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The traditional process for creating data-centric applications has been a burden to software developers. Considerable up-front design and time intensive setup procedures are required before an optimal digital experience can begin to take shape. Once done, modifying those applications to address new requirements has costly downstream side effects. The need for just one new data attribute can trigger a cumbersome chain of events. The database schema has to be altered and SQL queries need to be revised. Server-side code has to be rewritten, recompiled, and redeployed. A battery of unit, integration, and regression tests must be adjusted and ran. Moreover, when these applications participate in a network, integration points may also need to be amended.
Governed by a mission to mitigate these hassles, Base22 leverages Semantic Web and Linked Data technologies to accelerate and simplify the software development process. These technologies improve applications with a flexible and schema-less data model that can be altered more dynamically. Base22’s backend out-of-the-box, Carbon LDPTM (a Linked Data Platform), offers an efficient, agile, and low code solution for creating, integrating, and evolving modern data-centric applications.
In an interview with CIO Applications, Joe Kristy, Managing Partner, and Cody Burleson, Product Manager and CTO of Base22 share their insights into the company, the value proposition and their industry-grade low code solutions.
What are the challenges in the low code industry and how does Base22 address them?
Joe: With the Internet of things (IoT) rapidly generating volumes and variety of data, the common denominator among today’s trends like big data, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and mobile device ubiquity is data availability and its management. 70-80 percent of the time spent on AI and ML projects, for example, is often depleted by the need to check, clean, and reorganize data. As a solution to these kinds of pain points, we provide Carbon LDP for the development of data-centric business applications. Carbon solves common data-related issues by enabling the construction of knowledge graphs that can represent multiple data sources as a seamless whole. Carbon LDP is an application development platform that serves as a single access point or portal to the knowledge graph, exposing scattered and constantly changing data through one consistent application programming interface (API).
How does Carbon LDP benefit your clients?
Cody: Carbon LDP can accommodate data of any shape and it can unify and expose multiple data sources as single knowledge graph through one common API. It uses the Resource Description Framework (RDF), which is a flexible and schema-less data model that reduces the need for developers to know all the requirements for data upfront. With Carbon, developers can more immediately read and write data with simple code while avoiding the typical server-side minutia. The flexibility of the data model makes it possible to integrate systems by simply linking data similar to the way that web pages are hyperlinked. This kind of linking also enables organizations to augment internal knowledge with external knowledge that is increasingly available across enterprises or on the World Wide Web.
What makes Base22 from stand out in the low code marketplace?
Joe: Our clients often look for ways to reduce the data silo problem and increase the value of data by integrating and relating it.
Joe: Our uniqueness is expressed most notably through the intersection of data science and user experience. We leverage modern and standards-based graph technologies to help solve the back-end data problems, but then combine that with our expertise in systems integration and user experience to ensure that business insights are actually delivered. Data is only valuable when it is usable and useful to the business users who need it. By helping developers create rich digital experiences for the knowledge graph in a low code manner, we’re helping businesses find new and exciting uses for their data with increased agility.
Cody: We’re also actively working to partner with key players in the industry to expand the scope of implementation choices that our customers have. By working to achieve interoperability with a greater number of traditional systems and the newer cloud-native services, our customers are increasingly able to leverage their existing legacy investments while also using a step-wise approach to modernization.
Could you share a client success story?
Cody: One of our clients, an engineering partner that supplies to automobile manufacturers, followed their vision for a semantic data lake architecture. They’re unifying multiple data sources and making them accessible by different applications through a common enterprise ontology or vocabulary. One of the applications, built with Carbon LDP, helps their customer service reps trace potential manufacturing problems across various stages in the supply chain. Visual interfaces empower those reps to construct advanced searches without writing technical queries. We created a faceted search where all the attributes needed for the search are automatically generated based on the underlying data model. They simply drag and drop facets to assemble a query. The user interface changes dynamically when the underlying data model changes so that no additional programming is required when new classes, properties, and relationships are added. As they provision more relational databases into the knowledge graph to expand the data lake, the capabilities of the application expands accordingly—dynamically and with a reduced need to recode anything.
By helping developers create rich digital experiences for the knowledge graph in a low code manner, we’re helping businesses find new and exciting uses for their data with increased agility
What does the future hold for the company?
Cody: We’re looking to integrate Carbon LDP with cloud databases like Amazon Neptune so that our clients can realize the benefits of cloud-native solutions such as ‘pay per use’ pricing, stability, scalability, elasticity, and automation. We’re also working to improve our real-time notification subsystem so that Carbon applications (mobile apps, for example) can respond in real time to changes in data. We’ll be incorporating new features for security (authentication and authorization) to better handle the demands of mission-critical systems, and to integrate Carbon with common corporate user repositories like LDAP. We’re enhancing the Carbon LDP Workbench administrative console to provide improved visual interfaces and widgets that can be reused to reduce the need for extra development. Our vision is to expose commonly needed business-friendly controls and widgets in the Workbench in a way that allows developers to reuse them in their own business applications.
Joe: We’re helping organizations modernize and adapt to the new market forces, which are primarily technology driven. With an enterprise knowledge graph, businesses can eliminate data silos and with Carbon LDP as a low code platform for building applications, they can create business solutions faster, with less complexity, and with more control.