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Case Study: The swoRDFish Metadata Initiative: Better, Faster, Smarter Web Content

Susie Cone, Sun Microsystems, Inc., and Kathy MacDougall, Zepheira, USA

May 2007

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General Description

Sun Microsystems, Inc. uses Semantic Web technology to drive dynamic assembly of product, industry, and solutions web content on several of its external sites (including sun.com). The swoRDFish Metadata Initiative, led by the Global Web Publishing team within the .Sun Worldwide Marketing organization, provides a programmatic approach to the adoption and integration of metadata.

The Problem

The management of web content for large, constantly-updated corporate product sites presents enormous resourcing and quality challenges. Customers expect to find product information quickly, with minimal navigation and with consistency of organization and nomenclature. For industry and solutions information, customers expect clear, relevant lists of products and services that comprise those solutions, including customer success stories and case studies that provide real-world referential examples. The corporate product site owners need technology and tools that enable them to respond to these needs quickly and continuously, while maximizing the potential for cross-selling and up-selling products and services to the customer.

The Solution

The swoRDFish Metadata Initiative provides a framework to address these web content challenges. swoRDFish ontologists use a custom-built data management tool to create, classify, and manage resources and their relationships within centrally managed vocabularies and taxonomies. Sun's content management system (CMS) imports swoRDFish resource IDs, which web publishers assign as metadata to their content. The content can then be built dynamically as live web pages, and can be auto-assembled to include lists of related information about products, technologies, services, and solutions.

How it Works

Once web content is tagged with swoRDFish IDs, the swoRDFish data associated with those IDs can be updated without requiring direct and manual updates to the web content. This process improves information quality and consistency, while reducing resources required for content creation and maintenance.

Because swoRDFish is based on Resource Description Framework (RDF; hence the program name swoRDFish), it can provide relationships within its resources (product terms and categories). Once defined, these relationships provide a very powerful collection of information to drive dynamic content aggregation. The swoRDFish Metadata Initiative currently enables:

Key Benefits of Using Semantic Web Technology

Semantic Web technology, as now used by Sun Microsystems’ swoRDFish Metadata Initiative:

Future applications of Semantic Web Technology through the Sun swoRDFish Metadata Initiative could include:

Key Learnings of Using Semantic Web Technology

For Semantic Web technology to become a valuable asset within an organization, the swoRDFish Metadata Initiative recommends the following key learnings:

Last modified $Date: 2009/05/02 09:47:52 $ by $Author: ivan $