It is getting clearer by the second that Master Data Management and RDF based Linked data are two realms separated by a common desire to provide "Entity Oriented Data Access" to heterogeneous data sources (within the enterprise and/or across the World Wide Web).

Here is how I see Linked Data providing tangible value to MDM tools vendors and users:

  1. Open access to Entities across MDM instances served up by different MDM solutions acting as Linked Data publishers (i.e., expose MDM Entities as RDF resources endowed with de-referencable URIs thereby enabling Hyperdata-style linking)
  2. Use of RDF-ization middleware to hook disparate data sources (SQL, XML, and other data sources) into existing MDM packages (i.e., the MDM solutions become consumers of RDF Linked Data).

Of course Virtuoso was designed and developed to deliver the above from day one (circa. 1998 re. the core and 2005 re. the use of RDF for the final mile) as depicted below: