FAQ - TopBraid Composer | TopQuadrant, Inc.

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FAQ – TopBraid Composer

BUSINESS

What is TopBraid Composer?

TopBraid Composer (TBC) is the world’s most powerful ontology modeling tool, SPARQL query editor, data integration console and an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) for building semantic applications. Fully compliant with W3C standards, TBC offers complete support for developing, managing and testing configurations of ontologies and linked data. TBC provides a comprehensive IDE and administration tool for all TopBraid server products.

Implemented as an Eclipse plug-in, TBC serves as a development environment for SPIN, SPARQLMotion, SPARQL Web Pages and all the applications delivered using TopBraid Live™. TBC is used to build ontology models, configure data source integration, and create semantic web services and user interfaces.

Three versions are available – Maestro Edition, Standard Edition and Free Edition.

How can I get started with TopBraid Composer?

TopBraid Composer is available for free download. To install, unzip the downloaded file and either run the installer (.exe file) or unzip the contents to a directory (.zip file). The installer process will create menu shortcuts. The zip file will create an executable named “TopBraid Composer” that is used to start Composer. TopBraid Composer does not add entries to the Windows registry.

When first starting Composer, you will be asked to choose a Workspace location. This is a folder structure that contains all projects and files available to Composer. Choose any folder that Composer has access permissions for. After Composer has started the workspace location can be changed using File > Switch Workspace. The Example and System ontologies, which are required for many TopBraid Composer features, will automatically be inserted into a new workspace in a project named “TopBraid”.

Composer will ask for license information. Licenses are sent via e-mail after purchase. The license can be entered in Help > TopBraid Composer Registration.

TopBraid Composer-Free Edition (TBC-FE) is free for use. TopBraid Composer-Standard Edition (TBC-SE) and TopBraid Composer-Maestro Edition (TBC-ME) have 30-day evaluation periods. There are a number of resources for getting started with TopBraid Composer. The Getting Started Guide and other sources are found in the right-hand column of the Composer home page. The Videos page includes Getting Started videos.

There are extensive Help files for Composer. In Composer, click on Help > Help Contents.

Can I extend my evaluation period?

Free evaluation period is 30 days, beginning after you install the product. We recommend postponing your installation until you are prepared to evaluate the product. Once you complete your evaluation period, chances are you will not be able to run an evaluation copy on the same computer for at least year even if you download a different release. We reset evaluation flags every 18-24 months.

Sometimes users have special reasons for needing to extend their evaluation period. For example, a purchase may be already going through their procurement organization, but it is taking time and, in the meantime, their evaluation ended preventing them to continue working. If you need to extend evaluation, write to sales@topquadrant.com. They should be able to extend it for another 30 days. However, if it has been more than 60 days since you installed the tool, we will not be able to extend your trial period.

Should I use TopBraid Composer or TopBraid EVN for developing ontologies?

This depends on your needs.

TopBraid Composer is a single-user tool that installs on your Windows, Mac, or Linux computer. TopBraid Composer Standard Edition provides visual editing and connectivity to a choice of database backends such as Oracle and several popular triplestores, and the Maestro Edition is a complete integrated development environment that adds the ability to quickly develop semantic web applications.

TopBraid EVN is a web-based multi-user product. Like TopBraid Composer it lets you edit models and their associated instance data. Unlike TopBraid Composer, TopBraid EVN is targeted to business users needing to collaborate on development of ontologies.
TopBraid EVN it has the specialized features for editing controlled vocabularies, a simpler user interface, pre-built imports, exports and reports, role-based access control and collaboration tools that let a workgroup coordinate proposed changes and roll them out in a structured fashion. Every change made in EVN is tracked in an audit trail that captures its nature, who made it and when it was made. EVN also includes RESTful APIs for communication with other applications. A TopBraid EVN license includes a copy of TopBraid Composer Maestro Edition for use by a system administrator.

What's the difference between TopBraid EVN and TopBraid Composer?

