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A Brief History of Synaptica Products

By August 27, 2008February 23rd, 2023Products

Welcome to the inauguration of our informational site to teach about and discuss Dow Jones’ vocabulary and metadata management tool, Synaptica. We thought it would be useful to summarise a short history of Synaptica. I have been working with or directly working on the KMS application for nearly the last 10 years and it has been quite the journey considering where Synaptica started and where it is today.


When first conceived by a small taxonomy consulting firm called Synapse, the Knowledge Link Corporation, out of Denver, Colorado founded by Dave Clarke and Trish Yancey, the idea was to build something that would allow the group to create the kinds of complex taxonomies and thesauri that Synapse was being asked to produce. There simply wasn’t a tool out there that was standards based and that would build what their customers required. So, necessity being the mother of invention, Synapse got to work on creating their own tool nearly 14 years ago. Soon, their customers (including the company I worked for) were asking if they could license Synaptica themselves to bring their taxonomy management projects in-house, and Synaptica as a software product was born over 12 years ago. Anyone in this industry knows that is a long time to build up experience and knowledge about this ever evolving field, and we are proud to have longstanding relationships with our customers, industry leaders and standards development bodies.

Fast forward to 2005 and Synapse is acquired by Factiva (which was then a subsidiary of Dow Jones and Reuters and is now wholly owned by Dow Jones) and the journey continues. With the history, size and experience of an organization as large as Dow Jones, taxonomy is a natural and logical extension to the work that was already going on here to tag, categorize and distribute thousands of articles a day via our various news and information products and services. From that internal work emerged a Taxonomy Services group which today provides assessment services, controlled vocabulary evaluation and creation, and of course, Synaptica for vocabulary and metadata management and distribution. As a product in the Dow Jones stable, Synaptica continues to expand and improve with each new release, and with the size and strength of Dow Jones behind it, Synaptica is expanding into new markets and regions every year.

From the product side of things, I intend to use this venue to share with you some of the technical insights that have gotten us to where we are today, and offer explanations around the product we offer. Just as the field of taxonomy and metadata management continues to evolve at a rapid pace, we seek to keep pace with new developments and enhancements in Synaptica. We rely on our users, both internal and external, to keep us inline with what the market demands, and we participate in and explore new and exciting developments throughout the industry to provide the ideas on the next great leap in Synaptica’s ever evolving development.

I hope that you will find these blog posts informative and even entertaining. We will do our best to keep it that way. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or comments at all, and thank you for visiting.


Jim Sweeney
Product Manager, Synaptica®
Dow Jones Client Solutions, Enterprise Media Group