Graduating with top honours

Apache Stanbol and Apache Airavata promoted to Top-Level Project status

Chris Mayer

The ninth and tenth projects this year to become a TLP is a semantic CMS Java stack and the Elephant of the Clouds

The Apache Software Foundation show little sign of slowing
down after

2012’s first quarter of
unprecedented growth
. The latest projects to
gain Top-Level Project status (the
and tenth this year) and emerge from incubation is
, which provides
a set of new semantic CMS components and  the framework

Apache Stanbol, an open Java stack that has been in the works
since 2010, intends to enhance bog-standard content management
systems into semantic engines. Its modular approach (through Apache
Felix OSGI
) enables users to pick and choose
components as they wish, and all components are reachable through a
RESTful web service API.

Aside from Apache Stanbol Enhancer,
which injects semantic information to ‘non-semantic’ pieces of
content, the project also features reasoners,
which can retrieve additional semantic information. The
Ontology Manager
creates a controlled environment to manipulate
the semantic data models and Apache
Stanbol Contenthub
is an Apache Solr document store for the


Vice President of Apache Stanbol, Fabian Christ explained that
“the graduation also acknowledges the success of Apache Stanbol in
bringing semantic technologies and content management communities
together.” It certainly feels like a merging of the areas that
previously weren’t so intertwined.

Initially beginning life at the European Union’s
IKS EU Research
, Stanbol entered the Apache Incubator in
November 2010 and was quickly touted as the semantic framework of
the future.

Whilst Stanbol shouldn’t be considered a semantic searching
solution, it should prove useful in small doses for anyone look to
add value to their management system, making it tailored to users

The second project to graduate to TLP status is software
 (a Hindu god of a white elephant also dubbed the
elephant of the Clouds)
, showing great potential.
Currently used to manage science gateways, the team behind the
project are aiming higher, claiming Airavata is capable of
executing, monitoring and managing applications in local cluster or
right up to the Cloud.
Apache Airavata provides APIs,
sophisticated server-side tools, and graphical user interfaces
under a minimalist modular architecture, essentially simplifying
the workflow process for novices.

The project also links up with other Apache stalwarts, such
as social media mashup engine Apache Rave to provide widget-like
interfaces for backend services. Airavata also hopes to leverage
Apache Tika for greater data understanding.

Airavata is already picking up some admirers, as it is
already adopted at science institutions like Science Gateways
ParamChem and the BioVLab Project, amongst others.

The challenge now for both is to gain a greater foothold in
the open source world, and in turn generate a greater community.
With the Apache seal of approval, they might just get it. Find all
the documentation you need at
and Stanbol’s

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