TopBraid Composer is a single-user tool that installs on your Windows, Mac, or Linux computer to make it easier to work with RDFS and OWL models and instance data. TopBraid Composer Standard Edition provides visual editing and connectivity to a choice of database backends such as Oracle and several popular triplestores, and the Maestro Edition is a complete integrated development environment that adds the ability to quickly develop semantic web applications.

TopBraid EVN is a web-based multi-user product. Like TopBraid Composer it lets you edit models and their associated instance data. Unlike TopBraid Composer it has the specialized features for editing controlled vocabularies, a simpler user interface, pre-built imports, exports and reports, role-based access control and collaboration tools that let a workgroup coordinate proposed changes and roll them out in a structured fashion. Every change made in EVN is tracked in an audit trail that captures its nature, who made it and when it was made. EVN also includes RESTful APIs for communication with other applications. A TopBraid EVN license includes a copy of TopBraid Composer Maestro Edition for use by a system administrator.

What formats, standards and data sources are supported by TopBraid Composer?

Researching

Is TopBraid Composer training available?

Yes. TopQuadrant offers regularly scheduled public classes. Private, on-site training is also available. For more information see our training overview page.

How can I purchase or get a quote for TopBraid Composer?

For purchasing, please visit our Purchase page or contact Sales

What licensing options are available for TopBraid Composer?

For licensing options please view our Legal page

Is there a User Group Forum for TopBraid Composer?

Yes. You can join the TopBraid Users Group – just click the link below

TopBraid Suite Users

How can I contact support?

Premium Support customers can link to our online ticket system Help Desk or Email us

Open forum for questions about TopBraid Composer and TopBraid Platform.

User Forum

Are upgrades free?

If your TSM (Topquadrant Support and Maintenance Agreement) is current, you can upgrade to a new version of TBC free of charge. If your TSM is out of date, contact sales@topquadrant.comfor available options.

How can I renew Support and Maintenance for my license of TopBraid Composer?

To see TSM renewal prices, visit our Purchase page. To process TSM renewal, contact sales@topquadrant.com

INSTALLATION, SETUP, TROUBLESHOOTING

What operating systems is TopBraid Composer available for?

Please see our Supported Platforms page.

How do I register my product with a license key file?

You will receive an email with your attached key file – save this file on your system.

For a new TBC product:
When you start your TBC application you will be asked to register your product and the application will guide you through the quick registration of your product.

For an existing TBC product:
From the main menu – choose ‘Help’

Choose ‘TopBraid Composer Registration’ – then click on ‘Next’

Choose ‘Browse File System’

Choose the license file from location where it is saved.

Click on ‘Finish’

Note: In the case where you have a license key number rather than a license key file – you can use that number in place of the file for a versions prior to 4.6.0

What is the largest RDF file that can be handled by TopBraid Composer?

There are no built-in limits. TopQuadrant can work with you to help plan the right hardware infrastructure to support the scale of vocabulary management that you need.

What relational database drivers are available?

TopBraid Composer supports a number of relational databases. The Oracle driver is included with TopBraid Suite. MySQL, SQL Server, and other drivers cannot legally be bundled with TopBraid. However, you can download appropriate drivers and place them in TopBraid's directories.

After downloading the driver, place the .jar file in the folder named 'dropins' under the TopBraid Composer folder.
MySQL drivers can be downloaded from the MySQL Web site.
For Microsoft SQL Server databases, place the jTDS Driver JAR into the dropins folder under your TopBraid Suite installation folder. jTDS also supports Sybase.
For either JAR file, you would need to make sure that it includes the import and export package data in MANIFEST.MF file under META-INF folder inside the JAR.

How does secure storage work?

Secure storage is used to store passwords to data back-end connections. It works by maintaining a mapping between base URIs of connector files and passwords required to connect to the back-end data store. When a connector is created, the password for the connector is encrypted and stored securely in secure storage. Whenever the connector is opened, via either a file open or owl:imports operation, the password is retrieved through secure storage before being sent to the data back-end server.

