The FIBO publishing process

FIBO is developed in many ways as if it were a standard software development process. Although the various “source files” are not really the source files of programming languages like Java or C++, we can consider them to be just the same, they’re sources by any means.

Authoritative Sources

The core authoritative source files are the OWL files in the main FIBO git repository:

Examples of authoritative OWL2 files as they exist as “source files” in Github are:

Such files are “published” (or “built” in programmer’s terms) on as:

Besides these OWL files, we also have some other authoritative sources such as UML files.


We’re using a number of terms in the publishing process that have their own EDM Council specific definition:


The Enterprise Data Management Council produces a number of product families such as:

And some more insignificant ones such as:

In the context of the document, when we mention the term family we mean fibo.


So, FIBO itself is a “product family” that consists of a number of products.

Here are the primary products and their product keys (more about that later):

  1. ontology

    The FIBO Ontologies, the primary product, the core OWL2 ontologies that are the foundation and source of record for any of the other derived products in the product family.

    These are all of the about 30 mature modules and sub-modules developed by the FIBO Team for nearly a decade. They are in W3C OWL and can be opened with any RDF-compliant tool. FIBO is published in multiple RDF serializations, including RDF/XML, Turtle, JSON-LD and NQUADS. See the Supported Formats table below to access FIBO in these forms.

  2. glossary

    The FIBO Glossary. This is a searchable Glossary of terms in HTML.

  3. vocabulary

    The FIBO Vocabulary consists of a SKOS-taxonomy of terms.

  4. datadictionary

    The FIBO Data Dictionary is a spreadsheet version (in the form of a CSV file) of the terms and definitions in FIBO.

  5. widoco

    The FIBO Ontologies VOWL Visualization The Visual Notation for OWL Ontologies (VOWL) defines a visual language for the user-oriented representation of ontologies. It provides graphical depictions for elements of the Web Ontology Language (OWL) that are combined to a force-directed graph layout visualizing the ontology.

  6. smif

    Sample UML Diagrams of FIBO. The Semantic Modeling for Information Federation (SMIF) spec allows round tripping between UML and OWL.

  7. uml

    The UML representations of the models that are represented in the OWL ontologies.

  8. ldf

    The Linked Data Fragments (LDF) version of FIBO is not really a downloadable product but more like an online web service running on which will show for any published version of FIBO the “ldf view” of it. See

    The purpose of this server is to enable intelligent clients that can process triples in client side SPARQL. A triple pattern specification is very lightweight, and still allows SPARQL endpoint like access of data. One can look at this protocol method as sitting between a full RDF dump file and a SPARQL endpoint. Somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. It is planned to offer client implementation from this server after some further testing and finding some handy queries to prepopulate. Other fragments servers in production can be found here.


    A “flattened down” version of the FIBO ontologies, made suitable for use in search engines like Google and Bing, as an extension to, this is the “” source.

    The product has its own build/test/deploy/publish cycle and is not published on, where in a later phase it is expected to end up under . At the moment it is published here:

These are the “product keys”, as they’re also used in the URLs that are published on

Then actually, we do also have a few other “products” that can be treated in the same way as the above products, so we assign product keys to them as well:

  1. doc

    The primary generated FIBO documentation. Special software, still to be developed (although parts already exist), will be used to generate an HTML5 website with the full documentation of all the various components of FIBO.

    Next to product keys like ‘doc’ we can support vendor specific product keys like vendor-adaptive, vendor-topquadrant, vendor-complexible, vendor-ontotext and so forth. Whatever they want to deliver or add to the overall site can be placed here, where the council will forward all traffic to a host of their specification.

  2. static

    All static content such as logos, javascript, stylesheets and the like.

    NOTE: We will have to split this up into /static, /fibo/static and /fibo/static/<branch>/<tag>

Directories & Modules

Let’s first explain the structure of the directories in the FIBO git repository, where we start with the two top level directories that more or less look as follows:

And so forth. As you can see, at the top level we have the FIBO “Modules” and at the second level we have the “Sub-modules”.


The FIBO development process is organized in several streams of work that in the software development world are usually called branches, which is the technical term as it is being used in git. In the FIBO context a branch is a stream of work, where the master branch is the stream where everything comes together. In every branch git maintains a “pointer” usually called HEAD that points to the latest and greatest approved version of FIBO, we’re calling that latest in the IRIs. Besides this automatically maintained pointer, we can also freeze such a pointer under a given name, also called tag, such as 2017Q4 or so. See Tags, Versions and Releases.

Besides the master branch we also have “feature branches” or “issue branches”, which usually get created from the master branch, where the name of the issue branch is equal to the corresponding JIRA issue key such as BE-123.

The branch and tag name come back in the URL of a published artifact on for instance like:

See for a more detailed explanation below

Tags, Versions and Releases

Then, next to the branch mechanism, as another dimension, cross-cutting through the git repository, you can use the git tagging facility to set a tag in the current checked-out branch in your local clone of the repository.

Since pull requests (TODO: link to pull request info) can only contain commits, tags cannot go via the standard pull request process. So tags can only be set by the members of the Owners-group of the root/main FIBO repository which currently is set to only the members of the FLT (FIBO Leadership Team) (TODO: Link to ../

We use tags to signify important milestones in the development of FIBO, this corresponds with Versions and Releases. The term “version” comes from JIRA, where we can define versions and associate issues with these versions.

Once a version is actually “tagged” as such, it becomes a release which is a term that is also shown in Github itself. So tag, milestone, version and release all more or less mean the same thing, the technical way to establish it is to set a tag.

Tags have a name, for that name we have the following convention:

Version numbers

Querterly releases

The format for quarterly release tags is ‘Q[S]’