8 February 2010 1 Comment

Semantic Web In Action – Triplify

When a child wants to build, he reaches for the nearest set of blocks and has at it.  For the semantic Web Developer or Information Architect, finding that perfect block proves a bit more difficult, as there many more Web tools available than letters in the alphabet.  If what you’re looking for is a resource that places database information in a semantic form, then one small block you might want to investigate is Triplify.  Triplify ‘semantifies’ Web Applications, bringing to light the semantic structures embedded in relational databases, and makes the Web mashable.

So What Does Triplify Do?

In short, Expose Semantics! Triplify provides for a knowledge representation of relational data and makes the content available in RDFJSON or Linked Data form.  Furthermore, Triplify leverages its lightweight structure, a few files totaling less than 500 lines of code, to insure rapid deployment, reuse, and ease of implementation.

How Does Triplify Work?

Triplify capitalizes on the connections inherent in relational database queries, to retrieve data according to the queries of your choice and convert them to:

  • RDF
  • JSON
  • Linked Data.

Generally, a minor 3 to 7 queries generates the majority of valuable information. After extracting database data, Triplify software constructs a shareable RDF, JSON or Linked Data semantic representation.

How Can Triplify Help Me?

Beyond simply preparing a semantic representation of your database on the Web, Triplify turns your Web Application into a data source for use in conjunction with other sources of data across the Web.

Notable uses include:

Semantic Search

  • Sindice – A Semantic Web document index


  • Yahoo! Pipes – Pipe designer can utilize instances of Triplify as a data source.
  • Simile Potluck – Mash Triplify data sources [No Programming Required!]
  • Programmableweb – DB of API’s for use in conjunction with Triplify

Data Browsing

Publishing Update Logs

Application Advantages:

  • Search engines can better evaluate the content and more easily find content.
  • Different application instances can easily syndicate dynamic content without the needing interfaces, content representations.
  • Ability to create custom-tailored niche search engines. Easy searching for a product with certain characteristics.

How Do I use Triplify?

  • Download and extract the Triplify script to your Web application.
  • Create a Triplify configuration file according to your application.
  • Ensure the script registers your application instance with the Triplify registry so that it can be found by other Web applications.
  • Enjoy your contribution to the Semantic Web initiative!

Check out the RDF data source for DavidKuhta.com at the Triplify Registry!

Modeled after the WordPress configuration file below

Community contributed configuration files for some major Web applications:
Important Considerations:
  • Privacy – Triplify is accessing your database! Be judicious in your queries, insuring that only the data that is accessible to the web is accessible to Triplify.
    • Triplify recommends creating a separate “Triplify” database user for whom only read access is granted.
  • Beta – As of this writing, Triplify v0.7 is still in beta and as any beta software still has some kinks to work through.
  • Performance – Triplify currently caters to small to medium size apps, but retains the ability to cache for more extensive applications

Triplify strongly encourages developers to become a part of the Triplify Community, and welcomes contributions of any kind. So, if you’re looking for an opportunity to contribute to a Semantic Web initiative, here’s your opportunity.

In A Nutshell

Triplify ‘semantifies’ the web, providing developers with a resource to semantically extract relational database information and make it available to the Semantic Web.  With its lightweight code, robust structuring, and ease of use, Triplify proves to be a valuable Semantic blocks for Web Applications. Likewise, Triplify’s approach in bypassing the chicken-and-egg dilemma of “simultaneously lacking of semantic representations and semantics-conscious Web search facilities” makes a push for the Semantic Web, today!

Simplify Semantics with Triplify!

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