Using MongoDB to Implement a Semantic Database – Part I

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Newly published article on Code Project.

Semantic Database Technology (from InformationWeek):

Semantic technology has created a disruptive opportunity for businesses to obtain more value from their data. The concepts surrounding the semantic Web, such as linked data cloud and data mashups, are powered by a set of emerging standards and products that, for now, are mainly used for consumer services. However, these technologies are equally compelling as part of an enterprise data platform behind the firewall.
At a high level, there are five main benefits of semantic technology:
    > It works in tandem with your existing database investments;
    > It aligns with Web technologies;
    > It speeds the integration of multiple databases;
    > It’s based on data structures that are flexible by design; and
    > It can help enterprises tackle big data challenges.

Excerpts from my article:

Fundamentally, a semantic database captures relationships.  There are two primary kinds of relationships:

  1. Static, implicit relationships that define the structure (give meaning) to a semantic term (a symbol).  These are typically expressed with the same terms used in object oriented programming “has a” and “is a kind of.”
  2. Static or dynamic explicit relationships, where the relationship itself has a meaning expressed in a semantic term and where dynamic relationships can change over time.  In programming, these relationships are usually expressed implicitly in the code, for example, a dictionary or other key-value pair collections.  Dynamic relationships often have a time frame — a beginning and an ending.

The advantage of a NoSQL database is that the schema itself is dynamic:

  1. The structure of implicit symbols change (think of how names and addresses vary among cultures.)
  2. New symbols can be easily added (simply add a new collection.)
  3. New relationships between symbols can be easily added (simply add a collection with two fields associating the ID’s of two collections.)

Read the whole article here!

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