Data Management

Case Study on Linked Data and SPARQL Usage for Web Application Development

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Executive Summary

Most current websites are programmed to be human-readable only. Even if the websites are dynamically generated, all semantics of presented data is lost as they are published as (X)HTML pages. Although, people browsing the site typically understand data such as titles, author names, dates properly, the computers treat such pages as a set of formatting tags, and do not understand the meaning of presented information. To help represent data in a computer readable form, Resource Description Framework was introduced for IT professionals. The computer readable information is handled as a graph of triples in the form subject. Here any resource and any term is identified by a unique URI. Mostly the web applications are programmed with relational databases with an application specific schema in the backend. This database schema can be changed by running various queries onto the database. Also, this change calls for deciding another application specific data format. Another way of going about this is through RDF, which is sued as a web standard to create reusable data schemas and interchangeable data. The paper presents a real case study to help understand this concept. The paper develops an academic community website and shows various common schemas and stored data in an RDF store used during development stage.

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