OSLC Primer

(Download as .pdf or EPub.)

It has become commonplace that specifications are precise in their details but difficult to read and understand unless you already know the basic concepts. A good solution to this problem is to write a companion document called a primer, designed to be read first, whose goal is to explain the concepts while leaving precise details to the specification. This document is the primer for the OSLC Core Specification Version 2.0.

It is also common that specifications lack information on how to apply the concepts of the specification, especially best practices. This document also attempts to be a usage guide for the OSLC Core Specification Version 2.0. Usage guidance is clearly marked with the Guidance keyword.

Intended Audience

This document is intended for technical leaders who want to understand the concepts and goals of OSLC and its relationship to other standards for evaluation, as well as potential OSLC implementers who want a general overview of the OSLC concepts and an understanding of the thinking and use-cases that led to their definition.

We assume familiarity with basic web technologies such as HTTP, RDF and Linked Data. If you’re not familiar with these topics, you might find the following helpful:

  1. http://www.w3.org/2007/02/turtle/primer/
  2. http://www.w3.org/TR/rdf-primer/
  3. http://linkeddata.org/guides-and-tutorials


The namespace for classes and predicates defined in the OSLC Core spec is http://open-services.net//ns/core#, abbreviated to oslc: in this document. We also reference concepts in the RDF namespace, http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#, abbreviated to rdf:, and the RDF Schema namespace, http://www.w3.org/2000/01/rdf-schema#>, abbreviated to rdfs:.

Most of the data samples in this document are written in Turtle notation, for its superior readability. If you prefer your samples in RDF/XML, copy the Turtle text into the validator at this URL: http://www.rdfabout.com/demo/validator/ , set the input type to “Notation 3 (or N-Triples/Turtle)” and click “validate!”. The validator will produce equivalent RDF/XML.

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