Skip to main content

The SAREF Pipeline and Portal—An Ontology Verification Framework

  • Conference paper
  • First Online:
The Semantic Web – ISWC 2023 (ISWC 2023)


The Smart Applications REFerence Ontology (SAREF) defines a modular set of versioned ontologies that enable semantic interoperability between different Internet of Things (IoT) vendor solutions across various IoT industries. The European Telecommunications Standards Institute Specialist Task Force (ETSI STF) 578 recently completed the “Specification of the SAREF Development Framework and Workflow and Development of the SAREF Community Portal for User Engagement”. This project specifies the development pipeline and workflow needed to accelerate the development of SAREF and its extensions along with the development of software that automates the generation of ontology portal content from SAREF sources on the public ETSI Forge. This paper describes the SAREF Pipeline that provides an efficient and robust support infrastructure for the Continuous Integration and Delivery of semantic ontology development.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
USD 89.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 119.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions


  1. 1.

    Linting, named after a UNIX pre-processor command for the C language, is an approach that consists of statically analyzing software source code to detect errors, bugs, or style mistakes.

  2. 2.

  3. 3.

  4. 4.

  5. 5.

  6. 6.

  7. 7.

  8. 8.

  9. 9.

  10. 10.

  11. 11.

  12. 12.

  13. 13.

  14. 14.

  15. 15.

    ETSI draft editing rules disallow the use of the must keyword. The highest level of specification enforcement is shall.

  16. 16.


  17. 17.

    Test reports in Merge Request on GitLab:

  18. 18.

    Stubs for SHACL shapes are available at

  19. 19.

    Violations of type UseOfDefinedDatatypeInDatatypeRestriction, UseOfDefinedDatatypeInLiteral, UseOfUndeclaredDatatype, and UseOfUnknownDatatype.

  20. 20.

    Available in the main/resources/documentation folder of the saref-pipeline.

  21. 21.

    SPARQL-Generate 2.0 with generate, template, select, and function queries has no dedicated publication yet. More information can be obtained from the website and presentation at, and

  22. 22.


  23. 23.

  24. 24.

  25. 25.


  1. Allemang, D., Garbacz, P., Gradzki, P., Kendall, E., Trypuz, R.: An infrastructure for collaborative ontology development, lessons learned from developing the financial industry business ontology (FIBO). In: Formal Ontology in Information Systems. IOS Press (2022)

    Google Scholar 

  2. Alobaid, A., Garijo, D., Poveda-Villalón, M., Santana-Perez, I., Fernández-Izquierdo, A., Corcho, O.: Automating ontology engineering support activities with ontoology. J. Web Semant. 57, 100472 (2019)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Bader, S., et al.: The international data spaces information model – an ontology for sovereign exchange of digital content. In: Pan, J.Z., et al. (eds.) ISWC 2020. LNCS, vol. 12507, pp. 176–192. Springer, Cham (2020).

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  4. Crystal-Ornelas, R., et al.: A guide to using GitHub for developing and versioning data standards and reporting formats. Earth Space Sci. 8(8), e2021EA001797 (2021)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Daniele, L., den Hartog, F., Roes, J.: Created in close interaction with the industry: the Smart Appliances REFerence (SAREF) ontology. In: Cuel, R., Young, R. (eds.) FOMI 2015. LNBIP, vol. 225, pp. 100–112. Springer, Cham (2015).

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  6. ETSI: SmartM2M; Extension to SAREF; Part 1: Energy Domain. ETSI Technical Specification 103 410-1 V1.1.2, May 2020

    Google Scholar 

  7. ETSI: SmartM2M; Extension to SAREF; Part 10: Water Domain. ETSI Technical Specification 103 410-10 V1.1.1, July 2020

    Google Scholar 

  8. ETSI: SmartM2M; Extension to SAREF; Part 2: Environment Domain. ETSI Technical Specification 103 410-2 V1.1.2, May 2020

    Google Scholar 

  9. ETSI: SmartM2M; Extension to SAREF; Part 7: Automotive Domain. ETSI Technical Specification 103 410-7 V1.1.1, July 2020

    Google Scholar 

  10. ETSI: SmartM2M; Extension to SAREF; Part 8: eHealth/Ageing-well Domain. ETSI Technical Specification 103 410-8 V1.1.1, July 2020

    Google Scholar 

  11. ETSI: SmartM2M; Extension to SAREF; Part 9: Wearables Domain. ETSI Technical Specification 103 410-9 V1.1.1, July 2020

    Google Scholar 

  12. ETSI: SmartM2M; SAREF consolidation with new reference ontology patterns, based on the experience from the SEAS project. ETSI Technical Specification 103 548 V1.1.2, June 2020

    Google Scholar 

  13. ETSI: SmartM2M; SAREF Development Framework and Workflow, Streamlining the Development of SAREF and its Extensions. ETSI Technical Specification 103 673 V1.1.1 (2020).

