Manual:Managing data in MediaWiki


MediaWiki was designed to manage mostly textual information and it does this very well. However, the only way of structuring content is by Namespaces , Subpages or Categories .

If you want to manage structured data in MediaWiki, e.g. a date or a number, several different approaches exist, handled by dedicated extensions.

The differences and similarities of the most common ones are shown in the following table:

Semantic MediaWiki


Main usecase Managing data within a MediaWiki installation, based on Semantic Web standards. Powering Wikidata and other editable graph databases. Managing data within a MediaWiki installation. Managing data within a MediaWiki installation based on JSON-schema.
Approach Data (properties) are annotated within regular wikitext or by templates. With the datatype "reference", properties can be used to describe items using statements.[1] Properties are defined and used to describe Items using statements. Data is stored in database tables, with each table corresponding to a template. Data are stored in a dedicated slot with JSON content model
Available since 2005 2012 2015 2022 (formerly known as PageProperties )
Active installations 1000s[2] 100s[3][4][5] 100s[6] n/a (new extension or unknown)
Community 190+ developers[7] 172+ developers[8] 63+ developers[9] (main developer)
Storage MediaWiki database, Elasticsearch, 5 different SPARQL stores[10] MediaWiki database, Elasticsearch, SPARQL store (Blazegraph for MediaWiki database (or a separate database)[11] MediaWiki database
Property definition By typing wikitext. Properties can be invented freely. They will be of datatype page by default and can be defined later. Datatypes can be changed any time. Properties have to be defined before usage and can not be changed easily.[12] Instead of using properties, data tables are defined with a predetermined (but reconfigurable) set of fields per table. Properties are defined through one or more json-schema defined through a SchemaBuilder
Value declaration Inline ([[MyProperty::MyValue]]) or with templates. Form-based data entry with Page Forms . Wikibase default form-like input interface. With parser functions in templates. Form-based data entry with Page Forms . Inline or popup OOUI forms automatically generated from JSON-schemas
Predefined data types 18[13] 17[14][15] 18 4 (basic JSON-schema types) + 15 string formats
Property management type definitions, constraint schemas, ontology import custom, or import of Wikidata ontology Instead of using properties, data tables are defined with a predetermined (but reconfigurable) set of fields per table. through a graphical interface (dedicated SchemaBuilder )
Page names and internal linking Pages have normal names and can be linked to with their names. Page names are stored with their Q-numbers (displaying labels in available languages). Internal linking must be done to the Q-number; you cannot link to a label. Pages have normal names and can be linked to with their names. Schemas are stored in a dedicated namespace and JSON-data in a dedicated slot associated to wiki articles. JSON-data can be accessed through an extension of the wiki interface
Inline queries yes, with parser functions no (external SPARQL queries); planned
supported via third-party extension LinkedWiki
yes, with parser functions yes, with parser functions
External querying yes, with either an API or SPARQL querying (available through special extensions such as RDFIO and LinkedWiki) yes, with SPARQL Query service yes, with an API yes, with an API (not yet documented)
Result formats[16] ~ 75[17] no native result display; data may be visualized via: ~ 25[18] 6 (table, datatables, json, jsonraw, query, template)
Development GitHub Gerrit Gerrit Gerrit
Complementary extensions 28[19] ~ 51[20], e.g. Semantic Result Formats , Semantic Bundle , Semantic Scribunto ~12[21], e.g. Wikibase Client , WikibaseLexeme , Query Service 2 (Page Forms, Page Schemas). Cargo provides some or all of the functionality of Semantic MediaWiki, Semantic Result Formats, Maps, Semantic Drilldown, Semantic Compound Queries, Semantic Internal Objects and Semantic Scribunto.[22] Extension:ContactManager

Alternative comparisons[edit]


See also[edit]

  • Multi-Content Revisions - Ability to manage different independent content objects on the same wiki page by a technology change to the back-end of MediaWiki.
  • DynamicPageList – Allows to extract data from pages.
  • WikiDB – Provides database features, somewhat similar to semantic properties.
  • JsonConfig – store JSON (including tabular and map data) in wiki pages, and allow accessing them via Lua; no query support
  • External Data - access data from external URL, local file, and SQL or MongoDB database (which may contain data from non-MediaWiki websites)
  • Structured data across Wikimedia – ongoing (as of 2021) project for improving structured data support in MediaWiki
  • Category:Data management extensions