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Semantic Workbench

A Java program providing a graphical user interface for working with semantic models

This project provides a tool for working with semantic models, supporting reasoning, exploration and querying. There are a number of features built to make working with moderately sized models straightforward. It is intended both as a platform for people learning about semantic technology and as a tool for working with ontologies and data.


A big Thank You to ej-technologies GmbH for supporting the open source community by providing a license to their install4j multi-platform installer builder. The installers listed below were all created with a single configuration using the install4j installation builder.


Prior to installing the latest version you must uninstall the previous version in order to remove the older Jena library files. The installer is configured to do this for you if you allow it to. If you do not uninstall the previous version you will not have access to the new features which rely on Jena 3.

You can verify that the upgrade worked by using the Help|About menu and checking that the Jena version is reported as 3.3.0

Latest Version: 02.02.00 - Requires Java 8

You must have Java (JRE) version 8 or higher pre-installed in order to use Semantic Workbench. You can download the latest Java JRE from Oracle.

The current production release of Semantic Workbench is Version 02.02.00. This release upgrades to Apache Jena version 3.3.0, includes support for reading and writing ontologies using RDF/JSON and JSON-LD. It also includes the ability to save SPARQL results in JSON. Support for the Pellet reasoner was added thanks to the patch created by oscii on GitHub.

MacOS semantic_workbench_macos_02_02_00.dmg semantic_workbench.02-02-00.macos.md5sum.txt
Unix/Linux semantic_workbench_unix_02_02_00.sh semantic_workbench.02-02-00.unix.md5sum.txt
Microsoft Windows (32-bit) semantic_workbench_windows_02_02_00.exe semantic_workbench.02-02-00.mswindows32.md5sum.txt
Microsoft Windows (64-bit) semantic_workbench_windows-x64_02_02_00.exe semantic_workbench.02-02-00.mswindows64.md5sum.txt

Prior Version: 01.10.00 - Supports Older Java 6

You must have Java (JRE) version 6 or higher pre-installed in order to use this version of Semantic Workbench. You can download the latest Java JRE from Oracle.

This is an older release of Semantic Workbench (Version 01.10.00) provided for systems running Java 6 or 7 that are unable to upgrade to Java 8. This release uses Apache Jena version 2.1.14, adds support for reading and writing ontologies using RDF/JSON and JSON-LD. It also adds the ability to save SPARQL results in JSON. There is no support for the Pellet reasoner in this release.

MacOS semantic_workbench_macos_01_10_00.dmg semantic_workbench.01-10-00.macos.md5sum.txt
Unix/Linux semantic_workbench_unix_01_10_00.sh semantic_workbench.01-10-00.unix.md5sum.txt
Microsoft Windows (32-bit) semantic_workbench_windows_01_10_00.exe semantic_workbench.01-10-00.mswindows32.md5sum.txt
Microsoft Windows (64-bit) semantic_workbench_windows-x64_01_10_00.exe semantic_workbench.01-10-00.mswindows64.md5sum.txt

Source Code

The latest source code is available at its project home: https://github.com/DaveRead/semantic_workbench.


This program allows the user to manually enter, or load from a file, semantic data expressed in RDF/XML, N3, Turtle and N-Triples formats. The GUI interface provides a text area for editing the assertions and running a reasoner. Another tab on the interface allows the user to see the inferred triples, expressed in the same format as the input. A third tab provides a tree view of the ontology, rooted by classes. Finally, a tab allowing for SPARQL query processing against the model is provided.

Here is a high-level list of Semantic Workbench's principle features:

  • Load and save assertion (ontology) files
  • Create a Jena model from the assertions, controlling the reasoning level
  • Extract the set of inferred triples
  • View the model as a tree, identifying classes, individuals, properties and data
  • Jump between individuals in the tree where they are linked in multiple places
  • Load and save SPARQL query files
  • Execute SPARQL queries against the local model
  • Execute SPARQL queries from remote RDF sources and SPARQL endpoints
  • Run a SPARQL server which uses a reasoned model to respond to queries
  • Support a proxy used when executing SPARQL queries against remote endpoints


Video Screenshot
An 8 Minute Overview Video is available. It walks through the major features of Semantic Workbench.

Program Operation

The easiest way to run the program is to install the latest production release and launch. Here are a few screen shots of the application (click an image to see it full-size):

Assertions tab Inferences tab Tree view
Assertions tab
With some assertions loaded from a file
Inferences tab
After running the reasoner
Tree View tab
After running the reasoner
Setup options SPARQL tab Using the SPARQL server with R
Setup Options
Some of the configurable features
After running the reasoner SPARQL queries may be entered and run against the model
SPARQL Server accessed using R
A model can be published to the SPARQL server feature of Semantic Workbench