Sunday, March 10, 2002

Ontopia Knowledge Suite(TM).

Ontopia AS, providers of advanced topic map tools and services and co-creators of the topic mapping standards, today announced the release of version 1.3 of the
Ontopia Knowledge Suite(TM).

Topic mapping is a new paradigm for organizing, retrieving, and navigating information resources. Through the provision of a 'knowledge layer' that is independent of the information resources themselves, topic maps help capture and manage corporate memory, improve indexing, and enable the integration of information that spans multiple, disparate repositories. Topic maps are based on an international standard, defined by the ISO, and are interchanged using the Extensible Markup Language (XML) defined by the W3C.

The Ontopia Knowledge Suite (OKS) comprises a full-featured Topic Map Engine written in 100% Java; the Ontopia Topic Map Navigator Framework, a framework for building J2EE compliant web applications; integration with full-text search engines; and an RDBMS backend for persistent storage of very large topic maps.

New functionality

Version 1.3 of the OKS adds significant new functionality in the form of a query engine and schema tools. Among other enhancements, all components now support Java2 version 1.4, memory consumption has been reduced by on average 30%, and support has been introduced for version 1.2 of LTM, the Linear Topic Map notation.

The query engine, which utilises the 'tolog' query language, enables complex queries to be performed on topic maps. For example, the following query against the well-known Italian Opera topic map, returns a list of cities in descending order of the number of premieres they hosted:

select $CITY, count($OPERA) from { premiere($OPERA : opera, $CITY : city) | premiere($OPERA : opera, $THEATRE : theatre), located-in($THEATRE : containee, $CITY : container) } order by $OPERA desc?

The schema tools allow the validation of semantic constraints expressed using the Ontopia Schema Language (OSL), and the development of more intelligent, schema-aware end-user applications. For example, it is possible to constrain associations of type "born in" to have exactly two roles, "person" and "place", each of which must be played by topics belonging to the superclasses "person" and "place" respectively.

In addition to providing customers with much-needed additional power,'tolog' and OSL are major contributions to the projects currently underway in ISO to develop a Topic Map Query Language (TMQL) and a Topic Map Constraint Language (TMCL).

Together with the Navigator Framework, these new features enable customers to build powerful topic map-driven web portals that integrate information from a variety of sources, provide much more intuitive navigational interfaces for end users, and greatly simplify web site development and maintenance.

New Omnigator

To coincide with the release of version 1.3, there is also a new version of Ontopia's popular free topic map browser, the Omnigator.

The Omnigator is a generic application built on top of the Ontopia Navigator Framework that allows users to load and browse any conforming topic map, including their own. Designed primarily as a teaching aid to help newcomers understand the topic map concepts, it is also an extremely useful tool for debugging topic maps and for building demo applications.

Some of the new features in the Omnigator 6 include plug-ins for performing querying and validation, the ability to display class hierarchies (in both text and graphics modes), better stylesheets, andan improved statistics printer. The Omnigator 6 can be downloaded for free from

New product structure

As of version 1.3, the Ontopia Knowledge Suite will be offered in three different editions, corresponding to the needs of different groups of users. Each edition is available under either a Development License (D) or a Runtime License (R). OEM licenses are also available at negotiable prices.

PERSONAL EDITION: $500 (D), $5,000 (R)
- Includes the Topic Map Engine and the Omnigator.

PROFESSIONAL EDITION: $2,000 (D), $20,000 (R)
- Includes the Topic Map Engine, the Navigator Framework, thefull-text integration, query engine, and schema tools.

ENTERPRISE EDITION: $3,000 (D), $30,000 (R)
- Extends the Professional Edition with the RDBMS backend for persistent storage of very large topic maps in relational databases.
Post a Comment