  14. ETSI: SmartM2M; Smart Applications; Reference Ontology and oneM2M Mapping. ETSI Technical Specification 103 264 V3.1.1, February 2020

    Google Scholar 

  15. ETSI: SmartM2M; Extension to SAREF; Part 11: Lift Domain. ETSI Technical Specification 103 410-11 V1.1.1, July 2021

    Google Scholar 

  16. Fernández-Izquierdo, A., García-Castro, R.: Themis: a tool for validating ontologies through requirements. In: Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering, pp. 573–753 (2019)

    Google Scholar 

  17. García-Castro, R., Lefrançois, M., Poveda-Villalón, M., Daniele, L.: The ETSI SAREF ontology for smart applications: a long path of development and evolution, pp. 183–215. Wiley-IEEE Press (2023).

  18. Garijo, D., Poveda-Villalón, M.: Best practices for implementing fair vocabularies and ontologies on the web. In: Applications and Practices in Ontology Design, Extraction, and Reasoning, vol. 49, pp. 39–54 (2020)

    Google Scholar 

  19. Glimm, B., Horrocks, I., Motik, B., Stoilos, G., Wang, Z.: HermiT: an OWL 2 reasoner. J. Autom. Reason. 53(3), 245–269 (2014).

    Article  MATH  Google Scholar 

  20. Halilaj, L., et al.: VoCol: an integrated environment to support version-controlled vocabulary development. In: Blomqvist, E., Ciancarini, P., Poggi, F., Vitali, F. (eds.) EKAW 2016. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 10024, pp. 303–319. Springer, Cham (2016).

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  21. Horridge, M., Bechhofer, S.: The OWL API: a Java API for OWL ontologies. Semant. Web 2(1), 11–21 (2011)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Jackson, R.C., Balhoff, J.P., Douglass, E., Harris, N.L., Mungall, C.J., Overton, J.A.: Robot: a tool for automating ontology workflows. BMC Bioinf. 20(1), 1–10 (2019)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Knublauch, H., Kontokostas, D.: Shapes Constraint Language (SHACL). W3C Recommendation, W3C, 20 July 2017

    Google Scholar 

  24. Lefrançois, M., Zimmermann, A., Bakerally, N.: A SPARQL extension for generating RDF from heterogeneous formats. In: Blomqvist, E., Maynard, D., Gangemi, A., Hoekstra, R., Hitzler, P., Hartig, O. (eds.) ESWC 2017. LNCS, vol. 10249, pp. 35–50. Springer, Cham (2017).

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  25. Lefrançois, M.: SAREF pipeline, May 2023.

  26. Lefrançois, M., et al.: SPARQL-generate/SPARQL-generate: 2.0.12, October 2022.

  27. Matentzoglu, N., Mungall, C., Goutte-Gattat, D.: Ontology development kit, July 2021.

  28. Peroni, S., Shotton, D., Vitali, F.: The live OWL documentation environment: a tool for the automatic generation of ontology documentation. In: ten Teije, A., et al. (eds.) EKAW 2012. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 7603, pp. 398–412. Springer, Heidelberg (2012).

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  29. Poveda-Villalón, M., Fernández-Izquierdo, A., Fernández-López, M., García-Castro, R.: LOT: an industrial oriented ontology engineering framework. Eng. Appl. Artif. Intell. 111, 104755 (2022)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Poveda-Villalón, M., Gómez-Pérez, A., Suárez-Figueroa, M.C.: OOPS! (ontology pitfall scanner!): an on-line tool for ontology evaluation. Int. J. Semant. Web Inf. Syst. (IJSWIS) 10(2), 7–34 (2014)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Publio, G.C., Gayo, J.E.L., Colunga, G.F., Menendéz, P.: Ontolo-CI: continuous data validation with shex. In: Proceedings of Poster and Demo Track and Workshop Track of the 18th International Conference on Semantic Systems co-located with 18th International Conference on Semantic Systems, SEMANTiCS 2022 (2022)

    Google Scholar 

Download references


The development of the SAREF Pipeline has been funded by ETSI STF 578. The authors thank the other experts involved in this project, who contributed to the definition of the SAREF development workflow detailed in Sect. 4.1, and to online web services OOPS! and Themis that are called by the SAREF Pipeline. Ongoing development is funded by ETSI STF 653.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Maxime Lefrançois .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Ethics declarations

Resource Availability Statement

Source code of the SAREF Pipeline is available from the ETSI Forge ( It is also registered on Zenodo with DOI 10.5281/zenodo.7913534 ( The canonical citation is [25].

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2023 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this paper

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this paper

Lefrançois, M., Gnabasik, D. (2023). The SAREF Pipeline and Portal—An Ontology Verification Framework. In: Payne, T.R., et al. The Semantic Web – ISWC 2023. ISWC 2023. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 14266. Springer, Cham.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-031-47242-8

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-031-47243-5

  • eBook Packages: Computer ScienceComputer Science (R0)

Publish with us

Policies and ethics