File Extension RDF
File extension RDF is most commonly associated with a document written using the Resource Description Framework. RDF files were used in RDF Site Summary (RSS 1.0) feeds to publish updates to web pages, as well as by web browsers such as Mozilla Firefox to store window, toolbar and plug-in settings. Though less common, the RDF file extension is also used to define Report Definitions.
The Resource Description Framework is defined by a set of specifications outlined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), and was designed to be a universal way of representing web-based resources in a structured format using metadata. RDF files are usually in plain text format, and can contain information about a website, such as page updates, keywords, linked resources or site map. However, RDF simply represents a format for modelling data, so although it was developed primarily for web-based resources, it can be used to represent anything. Files containing serialized RDF model data are usually written in either File extension XML or Notation 3, the latter of which has been developed to be more concise to aid readability.
The Report Definition Format is used by several applications, including ActiveReports for Microsoft Visual Studio .NET, which allows a report to be saved and displayed exactly as it was generated without the need to actually run the report again. Though this cuts down on processing overheads by eliminating the need to run a report every time it is required, Report Definition Format files are static, meaning that if data used to generate the report changes, the report itself does not.
RDF files containing data models can be opened in a text editor, whereas those containing application settings data can be opened using Mozilla web browsers such as Firefox. RDF files which are report definitions can be opened using the application they were produced in, such as Oracle Reports or an appropriate Visual Studio .NET application.