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What is WebProtégé?

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

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
  • 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 or install any software. We encourage end-users to use

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:égé-4.0.0-beta-x-Installation


To build WebProtégé from source

  1. Clone the github repository
    git clone
  2. Open a terminal in the directory where you clone the repository to
  3. Use maven to package WebProtégé
    mvn clean package
  4. The WebProtege .war file will be built into the webprotege-server directory

Running from Maven

To run WebProtégé in SuperDev Mode using maven

  1. Start the GWT code server in one terminal window
    mvn gwt:codeserver
  2. In a different terminal window start the tomcat server
    mvn -Denv=dev tomcat7:run
  3. Browse to WebProtégé in a Web browser by navigating to http://localhost:8080

Running from Docker

To run WebProtégé using Docker containers:

  1. Enter this following command in the Terminal to start the docker container in the background

    docker-compose up -d
  2. Create the admin user (follow the questions prompted to provider username, email and password)

    docker exec -it webprotege java -jar /webprotege-cli.jar create-admin-account
  3. Browse to WebProtégé Settings page in a Web browser by navigating to http://localhost:5000/#application/settings

    1. Define the System notification email address and application host URL
    2. Enable User creation, Project creation and Project import

To stop WebProtégé and MongoDB:

docker-compose down

Sharing the volumes used by the WebProtégé app and MongoDB allow to keep persistent data, even when the containers stop. Default shared data storage:

  • WebProtégé will store its data in the source code folder at ./.protegedata/protege where you run docker-compose
  • MongoDB will store its data in the source code folder at ./.protegedata/mongodb where you run docker-compose

Path to the shared volumes can be changed in the docker-compose.yml file.

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