In software, semantic technology encodes meanings separately from data and content files, and separately from application code.
This allows machines and people to understand, share and reason with them at the time of execution. With semantic technologies, adding, changing and implementing new relationships or interconnecting programs in a different way can be as simple as changing the external model that these programs share.
With traditional information technologies, on the other hand, meanings and relationships must be pre-defined and “wired” into the data formats and application program code at design time. This means that when something changes, previously failed information must be exchanged, or two programs must interact in a new way, humans must get involved.
Offline, parties must define and communicate the knowledge required to make the change, then recodify the data structures and logic of the program to accommodate it, and apply those changes to the database and application. Then, and only then, can they implement the changes.
Semantic technologies are “direction-oriented”. They include tools for:
- self-regulation of subjects and concepts,
- extraction of information and meaning, and
Given a question, semantic technologies can directly search for subjects, concepts, associations that cover a large number of sources.
Semantic technologies offer a layer of abstraction over existing computer technologies that enable the passage and interconnection of data, content, and processes. Second, from a portal point of view, semantic technologies can be seen as a new level of depth that offers a much more intelligent, capable, relevant and reactive interaction than information technology.