Friday, June 11, 2004

Behind the Wall

Something Useful This Way Comes "Mike Champion offered an optimistic note, suggesting that Semantic Web technology may first flourish behind the enterprise firewall, in a way reminiscent of the earliest days of Netscape's corporate success:

The other previously missing ingredient is that real organizations have at least something approximating an implicit ontology in their database schema, standard operating procedures, official vocabularies, etc. It is at least arguable that the technologies that have emerged from the Semantic Web efforts allow all this diverse stuff to be pulled together in a useful way -- ontology editors, inferencing engines, semantic metadata repositories, etc. I'm seeing real success stories in my day job, and a coherent story is starting to be told by a number of vendors, analysts, etc.

Champion here makes a similar point to the one I argued in an article last fall ("Commercializing the Semantic Web"), namely, that there exist today several startups and fledgling ventures that are selling Semantic Web technologies to corporate clients, including Network Inference, Tucana Technologies, and others."

"Honestly, I don't know whether to laugh, because with WinFS Microsoft seems to be buying into the Semantic Web idea, or cry, because with WinFS Microsoft seems to be embracing-and-extending the Semantic Web idea. Oh well -- outside of the realm of unenforced US antitrust legislation, Microsoft is like gravity. Eventually, you just learn to work around it."
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