TopBraid EVN Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ – TopBraid Enterprise Vocabulary Net


[expand title=”What can TopBraid EVN do besides manage vocabularies?”]

TopBraid EVN can put your managed vocabularies to work both by exporting them in a range of formats for other tools to import as well as through dynamic communication with other tools via a RESTful API. This lets it support search engines, Content Management Systems such as SharePoint, and other components of a Service Oriented Architecture that need to enrich content and search strings with semantic metadata.


[expand title=”How can TopBraid EVN enhance search? “]

TopBraid EVN can enhance search strings with related information, such as providing data to convert a search for “Motrin” into a search for “Motrin OR Ibuprofen.” It can provide a search engine interface with data about broader, narrower, and related terms (or custom metadata designed for your enterprise’s needs), and it can also provide automated tagging tools with data to record such relationships to aid future searches. See Semantic Search for further information.


[expand title=”Does TopBraid EVN support popular vocabulary management standards? How about more specialized ones? “]

TopBraid EVN is built on the W3C SKOS standard for the management of controlled vocabularies. Because SKOS is an OWL ontology, it can easily be extended by incorporating properties from well-known standards such as Dublin Core as well as properties custom-designed for your own needs.


[expand title=”Does TopBraid EVN manage both taxonomies and ontologies? What’s the difference? “]

TopBraid EVN has always provided a simple interface for managing taxonomies, thesauruses, and other controlled vocabularies, with the SKOS standard providing the model for that data. Starting with release 4.3, TopBraid EVN lets you create and manage any RDFS or OWL ontology model and corresponding instance data that you like. All the specialized features for managing vocabularies with the SKOS model—in particular, the workgroup collaboration features—are also available when you work with models other than SKOS.


[expand title=”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.


[expand title=”What customization options are available?”]

Many new features can be added by reconfiguring the models used to drive the TopBraid EVN application. This is usually done with TopBraid Composer Maestro Edition, a copy of which is included with TopBraid EVN. This kind of custom configuration can be done by TopQuadrant as part of the five days of consulting services included with an EVN license or as part of additional services purchased separately. Many TopQuadrant customers have taken the appropriate training in TopBraid application development to learn how to make such customizations themselves.


[expand title=”Is TopBraid EVN available in a SaaS (Software as a Service) model?”]

TopBraid EVN is not currently available as a hosted service, but we are considering this as an option for the future. The TopBraid EVN package includes installation services to help you host it on your own hardware or on a cloud-based platform such as Amazon Web Services.



[expand title=”What operating systems is TopBraid EVN available for?”]

Because EVN is web-based, it can be used from any popular web browser under any operating system. See Supported Platforms for further details on this and the EVN server platform.


[expand title=”How many terms and vocabularies can TopBraid EVN store?”]

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.


[expand title=”How does TopBraid EVN deal with authentication? “]

A typical TopBraid EVN installation uses LDAP to handle authentication.


[expand title=”Is there an API? “]

In addition to providing a SPARQL endpoint, TopBraid EVN has many built-in RESTful web services. The TopBraid platform makes it easy to add new specialized ones.


[expand title=”Does TopBraid EVN integrate with the ______ tool? “]

If another tool has a documented API, it can usually work with the TopBraid EVN API to cooperate as part of a Service Oriented Architecture.



[expand title=”Is TopBraid EVN training available?”]

Many people can get started using EVN once they have worked their way through the tutorial included with the documentation. To provide a more detailed understanding of TopBraid EVN, TopQuadrant provides a four-day course in which the first day covers features available to end users and the second through fourth day cover administrative and customization topics.


[expand title=”Can TopBraid EVN tag my documents for me?”]

TopBraid EVN focuses on multi-user, networked, vocabulary management, yet it integrates with Maui Server (See TopBraid AutoClassifier) to automate classification of content tag sets.


[expand title=”How do I publish a vocabulary?”]

An optional EVN Explorer add-on functions as a read-only version of EVN. A license for it lets you use it to publish one or more vocabularies to as many people as you like for a flat fee.


[expand title=”Does TopBraid EVN include a report that shows ______? Can it import or export the _____ format?”]

Out of the box, EVN includes a nice selection of reports, import formats, and export formats. The flexibility of the TopBraid platforms means that EVN can be configured to read new formats and to output new formats and reports with minimal effort.