The upcoming CIMTool version 1.8.1 is interoperable with popular ontology editors. It has been tested with Protege 4 and TopBraid Composer 3.2. (Note that Protege 3.2 is not directly compatible).

Both editors have similar internals to CIMTool. They use the Jena library (to some extent) and are built in Java using the OSGI platform that underlies eclipse. In fact, Top Braid is based on the eclipse workbench and it is possible to install CIMTool in TopBraid and use them simultaneously on the same project.

The main changes to CIMTool were a renovation of the ontology header and a change in the representation of datatypes. All OWL ontologies produced by CIMTool are read correctly by the two editors tested. That includes the main profile files (.owl), the standalone profiles (.simple-owl and friends) and the merged schema (.merged-owl).

Here are some tips for getting started:

Rebuilding Your OWL Documents

When you open an existing project with CIMTool 1.8.1 none of the OWL files are changed unless you cause them to be changed. This is a design decision to prevent unexpected side effects. Before using these files with an ontology editor you need to rebuild them.

CIMTool often uses anonymous classes to represent the type of a property, as restricted in a profile. Such classes in an existing profile are not always recognised properly by the ontology editors (they may be interpreted as individuals). Newly created definitions include more context and are properly recognised.

You may not want to recreate these classes in a large profile just so they appear properly in the ontology editor. Instead, if your profile is intended for CIM/XML (RDF) usage, you can reorganise it. First make a copy. Then, in the profile editor summary tab, click Reorganise and Remap > Reorganise per RDFS rules.


Get Protege from: you need version 4 for use with CIMTool.

Once installed and running you view an ontology by selecting "Open OWL Ontology" and navigating to the folder containing your CIMTool project. You can choose any OWL file (ie .owl,.simple-owl and friends, or .merged-owl).

When you open a .owl file you may want to see the definitions from the CIM together with the profile. (The .owl files are not self-contained, they add definitions to the CIM. )

Protege will then locate the CIM OWL file based on the import definition in the profile.

TopBraid Composer

Get TopBraid from: you may want to try the free edition.

TopBraid uses the familiar Eclipse workbench and its workspaces and projects to organise its files. Once installed and running you can create a project and import OWL files from your CIMTool project.

As with mentioned above, when you view a .owl file you may want the corresponding CIM schema. In TopBraid, it is only necessary for the referenced schema to be present in the project to be found.

Once CIMTool 1.8.1 is released as an eclipse update, it will be possible to install it into TopBraid. To do this, start TopBraid and select Help > Install New Software ... and follow the CIMTool installation instructions from the Download page.