Secure storage passwords must be entered once per installation of TopBraid Composer. The secure storage password serves as the master password that locks and unlocks the secure storage for applications to read and write from. When a connector file is created or a connector file is opened that does not have a secure storage password set up, the following dialog box will appear:

Click 'Yes' and enter a password. Password and secure storage can be maintained through Preferences > General > Security > secure storage.
tbcimage5

Data connector passwords can be passed to TopBraid Live when deploying from Composer to Live via 'Export… > Deploy Project to TBL server' and choosing the 'Send necessary connection credentials' check box. Passwords will be decrypted and sent to the TBL server where it will be encrypted by the TBL secure storage password. Secure HTTP (https) is suggested for fully secure password storage.

Can I increase the amount of memory for Composer?

Increasing the amount of memory available to Composer involves setting the -Xmx value for the maximum Java heap size. The setting is packaged in the .ini file with the command line parameters for starting Composer.

For Windows, use the “TopBraid Composer.ini.orig” file. This will ensure the settings stay the same even if other Eclipse applications try to change it.
Open the file with a text editor. The -Xmx value can be set to any whole number, such as “-Xmx800m”. However, if the value exceeds the amount of memory that can be allocated to the JVM by your system, Composer will not start. If this occurs, edit the .ini/.orig file for a smaller size until Composer starts.

For Macintosh users, the .ini file is packaged with the application. Find the application file, it will be named “TopBraid Composer”, and right-click to choose 'Choose Package Contents'. The 'TopBraid Composer.ini' is found in the Contents/MacOS folder.

The maximum size for the Java heap is highly dependent on the system setup, including JVM limitations (32- vs. 64-bit), and available memory. Java heap is allocated in contiguous memory. The effective maximum size for a 32-bit Windows machine tends to be about 1024m (but can be 1000m, etc.). 64-bit machines with larger amounts of RAM can set the maximum heap size (with the -Xmx setting) to larger sizes.

How do I upgrade to the latest version of Composer?

Upgrade to the latest release of TopBraid Composer by downloading and unzipping installation files for the desired platform. Previous versions of Composer do not need to be removed. After you install the new version, you can continue to use your existing workspaces or migrate your projects to a new workspace.

Using a workspace created in a previous version of TopBraid Composer
When using a workspace created in a previous version of Composer, it is important to refresh the TopBraid Library. Delete the following projects using the Navigator view in Composer:
• TopBraid
• server.topbraidlive.org
• evn.topbraidlive.org
• teamwork.topbraidlive.org (if exists)
• facet.topbraidlive.org (if exists)
• sample.evn.topbraidlive.org
• tbi.topbraidlive.org (if exists)
• sample.tbi.topbraidlive.org (if exists)

Make sure to click the option to remove the contents from the file system. If you have problems deleting projects using the Navigator view, go directly to the file system to remove them. Then re-start TopBraid Composer. The projects will be re-created to align with the new release..

Using a new workspace
Projects from previous version of Composer can be copied into a new workspace using File > Import… > General > Existing Projects into Workspace. New workspaces can be created using File > Switch Workspaces, then choose 'Other…'.

NOTE: If you want to run the EVN instance within TBC, you will need to reconnect your upgraded version of EVN to your local database (see: EVN Configuration Parameters located on the Server Administration Menu)

How do I include Error Log contents in an error report?

The Error Log view is opened by choosing Window > Show View > Error Log. Error reports to composersupport or the TopBraid User Group Forum should include TBC version information (see Help > About TopBraid Composer), the operating system Composer is running on, and error log contents. Contents of the error log can be obtained by either choosing Export Log in the right-side icon tab in the Error Log view or opening a specific error (double-click on the error in the error log) and choose 'Copy Event Details to Clipboard'. Attach the log contents in the error report message.

How do I install the Git collaboration tool into TopBraid Composer?

The instructions below demonstrate how to install Git collaboration tool into TopBraid Composer-Maestro Edition (TBC-ME).

