Zotero as back-end for website?

I'm a new user of Zotero, really just trying to understand it for a development project. I'm working with an academic who uses Zotero to manage a large bibliography. He wants to use these data as a basis for a website that will have various additional elements that are not derived from Zotero; I'm trying to figure out the best way to accomplish this.

He wants to continue using Zotero for organizational purposes, but we would need a separate front end to host this on the web. We also need to ensure that his Zotero database can be synced properly to whatever is handling the web aspect. (The current assumption is that the web part of it would be read-only; any changes would be done in Zotero. It shouldn't matter but we're looking at a Perl/Postgres stack.)

What are the general ways in which we would get this done? The RDF data that Zotero exports seems exceptionally complex, and the SQL likewise, and I don't want to spend weeks writing an RDF parser to extract the relatively simple data that we need for our purposes. But I also assume that doing this kind of thing is a not-infrequent need for Zotero users (yet I haven't seen much discussion of it in the documentation).

Thank you for any tips.
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