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ANNOUNCE: Ontopia Knowledge Suite 1.3 released

Date:      Fri, 08 Mar 2002 11:44:19 +0100
From:      "Geir Ove Grønmo" <>
Subject:   ANNOUNCE: Ontopia Knowledge Suite 1.3 released


Ontopia announces the release of the Ontopia Knowledge Suite, version 1.3

Oslo, Norway. 7-March-2002.

Ontopia AS, providers of advanced topic map tools and services and co-creators of the topic mapping standards, today announced the release of version 1.3 of the Ontopia Knowledge Suite.

Topic mapping is a new paradigm for organizing, retrieving, and navigating information resources. Through the provision of a 'knowledge layer' that is independent of the information resources themselves, topic maps help capture and manage corporate memory, improve indexing, and enable the integration of information that spans multiple, disparate repositories. Topic maps are based on an international standard, defined by the ISO, and are interchanged using the Extensible Markup Language (XML) defined by the W3C.

The Ontopia Knowledge Suite (OKS) comprises a full-featured Topic Map Engine written in 100% Java; the Ontopia Topic Map Navigator Framework, a framework for building J2EE compliant web applications; integration with full-text search engines; and an RDBMS backend for persistent storage of very large topic maps.

New functionality

Version 1.3 of the OKS adds significant new functionality in the form of a query engine and schema tools. Among other enhancements, all components now support Java2 version 1.4, memory consumption has been reduced by on average 30%, and support has been introduced for version 1.2 of LTM, the Linear Topic Map notation.

The query engine, which utilises the 'tolog' query language, enables complex queries to be performed on topic maps. For example, the following query against the well-known Italian Opera topic map, returns a list of cities in descending order of the number of premières they hosted:

      select $CITY, count($OPERA) from
      { premiere($OPERA : opera, $CITY : city) |
        premiere($OPERA : opera, $THEATRE : theatre),
        located-in($THEATRE : containee, $CITY : container) }
      order by $OPERA desc?

The schema tools allow the validation of semantic constraints expressed using the Ontopia Schema Language (OSL), and the development of more intelligent, schema-aware end-user applications. For example, it is possible to constrain associations of type "born in" to have exactly two roles, "person" and "place", each of which must be played by topics belonging to the superclasses "person" and "place" respectively.

In addition to providing customers with much-needed additional power, 'tolog' and OSL are major contributions to the projects currently underway in ISO to develop a Topic Map Query Language (TMQL) and a Topic Map Constraint Language (TMCL).

Together with the Navigator Framework, these new features enable customers to build powerful topic map-driven web portals that integrate information from a variety of sources, provide much more intuitive navigational interfaces for end users, and greatly simplify web site development and maintenance.

New Omnigator

To coincide with the release of version 1.3, there is also a new version of Ontopia's popular free topic map browser, the Omnigator.

The Omnigator is a generic application built on top of the Ontopia Navigator Framework that allows users to load and browse any conforming topic map, including their own. Designed primarily as a teaching aid to help newcomers understand the topic map concepts, it is also an extremely useful tool for debugging topic maps and for building demo applications.

Some of the new features in the Omnigator 6 include plug-ins for performing querying and validation, the ability to display class hierarchies (in both text and graphics modes), better stylesheets, and an improved statistics printer. The Omnigator 6 can be downloaded for free from:

New product structure

As of version 1.3, the Ontopia Knowledge Suite will be offered in three different editions, corresponding to the needs of different groups of users. Each edition is available under either a Development License (D) or a Runtime License (R). OEM licenses are also available at negotiable prices.

PERSONAL EDITION: $500 (D), $5,000 (R)
  - Includes the Topic Map Engine and the Omnigator.

PROFESSIONAL EDITION: $2,000 (D), $20,000 (R)
  - Includes the Topic Map Engine, the Navigator Framework, the
    full-text integration, query engine, and schema tools.

ENTERPRISE EDITION: $3,000 (D), $30,000 (R)
  - Extends the Professional Edition with the RDBMS backend for
    persistent storage of very large topic maps in relational

"We are proud to be able to offer to the world the most complete implementation of the topic map specification so far available," stated Steve Pepper, Chief Executive Officer at Ontopia and co-editor of the XML Topic Map (XTM) specification. "Implementers now have the possibility of building extremely powerful topic map-based applications without having to make big investments up front. This is very important since topic mapping is a new concept and early adopters need to be able to build low cost prototypes in order to be able to justify investment in full-scale commercial deployment."

About Ontopia AS

Ontopia, The Topic Map Company, is the world's leading provider of generic topic map software. Its principals have been actively involved in developing and promoting the topic map paradigm for many years. Ontopia technology provides added value to web portals, content management systems, knowledge-based intranet applications, and enterprise application integration.

Ontopia also offers a wide range of consulting services, including workshops and training on all aspects of topic mapping.

The company is privately held and has headquarters at Waldemar Thranes gt. 98, N-0175 Oslo, Norway. Tel: +47-23233080. Fax: +47-23233081. Visit Ontopia's Web site at

Company Contact

Steve Pepper, CEO
Tel: +47-23 23 30 80

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See: (1) "Ontopia Knowledge Suite Supports Query and Schema Tools for Topic Maps", and (2) "(XML) Topic Maps."

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