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GoodRelations - The Web Vocabulary for E-Commerce

This is the archive of the goodrelations dicussion list

GoodRelations is a standardized vocabulary for product, price, and company data that can (1) be embedded into existing static and dynamic Web pages and that (2) can be processed by other computers. This increases the visibility of your products and services in the latest generation of search engines, recommender systems, and other novel applications.

[goodrelations] Feedback GoodRelations usage for web shop and recommender systems

Martin Hepp martin.hepp at ebusiness-unibw.org
Tue May 3 14:56:35 CEST 2011

Thanks, Manuel! 
Looks like very convincing works!

Some comments inline.
On May 3, 2011, at 1:30 PM, Manuel Blechschmidt wrote:

> Hello,
> I submitted yesterday my master thesis about recommendations systems. In this thesis I used concepts from GoodRelations a lot and wanted to share my experience.
> First I want to thank Prof. Dr. Martin Hepp for such a great ontology. It reflects nearly all the things that are needed to describe a huge product base and it shows that he has a lot of experiences in ecommerce. It is usable in real world cases. I know that there is some criticism about the complexity of GoodRelations. Actually I was involved in the development of huge online stores with more then 3000 orders a day, multi lingual currency and language, and more then 30 000 products. From this experience I can tell that the data model from GoodRelations is still quite simple and such a complex ontology is necessary to describe data sets of bigger companies.
Thanks for saying this! In fact, people with experience in B2B EDI data structures are usually surprised by the simplicity of GoodRelations in comparison to e.g. X12, BMEcat, ...
So GoodRelations is more complex that FOAF because the underlying domain is more complex.

> Feel free to ignore parts of the feedback or to ask questions about certain things.
> During my thesis I maintained a small online store for chocolate (see screenshot). The backend of the online store was a Java EE 6 system with a relational MySQL database and the entities were modeled according to the GoodRelations ontology (See attached UML class diagram). So basically I made a mapping of all the things that I needed to UML and then to Java. It was not a 1-to-1 mapping.
> I tried some OWL-to-XMI solutions (http://owl2xmi.sourceforge.net/) but I did not succeed. So I made it manually.
Yes, I also learned that none of the automatic approaches of generating UML class diagrams meet my needs.
> I was able to map the whole catalog to the GoodRelations but some smaller things were missing, that I added to my own version:
> 1. It was not possible to associate a DeliveryMethod or a PaymentMethod directly with the BusinessEntity
This is because conceptually, a delivery method and a payment method are not characteristics of an agent but of the promise (gr:Offering) to sell something. So yes, many stores make this decision on a per-store basis, but this is then a rule like "for all of our offers, the payment options and delivery options are as follows."

So any shop extension can / should have internal data on the general delivery and payment methods accepted, but use those to generate the triples for each individual offer. A good example is the WPEC / Wordpress extension developed by Christian Junghanns, which allows setting a default but also overriding it for each single item. This may be necessary if e.g. some items are too heavy or too large for a normally acceptable delivery method.

> 2. There was no Order class and no LineItem class
The scope of GoodRelations are just the early stages of a business interaction, e.e. search, ranking, and maybe negotiations. Transactions and thus orders are outside the intended scope. GoodRelations ends when the buying party has either the URI of an HTML page for manually triggering the order (via foaf:page) or the URI of a Web Service for automatically triggering the order via gr:relatedWebService.

> I also didn't found an alignment between the gr:BusinessEntity and the foaf:Organization classes.
gr:BusinessEntity is practically an rdfs:subClassOf foaf:Agent; this is recommended in



foaf:Organization may be too specific, because people can also be gr:BusinessEntities.

> Further for recommendation I need more then just a owns attribute for an agent something like, viewed, bought, owns, purchased and so on. (http://apml.areyoupayingattention.com/)
Yes, but this is again outside the scope of GoodRelations, except for maybe a finer distinction between gr:owns and related properties, e.g. purchased (because you may want to say that you bought something but no longer own it).

Hope this helps and I hope that this mailing list is the correct place to submit some feedback.

Thanks a lot, yes

1. This was very valuable.
2. This is the best place to submit feedback and questions.

Best wishes


> Have a great week
>    Manuel
> -- 
> Manuel Blechschmidt
> Hasso-Plattner-Institut
> Crailsheimer Str. 10
> 12247 Berlin
> Mobil: 0173/6322621
> Twitter: http://twitter.com/Manuel_B
> <GoodRelationsEntities.png>
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