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Published: Jan 11, 2010
Last Updated: Jan 31, 2011
RDFa, a mechanism for attaching meaningful vocabularies to HTML content that is being quickly and widely adopted by content providers, is the first mainstream success to arise from the Semantic Web stack. RDFa enables tools ranging from custom point integrations to Google spiders to more richly understand your Web content. If you would like to quickly open up your content to a multitude of integration possibilities in a simple, cheap, standards-based fashion, we recommend you try RDFa.
Semantic Web W3C standards, and the tools implementing them, are at last worthy of real attention. RDF and RDFa allow anyone to say anything about anything in a sharable, structured format. This proves a much more powerful means of linking and structuring data from disparate sources than the strictness of RDBMS, or the mess that is unstructured Web data. Correspondingly SPARQL is the query standard that allows information to be mined from RDF marked-up data.
The semantic web and its underlying technologies, including RDF & SPARQL, have been around for 8 years or more. Broader uptake of the Cloud and non-relational databases such Neo4j have helped move the semantic web into the reach of enterprise developers. Outside of the semantic web, nonrelational databases are being adopted as alternatives to relational databases in a number of situations. Leveraging these technologies will require new approaches to architecture and development that suggest widespread adoption will only occur over a number of years.