Creating RESTful APIs over SPARQL endpoints using RAMOSE

Tracking #: 2752-3966

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

Responsible editor: 
Armin Haller

Submission type: 
Tool/System Report
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 RDF 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 over 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 source-specific 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 and RDF from common Web users. We pro-vide evidence that the use of RAMOSE to provide REST API access to RDF data within OpenCitations triplestores is beneficial in terms of the number of queries made by external users to such RDF data using the RAMOSE API 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 those with no (or little) experience in Semantic Web tech-nologies and the SPARQL query language. RAMOSE can be used both to query any SPARQL endpoint and to query any other Web API, and thus it represents an easy generic 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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