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[protege-discussion] Protege as data access layer for "serious" multi-user application

Samson Tu swt at
Tue Jan 15 16:49:25 PST 2008

It depends on what you mean by 'serious multi-user application.'

It is difficult to write a new Protege backend. I don't expect you'll 
want to use Protege's default database backend as the data 
representation for your EPR data. You want other applications to query 
data without going through Protege.

We've developed and deployed multi-user multi-clinic decision support 
applications using Protege. We used Protege to encode the knowledge base 
(the decision-support business logic). At runtime, we query a relational 
database to get the needed data for decision-support purpose. We applied 
the "business logic" to patient-specific data in Java (using Protege 
API), as multiple queries to database turned out to be too inefficient.

Yes, eventually there will be a database backend in Protege 4.


Sergey V. Gerasimov wrote:
> Hello,
> I'm from Moscow State University.
> We are working on project connected to developement of
> customizable elctronical patient record system (EPR) with decision 
> support fetures.
> Can you please advise if Protege can be used in our project.
> Open questions are as follows:
> 1. Can Protege API be used as data access layer for "serious" multi-user
> application?
> Can business logic of the application efficiently use Protege quering API?
> Or Protege is additional framework for knowledge management tasks?
> I found simple one-table relational default back-end plug-in and
> article reg. motivation of this solution.
> Slot values are stored as strings and if I understand correctly queries with
> conditions x > 5 can't use database indexes (Am I right?)
> But if I understood correctly custom backend plug-in can be implemented.
> For example something like class->table and slot/property->column strategy.
> I also found Protege server feature..
> But question is open.
> 2. I didn't find form editor and database backend feature in Protege 4.0 
> Alpha.
> Will this features implemented later or not?
> Will 3.x versions of Protege supported in the next 2-3 years?
> Thanks a lot!
> Sergey Gerasimov,
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Samson Tu                                   email: swt at
Senior Research Scientist                   web:
Center for Biomedical Informatics Research  phone: 1-650-725-3391
Stanford University                         fax: 1-650-725-7944

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