Refinder Gives Project Team Collaboration A Boost - on

Jennifer Zaino features Refinder in an article published on Refinder builds on research findings about Semantic Web and knowledge work and brings them to collaboration scenarios.



This fall Gnowsis’ project team collaboration and communications tool Refinder took second prize in Elsevier’s Apps for Science competition (see storyhere). Refinder has its roots in the NEPOMUK (Networked Environment for Personalized, Ontology-based Management of Unified Knowledge) social semantic desktop project that concluded as a European research project in 2008, but continues through the efforts of Sebastian Trüg who’s trying to continue additional development through donor contributions (see story here).

 “We extended the vision that was based on the semantic desktop,” says Leo Sauermann, founder and CEO, of the solution. “We have actually a lot of overlap between the social semantic desktop and Refinder.” From the practical side, he says, data is imported and exported as RDF. And the social semantic desktop ontologies of Nepomuk remain in place (and Gnowsis continues to collaborate on their maintenance as a SourceForge project), as does the KDE implementation of core concepts.

On the roadmap is Sharepoint integration and it’s also experimenting on integrations with Twitter, Evernode, Facebook, Google Docs and Gmail. “In the enterprise market the connectors are a big thing,” says Sauermann. So Refinder hopes to deepen its integration with Elsevier and make the Outlook integration more productive, as well. It has been asked to integrate with Microsoft Active directory to more easily sign up people, for instance.  

Sauermann says Refinder is open to partnerships with others in the semantic web community. “It would be nice to have scrapers that get RDF out of a web site or parse microformat or dta,” he says, as an example.  “We’re very open for collaboration with semantic technology providers.”