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[protege-discussion] beginner questions

Jonathan Carter jonathan.carter at
Wed Nov 12 08:48:08 PST 2008

Hi Jason,

In terms of import and export, it really depends on what you want to  
do and what your source (if you're importing) data looks like.
I've used DataMaster with success but it will create classes to mirror  
the data tables that you are importing from. To merge this into your  
own ontology, there's some work to do to move the imported instances  
to the right place in your own ontology - unless you start with what  
DataMaster creates. It helps if you name your tables according to the  
classes of your ontology but there's still work to do in importing them.
I couldn't find anything that allowed me to map source data in one  
format to my ontology - which is never a trivial exercise for any  
tool. You're into the realms of application integration/data  
integration tools, here.

In the end, what I've done is use the Java API via the Script Tab  
using Python/Jython. This means that I code the mapping from my data  
sources to my ontology and handle large numbers of imported (1000's)  
instances. For XML sources, I use XSLT to create the Python code that  
I then run to create the instances as required.

For export, I've found that XML is the easiest format. The  
experimental XML format that you can convert your project to is very  
useful. However, I did find that I used this only temporarily to get  
the XML export and would then switch back to using the PINS/PONT files  
to continue editing. In the end, I wrote my own tab widget which  
exports an XML extract (using the same format as the Experimental XML)  
of the instances.

Hope this helps

Jonathan Carter - Head of Technical Architecture
Enterprise Architecture Solutions Ltd

Assess your EA maturity at:

On 12 Nov 2008, at 16:11, Jason Sachs wrote:

> ...and which of the import/export plugins are the most mature? I could
> probably figure out the programmatic Java interface but was hoping for
> basic things there would be something simple.
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