  1. Open TBC-ME
  2. Click Help -> Install New Software
  3. Select “Kepler …” from the drop down box next to “Work with”
  4. (wait for the software list to load, this may take a minute) Expand out the “Collaboration” software group, check the box next to “Eclipse Git Team Provider”
  5. Click Next, follow the screens as prompted to install the software, agreeing to the necessary software licenses.
  6. Restart TBC-ME

I already have Eclipse installed; can I just add TopBraid Composer to it?

This is not a supported installation of TBC. (This would require an exact product-level of Eclipse and a non-standard installation).

What does a "Keybinding conflicts occurred" warning mean?

This is a longstanding issue with the Eclipse platform and will not affect your use of TopBraid Composer. Like all warnings, it is purely informational.

USING TOPBRAID COMPOSER

How do I get started with TopBraid Composer?

TopBraid Composer is available for free download. To install, unzip the downloaded file and either run the installer (.exe file) or unzip the contents to a directory (.zip file). The installer process will create menu shortcuts. The zip file will create an executable named “TopBraid Composer” that is used to start Composer. TopBraid Composer does not add entries to the Windows registry.

When first starting Composer, you will be asked to choose a Workspace location. This is a folder structure that contains all projects and files available to Composer. Choose any folder that Composer has access permissions for. After Composer has started the workspace location can be changed using File > Switch Workspace. The Example and System ontologies, which are required for many TopBraid Composer features, will automatically be inserted into a new workspace in a project named “TopBraid”.
Composer will ask for license information. Licenses are sent via e-mail after purchase. The license can be entered in Help > TopBraid Composer Registration.
TopBraid Composer-Free Edition (TBC-FE) is free for use. TopBraid Composer-Standard Edition (TBC-SE) and TopBraid Composer-Maestro Edition (TBC-ME) have 30-day evaluation periods. There are a number of resources for getting started with TopBraid Composer. The Getting Started Guide and other sources are found in the right-hand column of the Composer home page. The Videos page includes Getting Started videos.
There are extensive Help files for Composer. In Composer, click on Help > Help Contents. See Help Sources for TopBraid Composer.

Are there Help files for TopBraid Composer?

Help files are found by clicking on Help > Help contents.

How do I open a RDF/OWL file in Composer?

All text serializations (RDF/OWL/Turtle/NT/N3/ files) should first be imported into Composer's workspace before opening. This can be accomplished, as detailed below, by 1) drag-and-drop from the file system to Composer's Navigator view, 2) by copying a file from the file system to a folder, or 3) by Import… > General > File System.
Once the file appears in the Navigator view, double-click on the file name, or right-click and choose Open. Source code for text serialization files (RDF/OWL/N3/Turtle/NT) can be viewed in a text editor by choosing Open With… > Text Editor.
There are three ways to import a RDF text serialization file into Composer:
1. Locate your file in your directory and drag the file name into the Navigator view in Composer, as shown below:

tbcimage1

2. Perform a copy on the file in your file system. Right-click on a folder and choose paste, as shown here:

copyProject

3. Copy the file through the Eclipse Import… > General > File System wizard:

    • Right-click on a folder and choose Import…
    • Open 'General' in the wizard (see circled '1′ below) and choose File system.
    • Choose the files you wish to import into the workspace (see circled '2′ below).

tbcimage3

Where are my triples?

Composer's interface is designed with emphasis on displaying classes, instances of classes, and properties. If RDF data is opened or imported that do not have type triples, i.e. '?x rdf:type owl:Class', '?x rdf:type rdf:Property', etc., the resources will not be immediately visible in the interface. Another typical scenario is that instances are defined as members of rdfs:Class, in which case one must look under that class in the Classes view.

There are a few ways to view all triples in the current model. One is to open the triples view (Window > Show View > Triples View). Click on namespaces to show all triples. Another is to query for triples in the SPARQL view, where the following will display all triples:
SELECT ?s ?p ?o WHERE { ?s ?p ?o }

A property will not appear in the Form view if the property is not defined. I.e. if the triple 'kennedys:JohnKennedy kennedys:birthDate “1917-05-29″^^xsd:string' is defined, but the property 'kennedys:birthDate' does not have a property type (does not have a rdf:type triple for a property type), the resource will not appear in the form for kennedys:JohnKennedy. If a type triple for the property exists, such as 'kennedys:birthDate rdf:type owl:DatatypeProperty', the resource will appear in the form.

