Semantic Web.

Triplify Overview, Image via

To install the plugin, you download and extract the folder containing the script into your web app. Then download a Triplify configuration matching your Web application or create a new one. There's an example file to get started with, or you can use one of the files already available, like this one for WordPress or this one for Joomla.

Finally, integrate the plugin into your web application. (More info here).

Once the web app has been "triplified," search engines can better evaluate the content, and semantic search engines, like Sindice, SWSE, or Swoogle can do the same.

But even better, once Triplify is installed, your web app becomes easily mashable with other web data sources via a tool like Yahoo! Pipes, for example.
The Challenge

Because those behind Triplify feel strongly about expediting the deployment of the Semantic Web, they're posing a challenge to the web developer community: develop the most innovative and promising semantifications and win fabulous prizes!

The first prize is a MacBook Air, second prize is an Asus EeePC, and third prize is an iPod Touch.

To get a better idea of what they will be looking for, check out the Challenge page of the Triplify site.

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