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SemFS - Semantic File System
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Status: beta
Last release: 1.0.3-SNAPSHOT (March 24 2009)
License: BSD licenses
Affiliation: FZI, AIFB


Sample Scenario 1 for SemFS - File Tagging Scenario. The triples in the RDF repository backend describe tag metadata of actual PDF files which are kept in the binary store. The folder structure produced by SemFS mirrors combinations of these tag annotations and contains the respective PDF files.
Sample Scenario 2 for SemFS - Contact Management Scenario. The triples in the RDF repository backend describe contact and tag information for persons. As no “actual” binary content is needed here, the binary store is empty. The folder structure produced by SemFS mirrors combinations of selected relations (e.g. tag and city) and the files corresponding to resources of the type person are rendered as VCard files.

SemFS is a semantic file system which exposes itself to the operating system as a WebDAV drive. SemFS re-interprets the concept of file system resources and their locations as resources and resource annotations in RDF knowledge bases. By accessing structured knowledge, e.g. bibliographical information or contact information via files, this approach offers a possibility for seamlessly integrating the content of the knowledge bases with the user’s desktop systems.

Specifically, SemFS provides a network resource repository where resources are stored and accessed through the standard hierarchical file system paradigm applied on some resource metadata attribute instead of on the file's directory pathname. The actual logic of the file system knowledge filter is implemented in two components: the ClassHandler component, which is responsible for rendering resources in the knowledge base as files and the Filter component which is responsible for selecting the appropriate set of files to be shown in a given directory. This distinction is powerful, as it allows designing and operating ClassHandlers and Filters independent of each other.

The out-of-the box functionality of SemFS is provided by a Filter/ClassHandler pair that allows to tag arbitrary binary file content.


Downloads, Developer Documentation and Feedback[edit]

General Documentation[edit]

User Documentation[edit]

Developer Documentation, Reports and Feedback[edit]

Related Work and Publications[edit]

Related Work[edit]


WebDAV Clients[edit]


  • Windows XP and Windows Vista have built-in WebDAV capabilities in the Windows Explorer. However, some other tools are even nicer to use.
  • DriveOnWeb Client, Private: €39,95 , multilingual (28.06.10)
  • ... list other tools here


  • MacOS has a pretty good built-in WebDAV support


  • Linux, too



SemFS is partly funded by the European Commission via the projects ACTIVE (since 2008) and NEPOMUK (up to 2008)