Friday, March 28, 2008

Microsoft LINQs Data

Microsoft and "Research-Output" Repositories

Our goal is to abstract the use of underlying technologies and provide an easy-to-use development model, based on .NET and LINQ, for building repositories on top of robust technologies.

The platform has a "semantic computing" flavor. The concepts of "resource" and "relationship" are first-class citizens in our platform API. We do offer a number of "research-output"-related entities for those who want to use them (e.g. "technical report", "thesis", "book", "software download", "data", etc.), all of which inherit from "resource". However, new entities can be introduced into the system (even programmatically) while the existing ones can be further extended through the addition of properties.

This means, obviously, that arbitrary relationships between resources can be established. Our platform comes with a number of "known" predicates (e.g. "added by", "authored by", "cites", etc.) but it is extensible to accommodate any new predicates developers want to introduce. Furthermore, we do not interpret the semantics of the relationships; we let applications define how to reason about them.

The concept of a "relationship" may make many think that we are building a triple-store, perhaps even speculate that we are using one. While we do store tuples, we have opted for a hybrid approach between a fully-blown relational schema and a triple-store. Our thesis is that by sitting in the middle of the "triple store <–> relational schema" spectrum, we will be able to stay flexible enough without impacting performance.

At the Open Repositories 2008 conference, we will formally unveil our work in advance of its official release and initiate interactions/exchanges with the DSpace, EPrints, Fedora, and other players in the repository community. This is crucial to us because—like every other project our group undertakes—we are intensely focused on interoperability.

Maybe Microsoft and Yahoo! have more in common than previously thought.

Via, Microsoft set to launch Semantic Web light. I previously looked around for LINQ tools for RDF.
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