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RSWA 2008 - Realizing a Semantic Web Application

You are aware of the Semantic Web, but you haven't got time to develop a Semantic Web application yourself? This tutorial explains how to develop step-by-step a Semantic Web application that expects a music style as an input; retrieves data from online music archives and event databases; merges them and let the users explore events related to artists that practice the required style. Try out the result http://meex.cefriel.it/meex !


This tutorial focuses on the step by step development of of a Semantic Web Application we named Music Event Explorer or shortly meex (try it out here http://swa.cefriel.it/meex). During this tutorial we challenge the Semantic Web technologies on the Web 2.0 ground of realising a mash-up that reuses, transforms and combines existing data taken from the open Web (namely MusicBrainz, MusicMoz and EVDB).

In the scope of this exercise we use:

  • OWL to model the data sources
  • RDF as unified relational data model
  • GRDDL to translate XML data sources in RDF
  • D2RQ to translate relational database in RDF
  • Jena as application framework that support programmers in combining all the data in a unified RDF model and in managing it
  • a RDF storage (configured within Jena) to guarantee persistency of the unified RDF model
  • a OWL reasoner (configured within Jena) to reason upon the data in the unified RDF model
  • SPARQL to query the unified RDF model
  • Joseki as a SPARQL endpoint server to make accessible the RDF data
  • a SPARQL client (configured within Jena) to access RDF data via SPARQL queries
  • Exhibit a Semantic Navigation Engine

The tutorial requires attendees to have some familiarity with the vision of the Semantic Web and with its technologies. A limited understanding of Java should be sufficient to follow the tutorial given that the tutorial will be mainly focused on the Semantic Web side of the problem of developing a Semantic Web application.


Slides and handouts

The slides in [ppt] and in [pdf] of the tutorial are available for download. Reuse is encuraged under CC licence (BY-NC-SA); don't forget to attribute our work by citing the names of the three authors and point to this page.

Download meex

To run meex on your local machine make sure to have installed the Sun Java JDK 1.6 compiler and the Eclipse IDE. To download meex, click on the meex download link. Within the zip file read the Readme-EN.pdf to install and configure meex.


Emanuele Della Valle is Program Manager of CEFRIEL's Semantic Web Activities, lecturer of "Knowledge Engineering" at Università dell'Insubria and Service Coordinator for "Testbeds and Challenges service" of Semantic Technology Institute - International. He is Project and Scientific Manager of the European Project Service-Finder. He is Technical Manager of the European Project SEEMP. His major research interest is in understanding business strategy and in translating theoretical results into applications. He performs research that is justified and guided by business opportunities. He leaded and participated into several consulting activities related to strategic evolution of distributed information systems, integration of different back-end systems and various feasibility studies for Web portal and document management systems.


Emanuele Della Valle, Dario Cerizza and Irene Celino | CEFRIEL - Politecnico di Milano, Italy