Additionally, the gold arrows on the toolbar menu can also be used for navigation. They support the following navigations: Last edit location, Back and Forward.

How do I report a TopBraid Composer error message?

To send an error message, 1) double-click on the error in the Error View and click the “Copy Event Details to Clipboard” icon (see figure), and 2) create an email message to composersupport@topquadrant.com.

CopyErrorMessage

How can I navigate between different resources (classes, properties and instances) in Composer?

If you hold the CTRL key and mouse over any item on the Form view, it becomes hyperlinked as shown below. This includes all entries in any of the widgets (including the Rules and SPARQL query widgets), as well as the built-in resources from rdfs and owl namespaces that are part of the form, such as rdfs:subClassOf and owl:disjointWith.
In the example below, not only can you navigate to the RealEstate class (as shown), but you could also, if desired, navigate to rdfs:subClassOf.

tbcimage8

What does the globe icon mean?

All icons in Composer's user interface are associated with type triples. For example, the icon for a class will appear as a light brown circle if the resource has an owl:Class type triple – '?rsc rdf:type owl:Class'. A key for all icons is found in Help > Reference > Icons Legend. Any resource lacking a type triple will have a globe icon.

If a resource does not have a type triple, the data is still valid (the globe icon does not indicate an error or warning), and the default globe icon is used to indicate that the URI is valid, but a resource's type is not defined.

What does 'Opening non-primary file' mean?

TopBraid platform uses the base URI as the URL of a file, meaning that the base URI uniquely identifies a file. This is used to resolve imports and other graph-based operations on RDF files. If the same base URI is associated with more than one file in a workspace, designating one file as the “primary” file is used to ensure consistent references to the base URI, including import statements.

The primary file is set by the last file imported or created with the same base URI. If a user opens a non-primary file, a dialog appears asking the user if the primary file for the base URI should be changed to the file being opened. If 'Yes' is chosen, the primary file is changed, which will affect all files importing that base URI.
Files that are not the primary file, but have a base URI conflict, are designated with a yellow warning sign in the file icon in the Navigator. A full listing of all file to base URI mappings in the workspace is shown in the File Registry (Window > Show View > File Registry).

As a best practice, base URI conflicts should be avoided or managed carefully. Since only files in open projects are registered, closing a project can be used as a means to manage base URI conflicts. Closing a project with a primary file will change the base URI mapping to a file in an open project, if any exist.

I am tired of typing in labels. Is there a way to automatically generate labels?

Yes. When you create a new resource, click on the blue property icon in the pop up dialog and select rdfs:label. Then enter {name} in the initial value column.
Your screen should look like the one shown below:

tbcimage9

This built-in function will generate labels separating joined words and inserting spaces.
If you already have many resources without labels, you can edit all of them at once by using Model > Manage Annotations… option.

Is there autocomplete in TBC?

Yes. Use CTRL SPACE.

I am new to SPARQL. Is there a way in TBC to auto-generate queries?

Yes. The Graph Panel provides a convenient mechanism for building SPARQL queries without hand-coding them.

Whenever you move the mouse over a resource node, it will display white check boxes over some icons. These check boxes can be used to “fix” certain values:
• Clicking the name of a resource “fixes” this resource
• Clicking a property value “fixes” that literal value

The following screen shot shows an example query generated using this mechanism:

tbcimage10

The SPARQL button in the graph's tool bar can be used to turn those selections into a SPARQL query, which can then be executed in the SPARQL view. Hint: Pressing the generate SPARQL button twice will not only create the query, but also execute it.

In the example above, the resource female has been fixed, as well as the triple year of birth = 1965. The generated queries finds all persons that are also female and have the same year of birth. Any links in the graph are converted to corresponding clauses in the SPARQL query.

What is the best way to move resources between files?

