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Linked Data: Turning Stovepiped Data Into a Web of Data

by Nick Gall  |  September 19, 2008  |  6 Comments

In talking with clients about SOA, WOA, and application integration generally, the conversation often turns to best practices for their IFaPs (Identifiers, Formats, and Protocols). First I always stress, as Tim Berners-Lee does, that of the three (I,F, and P) — Identifiers are by far the most important to information sharing. After all, the Web is fundamentally a web of LINKS!

After such conversations, I typical send a follow up email with some good examples of “linked data” and some pointers on versioning IFaPs — two of the most critical aspects of a successful information architecture IMO. Here is one such example…

Here are some links to the Linked Data initiatives I mentioned:

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linked_Data
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Data
  3. http://esw.w3.org/topic/SweoIG/TaskForces/CommunityProjects/LinkingOpenData

 I forgot to mention one other pioneering effort in “linked data”: the use of XBRL by the FDIC et al and the SEC. XBRL.org just published the US GAAP Taxonomies in XBRL — a major achievement: http://xbrl.us/pages/us-gaap.aspx   . The links on this page lead to a nice “taxonomy browser” that makes it (relatively) easy to navigate these complex taxonomies. 

Finally, we only mentioned it in passing, but extensibility/versioning strategies for XML and other Web languages (e.g., HTML) is another poorly understood topic. I think people read the X in XML (meaning eXtensible) and believe (mistakenly) that XML is extensible by default. It is NOT. Here are some useful references into the leading thinking on this issue:

  1. http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/doc/versioning-compatibility-strategies
  2. http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/doc/versioning
  3. http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/doc/versioning-xml
  4. http://www.pacificspirit.com/Authoring/Compatibility

 

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Category: extensibility  information-architecture  woa  

Tags: extensibility  ifaps  woa  

Nicholas Gall
VP Distinguished Analyst
14 years at Gartner
35 years IT industry

Nick Gall is a vice president in Gartner Research. As a founding member of Gartner’s Enterprise Planning and Architecture Strategies, Mr. Gall advises clients on enterprise strategies for interoperability, innovation and execution. Mr. Gall is a leading authority on middleware… Read Full Bio


Thoughts on Linked Data: Turning Stovepiped Data Into a Web of Data


  1. Frank Hood says:

    It’s been 2 weeks since the web innovation summit and blogs launch. Is it too early to declare the experiment a failure? Most of the comments I see are from fellow Gartner analysts. Maybe the problem is only advertising the blog by word of mouth at the conference?

    Sounds harsh, but then all successful blogs grow only incrementally, and IMO the main predictor of success is consistent posting. So maybe it’s too soon to judge.

  2. Nick Gall says:

    Yes, it is WAY too early. It takes months (or years) to build an audience. I have patience.

  3. Anthony Bradley says:

    First of all. It isn’t an expirament. Second, you don’t even think about measuring the success of a blog by comments after only two weeks. Search engines most likely have not found the blogs yet. First you get the bloggers to actually blog consistently (we are well on our way here). Then you get readership and measure traffic. Then you think about two way participation as a success measure.

    This is a long journey not a fast sprint.

  4. […] recently, Nick began picking up the theme of linked data on his new Gartner blog. Enterprises now appreciate the value or an emerging service aspect based […]

  5. Nick,

    I discovered this blog via Mike Bergmans WOA post [1]. Anyway, I encourage you to look at my Linked Data Planet conference keynote [2] that actually covers the synergies between Linked Data and Open Database Connectivity; how URIs provide de-referencable Identifiers for Data Objects, and how these Data Object provide conceptual interfaces to a plethora of sources including enterprise SOA or Web oriented REST services. In a nutshell, REST and SOA offer Call Level Interfaces for fashioning Data Objects that are interwoven and eventually “Meshed” into HTTP based Entity Networks across intranets, extranets, and the Internet (via the World Wide Web).

    Links:

    1. http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/AI3_AdaptiveInformation/~3/418563485/
    2. http://tinyurl.com/6gzelr

    Kingsley Idehen

  6. […] Linked Data: Turning Stovepiped Data Into a Web of Data […]



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