Creating Restful APIs over SPARQL endpoints with RAMOSE

Tracking #: 2543-3757

This paper is currently under review
Authors: 
Marilena Daquino
Ivan Heibi
Silvio Peroni
David Shotton2

Responsible editor: 
Armin Haller

Submission type: 
Tool/System Report
Abstract: 
Semantic Web technologies are widely used for storing RDF data and making them available on the Web through SPARQL endpoints, queryable using the SPARQL query language. While the use of SPARQL endpoints is strongly supported by Semantic Web experts, it hinders broader use of these data by common Web users, engineers and develop-ers unfamiliar with Semantic Web technologies, who normally rely on Web RESTful APIs for querying Web-available data and creating applications with them. To solve this problem, we have developed RAMOSE, a generic tool developed in Python to create REST APIs over SPARQL endpoints, through the creation of textual configuration files which enable the querying of SPARQL endpoints via simple Web RESTful API calls that return either JSON or CSV-formatted data, thus hiding all the intrinsic complexities of SPARQL from common Web users. We provide evidence for the use of RAMOSE to provide REST API access to RDF data within OpenCitations triplestores, and we show the benefits of RAMOSE in terms of the number of queries made by external users to such RDF data compared with the direct access via the SPARQL endpoint. Our findings prove the importance for suppliers of RDF data of having an alternative API access service, which enables its use by users with no (or little) experience in Semantic Web technologies and the SPARQL query language. Because RAMOSE is generic and can be used with any SPARQL endpoint, it represents an easy technical solution for service providers who wish to create an API service to access Linked Data stored as RDF in a conventional triplestore.
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Under Review