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Oracle 10g Release 2 / Oracle 11g introduces the industry’s first open, scalable, secure platform to store RDF and OWL data. Based on a graph data model, RDF triples are persisted, indexed and queried, similar to other object-relational data types.


Oracle Jena adaptor software implements the well-known Jena Graph and Model APIs. (Jena is an Open Source framework developed by Hewlett-Packard and is available under a BSD-style license; see for details.) It extends the capabilities of Oracle semantic data management (Oracle 10gR2 RDF and Oracle 11gR1 RDF/OWL) with a set of easy-to-use Java APIs. Enhancements have been done to the server side to accommodate those APIs.


Application developers can now use the power of the Oracle 11g Database to design and develop a wide range of semantic-enhanced business applications. Application areas include:

  • Life Sciences: Biological pathway analysis, discovery and enhanced search.
  • Defence & Intelligence: Data and content integration, reasoning and inference.
  • Enterprise Application Integration: Data and systems integration, semantic enterprise integration and semantic web services.
  • CRM/ERP: Supply chain integration, sourcing optimization and customer service automation.


Oracle Semantic Technologies Software Documentation

[1] Oracle Semantic Technologies Technical Presentation (PDF)

[2] Oracle RDF Overview

[3] Oracle Database 11gInference Best Practices with RDFS/OWL

[4] Semantic data management on Windows XP and configure semantic web technology support in Oracle 11g.


Since the inception of the Semantic Web, the development of languages for modelling ontologies has been seen as a key task. The initial proposals focused on RDF and RDF Schema; however, these languages were soon found to be too limited in expressive power.


OWL Web Ontology Language became a W3C recommendation in February 2004. OWL is actually a family of three language variants (often called species) of increasing expressive power: OWL Lite, OWL DL, and OWL Full.


The standardization of OWL has sparked the development and/or adaption of a number of reasoners, including FacT++, Pellet, RACER, and HermiT, and ontology editors, including Protégé and Swoop.


Practical experience with OWL 1 has shown that OWL 1 DL, the most expressive but still decidable language of the OWL 1 family, lacks several constructs that are often necessary for modelling complex domains


Why OWL 2?

Although, or even perhaps because, OWL 1 has been successful, certain problems have been identified in its design. None of these problems are severe, but, taken together; they indicate a need for a revision of OWL 1.


One of the important limitations of OWL 1 is the lack of a suitable set of built-in datatypes; because OWL 1 relies on XML Schema (xsd) for the list of built-in datatypes. OWL 2 is a new version of OWL which considerably improves the datatypes. Apart from addressing acute problems with expressivity, a goal in the development of OWL 2 was to provide a robust platform for future development.


OWL 2 extends the W3C OWL Web Ontology Language with a small but useful set of features that have been requested by users, for which effective reasoning algorithms are now available, and those OWL tool developers are willing to support. The new features include extra syntactic sugar, additional property and qualified cardinality constructors, extended datatypes support, simple meta-modelling, and extended annotations.


Considerable progress has been achieved in the development of tool support for OWL 2. The new syntax is currently supported by the new version of the OWL API. The widely used Protégé system has recently been extended with support for the additional constructs provided by OWL 2. The commercial tool TopBraid composer also currently supports OWL 2. Support for OWL 2 has also been included into the FaCT++ and the Pellet systems.


Reference: OWL2: The Next Step for OWLand “OWL 2.0: W3C Working Draft 02 December 2008” .