Session, FRI 10:30 - 12:00

Semantic Portals

Linked Data based Healtcare Information Systems: The Healthdirect Australia Story

Healthdirect Australia provides access to free health advice and information services.


To improve the user experience and to support the content generation process Healthdirect decided to build up a Semantic Framework to provide semantic functions and services within the Health Portal Platform.

PoolParty Semantic Suite was selected as a tool for setting up a PoC to prove that all requirements can be met. PoolParty proved to fulfill a list of requirements: Ontology Management, Tagging and Text Processing, Entity Extraction, Semantic Enhancement Services and Semantic Search.


In our presentation we want to give an overview of the PoC process and the status of implementation. We want to outline challenges we met in detail and give an outlook on the next steps and the lessons learned.




  • Healthdirect Australia (Healthdirect) is a COAG (Council of Australia Governments) company charged with strategic procuring of publicly funded health services that are delivered through innovative telecommunications and information technologies. The Company’s objective is to ensure all Australians have access to the right advice on the appropriate care for their health issue when they need it and where they need it.


  • Healthdirect provides access to free health advice and information via a 24-hour telephone health triage service provided by Registered Nurses. In addition the Pregnancy, Birth & Baby helpline provides a national 24 hours a day, seven days a week telephone support helpline for women, their partners and families providing access to information to support decision-making in relation to pregnancy, birthing and postnatal care. These helpline services are now complemented and supported by health information websites.

James Humffray

James Humffray is the Information Manager at Healthdirect Australia. He is responsible for managing the development of appropriate information management processes to support the Healthdirect websites, and other services that are developed for the company. This responsibility includes managing the development and maintenance of appropriate ontologies and taxonomies.


Prior to this, he worked for 16 years in the state public education sector as librarian, quality assurance manager, project manager, and content database manager. He managed the learning content management system for over 500,000 teachers and students.


He has also worked as librarian and researcher in the media sector, working for John Fairfax Holdings, publisher of Australia’s number one quality newspaper, the Sydney Morning Herald.


Oerlikon Metco Knowledge Portal - Information Beyond the Surface

Oerlikon Metco is a leading surface solutions provider with a global presence (headquarter: Winterthur). The company offers a unique variety of different products and services (materials, equipments, customized surface solutions) with a wide range of surface technologies such as thermal spray, PVD, CVD, nitriding, laser clading, etc. Metco's Knowledge Portal started in mid 2012. Since then, it has emerged as the central gateway for internal technical information used by all business units. It is based on a semantic network embedded in a customized SharePoint application.


The presentation gives an overview of the Metco's specific business requirements and the rationale why the company has decided to use NOWSHARE's solution "Semantic Applications for SharePoint 2010" as the platform for its new technical information database. The basic architecture, specific customizations, and ontology-related features of the software are explained from a technical point of view and compared to traditional SharePoint-based solutions. Finally, the results and benefits of the Knowledge Portal are presented including an outlook on future options.




Oerlikon Metco is a leading surface solutions provider with a global presence. The company is focused on supporting our customers with specialized components and innovative surface engineering products and services, using advanced coating and surface enhancement technologies such as thermal spraying, thin film coating, or plasma-assisted surface treatments. In 2013, a business volume of more than CHF 700 millions has been achieved with about 2.450 employees in a broad range of industrial markets. Since June 2014, Metco is part of Oerlikon's Surface Solutions Segment (formerly part of Sulzer group).

TIMETOACT GROUP provides professional services for IBM software, Microsoft, Google Software and open standards. With more than 170 employees, it is one of the largest IBM Software Services providers in DACH region with several locations in Germany and Switzerland. As part of TIMETOACT group, NOWSHARE is specialized on SharePoint technologies and has been appointed as Microsoft Gold Certified Partner. The close cooperation with Microsoft guarantees that NOWSHAREs developer team is always up-to-date informed. The company is particularly focused on solutions for information workers and advanced infrastructures.

