The return of WinFS back into SQL Server has re-ignited interest in the somewhat forgotten “DBMS Engine hosted Unified Storage System” vision. The WinFS project struggles have more to do with the futility of “Windows Platform Monoculture” than the actual vision itself. In today's reality you simply cannot seek to deliver a “Unified Storage” solution that's inherently operating system specific, and even worse, ignores existing complimentary industry standards and the loosely coupled nature of the emerging Web Operating System.

A quick FYI:
Virtuoso has offered a DBMS hosted Filesystem via WebDAV for a number of years, but the implications of this functionality have remained unclear for just as long. Thus, we developed (a few years ago) and released (recently) an application layer above Virtuoso's WebDAV storage realm called: “The OpenLink Briefcase” (nee. oDrive). This application allows you to view items uploaded by content type and/or kind (People, Business Cards, Calendars, Business Reports, Office Documents, Photos, Blog Posts, Feed Channels/Subscriptions, Bookmarks etc..). it also includes automatic metadata extraction (where feasible) and indexing. Naturally, as an integral part of our “OpenLink Data Spaces” (ODS) product offering, it supports GData, URIQA, SPARQL (note: WebDAV metadata is sync'ed with Virtuoso's RDF Triplestore), SQL, and WebDAV itself.

You can explore the power of this product via the following routes:

  1. Download the Virtuoso Open Source Edition and the ODS add-ons or
  2. Visit our live demo server (note: this is strictly a demo server with full functionality available) and simply register and then create a “Briefcase” application instance
  3. Digest this Briefcase Home Page Screenshot