RDF graphs to sparql update requests


I’ve recently encountered a need transform named graphs expressed in RDF, into sparql update requests… with the ultimate goal of autonomously pushing named graphs into rdf stores via a sparql endpoint.

The Jena APIs provide excellent support for describing and transforming RDF graphs, though it doesn’t support named graphs, or sparql requests out of the box. So for this, I needed to combine the expressivity of the NG4J APIs and the Fuseki APIs.

Below, is compilable code that:

  • Uses Jena models and NG4J named graphs
  • Transforms a named graph into a sparql update request
  • Runs the sparql update request against a fuseki sparql endpoint, running locally

API versions used: Jena 2.6.4, ng4j 0.9.3, fuseki 0.2.0

 * Author: Rob Stewart
import com.hp.hpl.jena.graph.Node;
import com.hp.hpl.jena.rdf.model.Model;
import com.hp.hpl.jena.rdf.model.ModelFactory;
import com.hp.hpl.jena.rdf.model.Property;
import com.hp.hpl.jena.rdf.model.Resource;
import com.hp.hpl.jena.rdf.model.Statement;
import com.hp.hpl.jena.sparql.modify.request.QuadDataAcc;
import com.hp.hpl.jena.sparql.modify.request.UpdateDataInsert;
import com.hp.hpl.jena.update.Update;
import com.hp.hpl.jena.update.UpdateRequest;
import de.fuberlin.wiwiss.ng4j.NamedGraph;
import de.fuberlin.wiwiss.ng4j.NamedGraphSet;
import de.fuberlin.wiwiss.ng4j.Quad;
import de.fuberlin.wiwiss.ng4j.impl.NamedGraphSetImpl;
import java.util.Iterator;
import org.openjena.fuseki.http.UpdateRemote;

public class RdfToSparqlUpdate {

 public RdfToSparqlUpdate() {

   * First, create the Jena model,
   * for user "PeterSmith"
  Model model = ModelFactory.createDefaultModel();
  String foafNS = "http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/";
  model.setNsPrefix("foaf", foafNS);
  Resource user = 
  Property givenNameProp = model.createProperty(foafNS, "givenName");
  Property familyNameProp = model.createProperty(foafNS, "familyName");

   * Next, create the NamedGraph using
   * ng4j classes, into the named graph
   * "http://example.com/people/PeterSmith"
  NamedGraphSet graphset = new NamedGraphSetImpl();
  NamedGraph graph = 

  // Add the triples about Peter Smith
  // into the named graph
  Statement s;
  s = model.createStatement(user, givenNameProp, "Peter");
  s = model.createStatement(user, familyNameProp, "Smith");

   * Let's prepare the named graph
   * to become a sparql update request
  QuadDataAcc data = new QuadDataAcc();
  Iterator iter = 
      graphset.findQuads(Node.ANY, Node.ANY, Node.ANY, Node.ANY);
  com.hp.hpl.jena.sparql.core.Quad quad = null;
  Quad next = null;
  while (iter.hasNext()) {
    next = iter.next();
    quad =
     new com.hp.hpl.jena.sparql.core.Quad(next.getGraphName(), next.getTriple());

  // Create an Update, with the quads extracted
  // from the named graph
  Update updateData = new UpdateDataInsert(data);

  // Create the sparql update request,
  // and add prefixes
  UpdateRequest req = new UpdateRequest();
  req.setPrefix("foaf", foafNS);

  // Finally, execute the sparql update
  // against the sparql endpoint
  new UpdateRemote().execute(req, "http://localhost:3030/dataset/update");

 public static void main(String[] args){
    new RdfToSparqlUpdate();


  1. EDW Said,

    Sterling stuff, muchos gracias.

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