StructOntology v Protégé?
There are two main twos available and useful in the open semantic framework (OSF) for ontology editing and management:
- Protégé 4, which is an open source tool provided by the Center for Biomedical Informatics Research at Stanford University, and
- structOntology, which is an integral tool within an OSF installation available to those with administrative purposes.
While either tool may be used for any ontology management and editing task, each has a different set of purposes and strengths.
When to Use Protégé
Protégé is a full-scale, standalong integrated development environment (IDE) with the sole purpose of ontology management, editing and analysis. It is based on the OWL API and has its own API for plug-ins, with many additional tools available. Some of those tools include inferencing and validation.
Protégé is the recommended tool when it is necessary to make bulk or large-scale changes to an ontology -- and then to test those changes for consistency or coherence. It has many built-in functions (such as cloning, automatic "punning" [see this metamodeling discussion, for example], and others) that make it a complete ontology development environment.
Protégé is also recommended when inferencing or ontology testing or validation is required.
When to Use structOntology
structOntology offers about 80% of the functionality of Protégé, and is directly available within the OSF installation where the ontology is used. This means ontology edits and management can be done directly while in the application without having to fire up a third-party tool (Protégé) and then re-import the revised ontology.
structOntology is the recommended tool for small-scale, immediate ontology changes or edits. Excellent uses of structOntology are minor structure changes (such as adding or moving a single class or concept) or adding new
altLabels and descriptive metadata to ontology entries. Since structOntology has an export function that enables it to be read by Protégé, later inference testing and validation can be applied to the piecemeal changes based on this tool.
Instructions for its use may be found in the Individual conStruct Ontology (structOntology) Tool manual.