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RDFox Blog

What is new in RDFox Version 3?

What is new in RDFox Version 3?
Felicity Mulford

Although May 2020 will be widely remembered for the Coronavirus pandemic and resultant lockdown, it also marks the launch of RDFox Version 3. So, to capture the excitement at Oxford Semantic Technologies, we asked a few of our clients, and the team, about their favourite features…

Just as there was a tech revolution around moving things to mobile, and another revolution for turning traditional applications into web based applications that are real time collaborative, the future is declarative reasoning technology, and RDFox is the perfect mechanism to drive that transformation
Jimmy Ruska, Lead architect for Profiles and Identity team, Meredith

Version 3 provides multiple advances including: persistence, incremental aggregation, access control, named graphs and an attractive new, user interface.

Version 3 represents a serious commercial product which can be deployed across various applications

Incremental aggregation took the stage as the favourite new feature due to the significant benefits it provides, and the technological advance it represents.

Incremental aggregation is awesome; it completes the incremental reasoning.
Incremental aggregation means that RDFox is reactive, there are no limitations and we are pleased because it works! This is great for many customers.
Knowledge Engineer
People don’t know that it’s what they want. However, once they see it, they will love it. Without it, performance could degrade when aggregate functions (like count or sum) were used. With incremental aggregation, materialisation now only recomputes results caused by changes to the data store — and that leads to significant performance improvements.
Senior Software Engineer

Additionally, the OST team love the new user interface, which has given RDFox a facelift:

Persistence is something that clients both need and love, whilst access control is a showstopper for many businesses. Combining the new features provides further use cases and widens RDFox’s capabilities.

The most important thing with v3 is the support of named graphs and access control.
Thorsten Liebig, CEO of Derivo
[When using named graphs with access control] the number of use cases for RDFox increases drastically. Organisations can share aggregated or limited views of data to others within the organisation or externally. This could be useful for many things, for example, demonstrating violations related to insider trading!
Named graphs and access control means we can model data differently and it is good for accessing data from different sources. It can be used to restrict who says or sees what.
Senior Software Engineer

The sophisticated incremental reasoning which can be undertaken using RDFox, a result of the novel concepts and approach which underpin RDFox, means that rules can impact the rate of query responses.

The use of rules makes queries quick and easy. For example, a 300-line query can become 40 lines when we use rules! This makes query time so much quicker and maintenance easier. However, this means we have more time for other things, increasing our overall productivity.
Knowledge Engineer
I have managed to cut query times down significantly using RDFox’s rules. With large queries that are run often, I can speed them up by doing a little pre-processing incrementally as data is ingested.
Angus Addlesee, Wallscope

Despite all the new features, the performance of RDFox is not compromised. This is something which members of the team are very excited about and feel represents the high level of thought and attention to detail that has gone into the development of RDFox. RDFox incorporates algorithms which have been peer-reviewed and rigorously studied.

The performance is not compromised because it is a well thought through system. Each new feature adds complexity whilst remaining correct and fast! Everything fits together because it is designed to. And we know there are no grave conceptual errors within the system because everything is explained by RDFox.
My favourite thing about version 3 is the fact that all the features come together without compromising the performance.
RDFox delivers on the performance and speed issues that other graph database solutions have struggled with, whilst providing semantic reasoning, a feature which was designed from the bottom up.

RDFox is an in-memory solution which makes it extremely fast and it can operate at scale and on the fly. The powerful reasoning engine is unmatched in power and is the fastest graph based querying system available. RDFox represents a novel approach to graph databases and semantic reasoning which has broad applications across various industries.

The Oxford Semantic team are looking forward to hearing what you think about Version 3! For more information on getting started with RDFox, check out our guide. To understand the intuitions of knowledge graphs and semantic reasoning, give our article a read.

To get hands on, request a free trial or get in touch for a demonstration!

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Team and Resources

The team behind Oxford Semantic Technologies started working on RDFox in 2011 at the Computer Science Department of the University of Oxford with the conviction that flexible and high-performance reasoning was a possibility for data-intensive applications without jeopardising the correctness of the results. RDFox is the first market-ready knowledge graph designed from the ground up with reasoning in mind. Oxford Semantic Technologies is a spin-out of the University of Oxford and is backed by leading investors including Samsung Venture Investment Corporation (SVIC), Oxford Sciences Enterprises (OSE) and Oxford University Innovation (OUI).