There are a number of ways to move resources between files. General refactoring strategies are found in Help > How to? > Refactor ontologies.

How can TBC help me compare two RDF models?

Yes. This feature is available in TopBraid Composer Maestro Edition. More information can be found in the help menu TopBraid Composer > How to? > Compare RDF Models>

How can I run OWL 2 inferences in TopBraid Composer?

To configure TopBraid Composer for RDFS/OWL 2 reasoning using TopSPIN, go to the Profile sub-tab of the Ontology Home (see figure below). Choose the reasoning profile you wish to use. Inferences will be executed using this profile by inference button (see blue circle in figure).

tbcimage4

What application development tools are available with TBC?

TBC includes comprehensive support, development, test and debugging tools for:
SPIN
SPARQLMotion
SPARQL Web Pages (SWP)
SWP Applications Library (SWA)

How can I extend SPARQL to support some specialized processing needs I have?

There are several ways to extend SPARQL in TopBraid Composer:
1. SPIN and SPARQLMotion. See the FAQ on creating SPIN functions.
2. Magic properties (aka property functions). See Magic Properties with SPIN. Magic properties extend SPARQL by defining SPARQL predicates with SPARQL queries. This works like a SPIN function, except that it creates multiple matches and is used in a triple pattern format, e.g. “?x my:magicProperty ?y”.
There are also a number of pre-defined SPARQL functions included in TopBraid Suite. See Help > Reference > TopBraid SPARQLMotion Functions Library.

How can I use search with TopBraid Composer?

You can use the Find references button to display all references to the selected resource. The results will be shown in the References View. In the screenshot below, the property hasRating is the selected resource.

tbcimage6

Note that the results not only includes all occurrences of the resource as object in a triple, but also in nested expressions.
You can also search for specific classes and properties by typing the first letters of their name in the search field at the bottom of Classes and Properties views. As shown below, you will receive a dialog with all matching resources. In this case, any class that starts with ‘Pr’.

tbcimage7

Other approaches to search supported by Composer include SPARQL queries and Triples View.

TOPBRAID COMPOSER AND DATA SOURCES

Can I use TopBraid Composer with relational data?

Yes. Many semantic technology projects have a repository of relational databases. TopBraid Composer provides an interface to arbitrary relational databases using D2RQ, so that the databases can be treated as a (read-only) triple store. The approach is based on mapping files that declare how the tables in the database map into individuals of an ontology.

When accessing RDBMs (relational database management systems) , can I chose what tables are selected?

Yes. This function is available in TopBraid Composer Standard or Maestro Edition. You can select tables, columns, and labels from RDBMs.

When creating RDBMs mapping with the D2RQ mapper, how do I get the system to create more than one URI?

The D2RQ importer wizard does not automatically map URIs for table rows if a primary key is not defined. This causes all data to be merged into a single URI because the wizard does not know what column data to use to create a unique URI for each table row. If a column used to generate URIs has duplicate entries, then the data will be merged for those table rows. Hence the wizard leaves it to the user to define what columns should be used to create a URI for each table row.

When keys are not defined, the -Mapping file created by the D2RQ wizard can be edited in the following manner to manually choose a set of columns that have unique data:
• Open the -Mapping file generated by the D2RQ import wizard.
• View instances of the class d2rq:ClassMap, which is a subclass of d2rq:ResourceMap.
• Double-click the class (table) definition corresponding to the table that has no primary key definition.
• Edit the d2rq:uriPattern property to add the columns that distinctly define a row. Each column used in the mapping is defined by the syntax: @@TableName.ColumnName@@
…where 'TableName' is the name of the table (same as the class name), and 'ColumnName' is the column chosen to generate URIs.

As an example, suppose one has a table name 'PersonInfo' with the columns 'FirstName', 'LastName', 'Id', and 'Address', with no primary key definitions. The D2RQ wizard will create a d2rq:uriPattern in the following form:

http://example.org/ex#PersonInfo

…assuming http://example.org was used as the Base URI (graph name) in the wizard.

