Dabble DB Brings the Web of Data to Life

Dabble DB has completely blown me away. Dabble DB is like Club Med for your data. You want your data to get a massage while sipping a Mai Tai on the beach, you got it. Your data will get the five star treatment at Dabble DB.

So everyone is talking about Web 3.0, AKA the Web of Data, AKA the Semantic Web. Those visions are all well and good, and I do believe we'll see a Data Centric Web soon. But if there's a Web of Data, that must mean you've got Data on the Web.

What? Your data is buried in some SQL Server database on the company LAN? That doesn't sound very webby to me. And you're building all these custom, one-off, Visual Basic apps or Excel macros manage your data? Tisk, tisk. So not webby.

This is where Dabble DB comes in. Not only does it provide a very slick, dripping with AJAX interface for you to import and manage your data, it's a *very* smart interface. Normal muggles (Haven't read Harry Potter? Whaaaa?) can easily use Dabble DB to classify, link, sort, and visualize their data. Dabble DB is not a snazzy front end to a relational database system. Dabble DB is a snazzy front end to data.

Let's put it this way: I haven't seen a desktop application that helps you with your data like Dabble DB.

OK, enough of the uber love fest. Bringing it all back to the semantic web, Dabble DB might be in a class of killer applications for the semantic web. I really love Dave Beckett's description of the semantic web: "The semantic web is webby data." So the semantic web will need, as a killer app, something that makes managing a *linking* data so super easy and more importantly: incredibly rewarding.

That last statement is important. The killer application for the semantic web must be *rewarding*. That is, you will get out of it more than you put into it. Dabble DB does this to some extent, as you can graph your data, map your data, export your data, subscribe to your data.

It doesn't appear that Dabble exports to RDF, nor does it appear that you can link data together via ontologies. But if Dabble DB doesn't do that, someone else will. For data that is truly webby is data that can be extended by sources outside of your control.

At work, we've been building a large data warehouse, and the interface to go with it, so systems like Dabble DB are extremely interesting to me. I want to give my users an experience like Dabble.

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