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Getting Started with Semantics

Stephen Buxton, Eric Bloch and Dave Cassel
Last updated November 9, 2017

MarkLogic Semantic Technologies and APIs include

  • A SPARQL query language interpreter
  • Tools and APIs for directly loading semantic data encoded in a variety of RDF triple formats
  • A set of REST endpoints for interacting and querying stored RDF triples
  • Tight integration of this with MarkLogic's document store, indexes, and search and analytics APIs

This tutorial contains a series of exercises to introduce these features, with a number of challenges for you to work through. We assume you

  • Have installed MarkLogic and the mlcp tool.
  • Are generally familiar with MarkLogic architectural concepts and terms.
  • Maintain some fluency in XQuery or JavaScript and can use Query Console.

The first exercise is a simple Hello World-style introduction. The second has you go through the necessary steps to load the data needed by the subsequent exercises, which include some basic use of SPARQL, use of related XQuery and/or JavaScript APIs and the underlying triple index.

For your convenience in working through the exercises, we've provided a download-able semantics-exercises.zip (~5 MB) file that includes

  • The necessary datasets and utility scripts for loading the data, along with
  • A set of Query Console workspaces that contain the queries used by each exercise

NOTE: This is not a SPARQL language tutorial or an introduction to the Semantic Web.

There are a good number of online resources for learning SPARQL, including:

As well, we recommend the following books:

And, of course, there is the W3C SPARQL spec and their published Glossary of Linked Data terms.

Again, we assume you can learn SPARQL syntax elsewhere.

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