I am convinced that the semantic web will one day become mainstream. That being said, my company is a Microsoft shop. If we use semantic web technology it has to work very well with the .Net framework. Preferably it should come from the mothership self.

On the internet there are some articles claiming that Microsoft is investing in research, but I cannot find anything tangible. What are Microsoft's offerings in the semantic world? Does Microsoft have some sort of roadmap? Is there anything happening at all?

asked 27 Dec '09, 17:38

Florian%20Hoornaar's gravatar image

Florian Hoor...
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edited 17 Jul '11, 16:42

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Rob Vesse ♦


Internally there is a lot of positive activity as it relates to supporting the Semantic Web standards... meaning the support for standards and how we can provide infrastructure to partners like Intellidimension is actively being worked on. The customer facing strategy at this time is a partner focused one... we are actively working with Intellidimension on multiple levels to ensure their offerings in this space meet the needs of our enterprise customers.

(28 Dec '09, 02:13) spoon16 spoon16's gravatar image

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Hi Florian,

I produced LinqToRdf in 06/07 because I wanted to learn LINQ and RDF and SPARQL, but also because there was nothing working at the level I wanted at the time (SemWeb.NET is a nice framework, but I wanted to work at the level of classes, not triples so I had to build on top of it.)

I was told, indirectly, that the head of the VS dev tools team had no intention of working on RDF at the time, but that may have changed since then. Spoon16's answers on this site, seem to imply that that policy has not really changed. It seems that MS would rather partner with intellidimension. For me, the price tag of intellidimension's SDK is prohibitive, so you're left with LinqToRdf (that bundles SemWeb.NET) providing low- and high-level APIs. There are other low-level APIs out there, but they are AFAIK less mature.

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answered 27 Dec '09, 19:25

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Andrew ♦♦
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Andrew is entirely right in that there's not lots of stuff on offer for .Net right now. You have his LinqToRdf, Intellidimension's (heavily overpriced IMHO) Semantics SDK offering, SemWeb which is fairly mature and you have my dotNetRDF library which is very immature by comparison with the others. Though I'm probably the most active in terms of new development at the moment.

Stuff like Andrews LinqToRdf is more high level and works at the level of classes while stuff like SemWeb and dotNetRDF are much more low level API frameworks that work at the level of Triples and Graphs.

Disclaimer - Plugging my own API time...

In terms of my own API it is fairly immature (current release is 0.1.3 Alpha) but a lot of the core functionality you need is there i.e. parses and serializes to almost all common formats (except RDFa), connects to 6 different proven Triple Stores (AllegroGraph, 4store, Joseki, Sesame, Talis and Virtuoso) and has own SPARQL engine which is a reasonably good SPARQL implementation. Plus it's very much designed for .Net 3.5, uses LINQ heavily and has lots of stuff in the API that lets you do LINQ stuff over RDF data.

If you aren't looking to do anything in the next few months and can wait for later releases you might be interested to know that I'm currently doing a major clean-up of the API and serious revision of the SPARQL engine for the 0.2.x releases (which should start late Jan/early Feb) so the API will change somewhat (mostly class renaming to more consistent conventions and some namespace reorganisation for the SPARQL engine) but will result in a more stable platform to work from. Once these releases start the API will be unlikely to change significantly for the forseeable future and the SPARQL engine will support a lot of SPARQL 1.1 and have feature parity with many of the extensions present in ARQ (the SPARQL engine used by the main Java semantic web framework Jena)

Back on topic...

Then again if you are a big development house (or one that has customers with money to burn) then Intellidimension's stuff is probably well worth a look. And I know from experience that some companies are somewhat reluctant to use open source stuff particularly in customer facing products.

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answered 04 Jan '10, 13:21

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Rob Vesse ♦
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Microsoft actively partners/invests in the development of Intellidimension's offerings. There is definitely active development going on there.

(13 Mar '10, 18:05) spoon16 spoon16's gravatar image

Note - This post is very out of date and dotNetRDF is now a lot more mature than it was when this post was written. Unforunately due to a bug in OSQA I cannot edit my post to update it. My library is now in Beta and is signigicantly more mature and powerful, the SPARQL engine is now fully 1.1 compliant and the API in general is much better

(17 Jul '11, 16:46) Rob Vesse ♦ Rob%20Vesse's gravatar image

You may also consider the ROWLEX Toolkit released by NATO. Similar question has been issued at Stackoverflow: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/240903/what-is-a-good-rdf-library-for-net

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answered 23 Mar '10, 10:18

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user-355 (go...
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Check out the semantic version of SharePoint: http://www.ontoprise.de/en/products/semanticminer-for-sharepoint/

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answered 28 Feb '10, 18:43

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A number of years back I wrote Spiral RDF but it is not currently maintained:


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answered 26 Jun '10, 16:40

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Ian Davis
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Check out OData.

It is an open protocol for sharing data. It provides a way to break down data silos and increase the shared value of data by creating an ecosystem in which data consumers can interoperate with data producers in a way that is far more powerful than currently possible, enabling more applications to make sense of a broader set of data. Every producer and consumer of data that participates in this ecosystem increases its overall value.

The OData specification is available under the Microsoft Open Specification Promise (OSP). Microsoft has released an OData software development kit (SDK) consisting of libraries for .NET, PHP, Java, JavaScript, webOS, and the iPhone. (Wiki)

This is pretty similar to the spirit of Linked Data.

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answered 11 Jul '11, 11:47

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A major effort from MS is Trinity. Trinity is a graph database and computation platform over distributed memory cloud. As a database, it provides features such as highly concurrent query processing, transaction, consistency control. As a computation platform, it provides synchronous and asynchronous batch-mode computations on large scale graphs. Trinity can be deployed on one machine or hundreds of machines. It could be used for storing RDF data.

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answered 11 Jul '11, 12:03

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Yes but I've asked Microsoft about this in the past few months and the response I got indicated that they have no intention of making it publicly available at this time

(11 Jul '11, 13:26) Rob Vesse ♦ Rob%20Vesse's gravatar image

Searching of job sites for the word "SPARQL" has been turning up Microsoft postings for a few months now. Here's an interesting one: http://bit.ly/nu4U9m. It talks about taking SQL Server "beyond relational," and among the areas where they want someone with "experience/expertise/interest" they list "OWL/SPARQL/RDF."

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answered 12 Jul '11, 09:26

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Again I know a few of the people involved in some of the new incubator projects coming out of the SQL team and my impression was that they were aiming more at pure big data processing rather than semantic web stuff currently but that they are slowly moving in that direction :-)

(13 Jul '11, 03:57) Rob Vesse ♦ Rob%20Vesse's gravatar image

OREChem Project by Microsoft Research.


Its about Integrating Chemistry Scholarship with the Semantic Web.

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answered 10 Mar '10, 20:51

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Sashi Kiran ...
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Or take a look at http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/projects/zentity I had no chance to test it. But if you do, please let us know :-)

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answered 25 Jun '10, 09:32

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Bart Thiery
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question asked: 27 Dec '09, 17:38

question was seen: 9,240 times

last updated: 17 Jul '11, 16:46