Graphite KOS 4.0
Well, what a long, strange trip 2020 has been. We made it! Here we are! Synaptica continues to work diligently on updating and improving our ontology management software, Graphite, and we’ve made a lot of additions between Graphite 3.0 and 4.0.
Synaptica’s Graphite is a software application for creating and curating Knowledge Organization Systems (KOS) based on Linked Data and Semantic Web standards. The KOS is stored in GraphDB by Ontotext, an RDF graph database (also known as a triple store). With Graphite you can quickly design, build, and manage enterprise Knowledge Organization Systems using an intuitive graphical user interface.
Let’s walk through some of the most notable additions and changes to Graphite in light of a new year.
User & Group Admin
One of the most substantial changes with the new release is the under–the–hood architectural update to users and groups using RDF* (read as “RDF Star”). “This model and syntax enable the creation of concise triples that reference other triples as subject and object resources” (W3C RDF*). By allowing a triple to be a subject or object, the number of triples needed to describe relationships is greatly reduced and it is also easier to add attributes to the predicate (relationship) itself.
Although you can’t see RDF* in practice on the front end (yet!), using this standard on the back end allows us to provide advanced and efficient user and group permissions. Graphite has always supported the definition of individual users, but now users are part of virtual, safe, socially distanced groups. Groups allow an organization to designate a group of users with the same permissions, such as a Project Administrator or Taxonomy Editor, in order to organize roles more effectively. We support the idea of coming together while staying apart.
Security & Authorization
As organizations’ needs evolve and expand around the management of user permissions, so too does the associated security concerns. In Graphite 3.0, we introduced Single Sign-On (SSO) integrations with Okta, OneLogin, Azure Active Directory, and other SSO providers supporting SAML 2.0. In Graphite 4.0, we’ve made significant advances in our security to support automatic user provisioning so it is now possible to add users and then make them active or inactive without the need to delete or recreate.
We like standards; there are so many to choose from. We now include an API supporting the System for Cross-domain Identity Management (SCIM) 2.0 specification. “The..(SCIM) specification is designed to make managing user identities in cloud-based applications and services easier” (SCIM). You can learn more about the specification by skimming the information at the above link. We also support another standard, OAuth 2.0, a protocol for authorization. Support for these standards makes it possible for Graphite 4.0 to integrate more efficiently, and with greater adherence to, an organization’s internal security standards. There is safety in numbers, and those numbers are 2.0, 2.0, and 4.0.
Scheduled Reports & Saved Queries
How would you like to come into work and find in your email inbox a newly minted report detailing all the changes someone made to your taxonomy? Most people wouldn’t, but a taxonomist would! Since we really like taxonomists, now you can save queries and schedule reports to be sent straight to you. It’s a bit like having food delivered, but without having to add a tip.
Run a search based on your required parameters and use the Save Query option to save the search parameters and run the report again on demand based on the current dataset. Any changes to the taxonomy made between runs will be reflected. You can also make changes to the search parameters after bringing up an already saved query as a shortcut to running a report with some modifications.
If you need a snapshot of the current state of your beloved taxonomy for your scrapbook, you can use the Report History to find reports you’ve already run. These reports reflect a moment in time and are saved based on the state of the taxonomy at the time the report was created.
In the new Scheduled Tasks administration area, it is now possible to run a report of a saved query based on a schedule of your choosing. Give the task a name, select how it should repeat, including which months, which day of the week, and what time, and then decide who should get the report and in what format. You can schedule the report as a weekly or monthly email surprise or configure the report to be mailed to your inbox Friday after 5 pm so you can ignore it for the weekend.