Semantic Technology brings a number of unique capabilities to data stores and applications. These capabilities evidence themselves both at the user interaction level, in what users can do with and expect from Semantic technologies; and at the system level, in terms of things applications can do internally without rework or recoding. Semantic Technology, based upon W3C standards, provides capabilities significantly beyond those of proprietary approaches based on technologies that were founded a half century earlier.
1. User Interaction Capabilities
Access to Meaning
Semantic Technology is based upon the development of the ontology of a particular domain. That is, “what do I need to know to have an unambiguous understanding of a particular thing, organization, subject, etc.?” This knowing is based upon precise understanding of the meaning of words used in the domain. A Semantic-Technology-based application depends on and provides a user with access to the defined meaning of the terms—the vocabulary, the words—used in the application. This means access to a human-only readable definition, such as one found in a dictionary, and access to the formalized definition found in the ontology that frames the system which executes the application. Such access should be presented in a human consumable form, and is one of the areas in which various formalisms such as Controlled Natural Language (CNL) are useful for translating technical forms of ontologies, such as the Web Ontology Language (OWL) , a W3C standard, to provide a human consumable form.