Drupal and the Semantic web: From application centric to data centric

Joinup is a collaborative platform created by the European Commission and funded by the European Union via the Interoperability Solutions for European Public Administrations (ISA) Program. It offers several services that aim to help e-Government professionals share their experience with each other.

Joinup will reorganise the 4000 interoperability solutions available on the platform. Currently, Joinup provides access to ICT solutions that are hosted on the platform, and by aggregation, those on repositories managed by public administrations in the Member States.

The new version (Drupal 8) will improve the management and modeling of project information:
By separating the data layer from the application through the use of RDF/SPARQL (linked open data), the interoperability of Joinup with other platforms is assured.

To enable this, a SPARQL storage backend needed to be developed for Drupal 8, that allows to read and write to a Triplestore database (Virtuoso).

This should make eGovernment solutions easier to find, download and reuse. At the same time, the overhaul should ease the workload, reducing the number of manual checks of introductory texts, licences and other project-related information.

A key aim for the developers is to make the platform easier for users, with the upgrade covering registration, contribution and sharing of solutions.

The new version will also make Joinup easier to use on mobile devices, automatically adapting content organisation to the screen-size.

If all goes well, the new version could go live in June.


About Sander

Sander Van Dooren is application architect of the Joinup platform at the European Commission. Working with ONE Agency since 2011, he has been in charge of numerous projects, large and small. He’s passionate about the web and technology in general. The type of guy that learns all the cool stuff at night when everyone else’s sleeping. He loves code, food and drinks.

Sander is an active Drupal contributor. The joinup platform heavily depends on the RDF Entity project.

You can find Sander on Twitter.