Since this only defines one URI, all data is merged to a single instance of PersonInfo. Assuming that the combination of 'FirstName', 'LastName', and 'Id' define data that is unique across each row, the following definition could be used to create a URI for each row:

http://example.org/ex#@@PersonInfo.FirstName@@_@@PersonInfo.LastName@@_@@PersonInfo.Id@@

Note the underscores are not necessary and are used here for illustration purposes only.

Can I use TBC with XML?

Yes. You can simply double click to open XML file in TBC. This feature uses Semantic XML (SXML) model. For a more specialized transformation from XML to RDF/OWL, use Import > TopBraid Composer > Import XML Schemas wizard.
XML from RDF/OWL export wizard uses instances annotated with Semantic XML triples to transform them to an XML document. In order to comply with an XML Schema, these instances could be defined against classes and properties that were imported from the XML Schema using the Import XSD wizard.

Can I use TBC with spreadsheets?

Yes. TopBraid Composer offers three choices for importing spreadsheet data. The first two are useful when your data is laid out in a straightforward table with clearly named rows and columns, because TopBraid Composer uses these names to dynamically create a model for your data:

Semantic Tables converts an Excel .xls, .xlsx, csv or .tsv files to an RDF model, using column and row titles to declare properties and instances for that model. Conversion is done dynamically by simply opening the source file; no persistent RDF/OWL representation is created. As a result, this conversion is round-trippable. A user can edit Excel source in RDF and save it back in the original Excel format.

Import Spreadsheets converts a tab-delimited file, which can be created by any spreadsheet program, and defines classes and properties for the data. This option uses an import dialog that can map spreadsheet columns into properties of the currently opened ontology. It will create RDF file from the source file.

Importing Excel File into Spreadsheet Ontology uses an import dialog to read an Excel .xls file and create an RDF file with a resource for each data cell. Converted spreadsheet data is represented using the http://www.topbraidcomposer.org/owl/2006/08/spreadsheets.owl ontology, which defines the structure of the spreadsheet with classes such as ss:Cell, ss:Sheet, and ss:Workbook. You can then develop custom SPARQL transformations to extract the data you need from this model and arrange it with a structure that is best suited for your application. This option is often best for spreadsheets with a more complex structure.

For additional capabilities in converting spreadsheets to RDF models, TopQuadrant's Enterprise Vocabulary Net product automates the mapping of a variety of popular spreadsheet layouts.

How can TBC help me compare two RDF models?

A common requirement of modeling work is the ability to compare one version of an RDF model (or file) with a previous version. Doing this with conventional mechanisms such as file diff tools is usually insufficient, because the serialization of RDF files may change with each iteration.

If you want to use text-based diff tools such as those built-into the Eclipse context menu (right-click on a file in the navigator and use Compare with) then you should save your file in Turtle, using the C14N or Sorted Turtle writer option. See TopBraid Composer preferences > Turtle.

In addition to the text-based comparison, TopBraid Composer also introduces a structural comparison tool that is fully aware of RDF syntax.

Can I use TopBraid Composer with RDFa?

Yes. TopBraid Composer can use RDFa files as (virtual) RDF graphs. The RDFa files can be loaded from the Web or from local files. Since RDFa source files are not valid RDF documents on their own, Composer requires a placeholder file ending with “.rdfa” to represent the virtual RDF graph. Other RDF models can then import this virtual graph, which gets its contents from the original RDFa data source.

In order to connect to an existing RDFa data source, select a target folder or project in the Navigator and then select File > Import… > Create Connection File for RDFa Data Source.

How can I use TopBraid Composer with SPARQL Endpoints?

For connecting to a SPARQL endpoint, select a target folder or project in the Navigator and then select File > Import… > Create Connection File for SPARQL Endpoint. You will need the URL of the endpoint, a baseURI to define the connection and the file name. Optionally, you could also provide username and password, a default graph URI and/or a named graph URI. After you provide this metadata, they will be stored in a connection file with the extension sparqlep. The connection file uses basic authentication to access secure endpoints.

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