Metco's traditional approaches for information and knowledge management did not meet increasing business requirements anymore: scattered repositories with separate search tools, lack of harmonization and cross-references across different data sources, etc. leading to high efforts for information retrieval and to fragmented and inconsistent data. For its future Knowledge Management system, Oerlikon Metco has identified the following requirements:


• support for sales and customer support: efficient search for appopriate materials or solutions by given industry branch, surface functions, service environments and/or temperatures

• general improvement of information retrieval in everyday business with global access via intranet

• central "information gateway" providing access to existing documents, datasheets, brochures, etc.; integration of scattered data sources

• appropriate non-redundant representation of complexity and cross-linking according to business needs; i.e. integration of different business views of the existing knowledge about materials, equipment, technology, applications, competitive products, etc.

• adaptability of the underlying data model to the ongoing business development, i.e. separation of business logic from presentation software

• active editorial process by the whole the user community

• quality assurance via mandatory approval by experts


After a consulting period it turned out that a semantic network would be the technology of choice. Since MS SharePoint was already defined as the relevant corporate standard, the software should combine this platform with semantic capabilities. The subsequent evaluation process revealed that NOWSHARE's solution "Semantic Applications for SharePoint 2010" based upon Semafora OntoBroker and MS SharePoint 2010 would fit best to the company's requirements:


• strict orientation on SharePoint standards with minimum of specific pogramming but enough flexibility in layout and design

• customizable search tools (fulltext, hierarchy, and property filter)

• mature and performant core software with a powerful semantic modeling language including inferencing and querying

• open SOAP interface for backend access to the knowledge network

• update of data model manageable usually without programming

• collaborative editing feature (Wiki-type) plus role-based Approval procedure

• mass data import interface for bulk updates

• comprehensive know-how about SharePoint and relevant reference projects by NOWSHARE

After a simplified demonstrator version set up in March 2011, the Metco Knowledge Portal has been implemented step-by-step until public launch in June 2012. Since then, the Portal has evolved into a central information hub for all technical (non-commercial) infomation within the company. The following goals could be achieved:

• technical information, documents, and experts are found much easier and faster in everyday business

• reduced response times for customer requests in Sales and Technical Support teams

• improved technical background knowledge and awareness for alternative solutions or coating materials within Sales teams

• support for marketing activities and product campaigns by dedicated dossiers and link lists

• successful integration of 7 existing datasheet repositories (generated links)

• data gardening by a well-defined set of consistency checks (batch execution)

• improved consistency in corporate terminology

• Portal pages (semantic instances) increased by 33%, Properties (semantic triples) increased by 63%, number of Users increased by 133%


Uwe Häcker and Oliver Palmer

Uwe Häcker is Knowledge Database Specialist and Technical Project Head for Oerlikon Metco's Knowledge Portal. He holds a PhD in Solid State Physics from Leipzig University. Earlier in his carreer, he worked as Systems Analyst in the field of technical documentation and as Project Manager in the publishing industry. From 2007 to 2009, Uwe Häcker was Technical Project Manager of the Brockhaus Semantic Factbase which has been designed as an editorial tool for Germany's leading encyclopedia at that time.

Oliver Palmer


Managing Partner

NOWSHARE Software & Consulting GmbH


• since 04/2011 Managing Partner; NOWSHARE Software & Consulting GmbH

• 01/1997 – 03/2011 Managing Partner, meacon

• 09/1996 – 08/1997 Software Developer and Project Manager, Gentner GmbH ProCOMMUNICATION

• 08/1994 – 08/1996 Software Developer and IT Administrator, ABP Brzozowski & Partner




a Linked Data browser for all

Although the Linked Data paradigm is extremely popular, and there is immense amount of Linked Open Data available worldwide, the human ex-ploration of these datasets is limited. In our work we try to evolve a generic platform called LODmilla for exploring and editing Linked Open Data. Our aim is to enable the extraction and sharing of data associations (or information) hidden in Linked Open Data. LODmilla is an open web application supporting graph views, graph searching and many other commodity features for surfing over Linked Data.



András Micsik, Sándor Turbucz and Attila Györök




04.09, 2014

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