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What is WebProtégé?

WebProtégé is a free, open source collaborative ontology development environment for the Web.

It provides the following features:

  • Support for editing OWL 2 ontologies
  • A default simple editing interface, which provides access to commonly used OWL constructs
  • Full change tracking and revision history
  • Collaboration tools such as, sharing and permissions, threaded notes and discussions, watches and email notifications
  • Customizable user interface
  • Customizable Web forms for application/domain specific editing
  • Support for editing OBO ontologies
  • Multiple file formats for upload and download of ontologies (supported formats: RDF/XML, Turtle, OWL/XML, OBO, and others)

WebProtégé runs as a Web application. End users access it through their Web browsers. They do not need to download nor install any software. We encourage end users to use our hosted solution at:

This README file

This README file describes how to build and run WebProtege. This file is intended for developers or administrators who want to use WebProtege locally.

If you have downloaded the webprotege war file from GitHub, and would like to deploy it on your own server, please follow the instructions at:

If you would like to build WebProtege yourself, or if you are developing a plugin for WebProtege, please read the information below.


  1. mongoDB URL:

You also need Java (1.6 or later), Maven, and a servlet container, such as tomcat.

Building WebProtege for Use on Local Host

Open a terminal in the webprotege directory and type

mvn package

WebProtege will be built as a .war file in the target directory. By default, the WebProtege data directory (where WebProtege stores project data etc.) is /data/webprotege. If you want to change this location you can specify a different location at build time using<YOURPATH>. For example,

mvn package

or on Windows

mvn\mypath\mydirectory package is a configuration property. You may want to change some of the other WebProtege configuration properties. You can do this when building by specifying the relevant property as a command line argument as above.

For a detailed list of supported properties please see


DevMode can be started with:

mvn gwt:run

Note that, if you need to override any default property values then you must specify these as arguments (otherwise default values will be used). For example,

mvn gwt:run

WebProtege can also be deployed into into tomcat by copying the .war file to the webapps folder in your tomcat installation.

Note: you need mongodb to run WebProtege. Please make sure mongodb is running. Find more information at:

Building WebProtege for Deployment on your Servers

The above steps build WebProtege for local testing on your machine (localhost). For deployment to another machine for production use you should active the deployment profile. To do this include -Pdeployment as an argument. You MUST also include a value for the property, which is the domain name where you will deploy WebProtege. If you do not include this property value the build will fail with an error message. For example,

mvn -Pdeployment package


WebProtege can be configured and customized in different ways, e.g. UI layout, email, etc. Please find more information here:


More documentation at:


The webprotege code base



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