Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Ontorion SPARQL Tools for Excel

We have just released a SPARQL addin for Excel. This Addin has been developed by Cognitum as part of its semantic technology framework: Ontorion Server and Fluent Editor. Ontorion SPARQL Tools for Excel is a free Addin to MS Excel 2010 and 2013 and can be downloaded here. This addin has been designed to help people in the Knowledge Management business or people interested in the data available from SPARQL endpoints to easily import data from a SPARQL endpoint and/or an Ontorion Server. With the number of SPARQL endpoint growing year after year, this seems as a very important feature that was lacking in Excel until the present day. As you will see with our adding it is possible to do all of this with few single clicks.

A SPARQL Endpoint is a W3C standard to get data from an RDF triple store (here for the W3C reference). Nowadays many SPARQL Endpoint are publicly available (see here for a short list) and many government have built sparql endpoints to access open data (see here for example). This together with the expressiveness of the RDF format, gives great opportunity for data analysis and for businesses. However we have noted that still the use of these SPARQL Endpoints is something restricted to a minority of expert people as these technologies are not simple to grasp. With this Excel Addin we want to make this simpler.

Importing from a SPARQL Endpoint

To import from a SPARQL endpoint, go to the Ontorion tab and click import from SPARQL and a form will show

In which we can specify the address of the SPARQL Endpoint and the query we want to execute. By default we are loading a simple exploratory query to the Bathing Water Quality endpoint of the UK government. Under the query text box there is a Load Query button that will show you the last queries executed in your computer. Furthermore in the SPARQL endpoint dropdown list you will find the recently used SPARQL endpoints. Then after clicking Execute, the query is sent to the SPARQL endpoint

and the result is downloaded in Excel where each variable retrieved in the SPARQL query will be shown in a column of your Excel worksheet. 
Here you can see the result of the default query. 

And here the result of a more complex query (taken from the Bathing Water Quality endpoint) 

After the query has been executed, the Change Query and Refresh buttons will be enabled. By clicking Change Query it will be possible to change the current query or endpoint while by clicking Refresh the data will be downloaded again from the SPARQL endpoint. 

Importing from an Ontorion Server 

Here it is possible to give the address of the Ontorion Server Endpoint. After filling this field the addin will automatically download the Database list from Ontorion and enable the query button. It is then possible to write a Ontorion CNL query in the text field and the application will suggest possible sentences. Finally by clicking Execute the data will be retrieved from Ontorion and loaded in Excel. 

To import from an Ontorion endpoint, go to the Ontorion tab and click import from Ontorion 

and a form will show After inserting the Ontorion Endpoint address and clicking Tab, we will automatically try to connect to Ontorion to show the current databases in it

Then you can select from the list of databases currently present in Ontorion. In order to show you the behaviour we have loaded into Ontorion the IT infrastructure example. In order to see how the knowledge is organized in this Example , you can download Fluent Editor and load the IT Example.

When a database is selected, it is possible to write a CNL query in the CNL query field. As you can see, an autocomplete functionality will hint you which concepts/roles/attributes/instances present in the Database you can ask for. 

If for example we ask for the instances that are in the class "a server"

We will ask Ontorion 

And get back the instances that are stored in Ontorion with its attributes or roles 

In this case we retrieve two instances (Server-1 and Server-2) that both have one attribute "host" with value Application-1 (-2). This was written in the knowledge in Ontorion CNL as: 

Server-1 is a server.
Server-1 hosts Application-1.
Server-2 is a server.
Server-2 hosts Application-2.

or (as the Ontorion-CNL is equivalent to OWL/RDF) we can also write the sentences in its OWL equivalent (for Server-1):

  <Class IRI="Server" />
  <NamedIndividual IRI="Server1" />

  <ObjectProperty IRI="hosts" />
  <NamedIndividual IRI="Server1" />
  <NamedIndividual IRI="Application1" />

If you want to learn more about Ontorion™ Server, visit this link.

*) Ontorion™ Server, a very powerful and scalable solution that recognize and extract relevant items of information hidden in plain text or reports. It completely changes access to unstructured data and boots the efficiency and scalability of all processes involving the management,distribution, access and analysis of large amounts of textual content. With this toolset user can manage free-text taxonomies in Microsoft Excel and export them to the semantic high-performance server. Server side components allows to collect data directly from Internet (social-media, webpages, blogs, etc) and other text-free unstructured sources.

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