Cargo vs Semantic MediaWiki vs Wikibase

Updated: Sep 14

Semantic MediaWiki is the most popular software for managing the data and knowledge of your wiki, but there are alternatives.

Cargo, Semantic MediaWiki, and Wikibase

In this article we will discuss and compare the features of Cargo, Semantic MediaWiki (SMW), and Wikibase. WikiTeq has decades of experience in MediaWiki along with Wikibase and has been significantly involved in the development of Cargo and SMW.

Benefits of Cargo

The main reason for creating Cargo was to provide a more straightforward way of managing data and to create an alternative to Semantic MediaWiki. Cargo's purpose is to be simple in terms of use and codebase. It accomplishes this by tying together templates and data storage by storing data in database tables based on those templates. Doing so allows users to query data via SQL snippets instead of a dedicated query language with SMW. Cargo allows users to run SQL queries against structured data stored in their wiki from within their wiki or another application.

Benefits of Semantic MediaWiki

The standard software for managing data in wikis is Semantic MediaWiki. It has by far the largest ecosystem, the most extensive assortment of features, and has been continuously developed since 2005. At WikiTeq, we have extensive knowledge and experience in building and hosting Semantic MediaWiki-based stacks. Whether you are looking for a flat rate or a monthly hosting solution, we are here to help. Have questions or need custom development? Contact us here.

Using Wikibase

Wikimedia DE developed Wikibase for Wikidata with a different use case in mind than Cargo and Semantic MediaWiki. It is not meant for storing and using data within the wiki itself but instead for collaboration and organization of data to be used by third parties. This makes Wikibase a popular choice for various GLAM organizations.

Wikidata is the main priority for Wikibase, and it can be a difficult task to set it up and use it. There are no upgrade instructions or stable releases, and although Wikimedia recently discussed supporting third parties, the extent of the support is yet to be seen. If you think your project is a good fit for Wikibase software, contact a developer like us for a free consultation.

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