2. RDFox Features and Requirements

2.1. RDFox Features

RDFox provides the following main functionality:

  • RDFox can import RDF triples, rules, and OWL 2 and SWRL axioms either programmatically or from files of certain formats (see Section 8.2 for details). RDF data can be validated using the SHACL constraint language. Additionally, RDFox can access information from external data sources, such as CSV files, relational databases, or Apache Solr (see Section 7).

  • Triples, rules and axioms can be exported into a number of different formats (see Section 8.3 for details). Furthermore, the contents of the system can be incrementally saved into a binary file, which can later be loaded to restore the system’s state.

  • RDFox can answer SPARQL 1.1 queries (see Section 9) and provides functionality for monitoring query answering and accessing query plans.

  • RDFox supports materialization-based reasoning, where all triples that logically follow from the facts and rules in the system are materialized as new triples (see Section 10) . Materializations can be incrementally updated, which means that reasoning does not need to be performed from scratch once the information in the system is updated. Furthermore, the results of reasoning can be explained, which means that RDFox is able to return proofs for any new fact added to the store through materialization.

  • RDFox supports ACID transactional updates (see Section 11 for further details on transactions).

  • Individual information elements in the system can be assigned different access permissions for different users (see Section 12 for further details on access control).

2.2. Software Archive

RDFox is distributed as an archive containing the following files and directories:

  • RDFox (macOS/Linux) or RDFox.exe (Windows): a stand-alone executable that can be used to run RDFox on the command line.

  • lib: a directory containing the following libraries:

    • JRDFox.jar: the Java API to the RDFox engine.

    • libRDFox.dylib (macOS), libRDFox.so (Linux), or libRDFox.dll (Windows): a dynamic/shared library that implements the C and the Java Native APIs of RDFox.

    • libRDFox.lib (Windows only): the import library needed for linking libRDFox.dll on Windows.

    • libRDFox-static.a (macOS and Linux) or libRDFox-static.lib (Windows): a static library that implements the C API of RDFox.

  • include: a directory containing definitions for an EXPERIMENTAL C API. The definitions include C++ classes that can be used to make it easier to correctly manage the resources exposed by the C API within C++ applications.

  • examples: a directory containing demonstration programs that show how to call RDFox as a library.

    • C: a directory containing a C source file demonstrating how to call RDFox via the experimental C API. The directory also contains scripts compile-shared-and-run.sh and compile-static-and-run.sh on macOS and Linux, and scripts compile-shared-and-run.bat and compile-static-and-run.bat on Windows, which can be used to build and run the demo. On macOS and Linux, the scripts assumes a C-99 compliant version of gcc is available on the path. On Windows, the scripts assume that vcvars64.bat has been executed in the shell prior to execution.

    • C++: a directory containing a C++ source file demonstrating how to call RDFox via the C++ wrapper for the experimental C API. The directory also contains scripts compile-shared-and-run.sh and compile-static-and-run.sh on macOS and Linux, and scripts compile-shared-and-run.bat and compile-static-and-run.bat on Windows, which can be used to build and run the demo. On macOS and Linux, the script assumes a version of g++ supporting C++11 is available on the path. On Windows, the script assumes that vcvars64.bat has been executed in the shell prior to execution.

    • Java: a directory containing source code for a program demonstrating how to call RDFox via the JRDFox API. The examples/Java/build.xml Apache Ant script can be used to compile and run the program.

2.3. Interfaces

Users and developers can interact with RDFox through the following interfaces:

CLI

RDFox comes with a built-in shell that can be used to interact with and control the RDFox Server. The shell can be launched together with an RDFox Server instance using the shell or sandbox modes of the executable. Alternatively the remote executable mode can be used to connect to and use the shell interface of a remote RDFox Server. See Section 15 for details.

RESTful API

When RDFox’s endpoint is running, clients can interact with the associated RDFox server via a RESTful API. For details of the RESTful API, see Section 16. For details of how to configure and start the endpoint, see Section 19.

Java API

RDFox can be embedded into Java applications and called via the Java API described in Section 16 and Section 17. To use JRDFox in your project, simply add JRDFox.jar to your classpath, and make sure that the path to the dynamic library is correctly specified when starting your program using the following JVM option:

-Djava.library.path=<path to the dynamic library>
C API (EXPERIMENTAL)

RDFox can be dynamically loaded and called through a C API.

GUI

As well as serving the REST API, the RDFox endpoint serves the RDFox Console, a browser-based user interface supporting basic querying and visualization of data store content. When the endpoint is running, the Console can be loaded by visiting http[s]:<hostname>:<port>/console/ where <hostname> and <port> are the host name and port number at which the endpoint can be reached.

2.4. System Requirements

2.4.1. Software

2.4.1.1. Operating Systems

RDFox supports the following operating system versions:

Windows

Windows 10 or higher

Mac

macOS 10.14 or higher

Linux
  • Ubuntu 18.04 or higher

  • Amazon Linux 2 or higher

Additionally, RDFox can be run using Docker. See Section 22 for details.

2.4.1.2. Third-party Software

Some RDFox features depend on dynamic-link libraries (DLL) from the list of the third-party software packages below. In each case, the DLL or DLLs are loaded on-demand the first time the dependent functionality is accessed within a session. This means that RDFox can be deployed in these absence of these packages if the dependent functionality is not needed.

OpenSSL

Used to implement SSL/TLS for the RDFox endpoint and when importing https resources. The search paths used to locate the DLLs from this package when the endpoint is starting can be controlled via the openSSL.crypto-lib and openSSL.ssl-lib parameters described in Section 19.

libpq

Used to access PostgreSQL data sources. The search path used to locate libpq when registering one of these data sources can be controlled via the driver parameter described in Section 7.1.2.

iODBC or unixODBC

Used to access external data sources via ODBC. The search path used to locate the DLL that will manage drivers for accessing the ODBC source can be controlled via the driver-manager parameter described in Section 7.1.3.

For a list of other third-party components used within RDFox, see Section 24.

2.4.1.3. License Key

Creating an RDFox Server requires a time-limited license key issued by Oxford Semantic Technologies. At server creation time, RDFox will search the following locations, in the order shown, for the license key:

  • the value of the license-content server parameter, if set

  • [RDFox executable only] the value of the RDFOX_LICENSE_CONTENT environment variable, if set

  • the content of the file specified via the license-file server parameter, if set

  • [RDFox executable only] the content of the file specified via the RDFOX_LICENSE_FILE environment variable, if set

  • [RDFox executable only] the content of the file RDFox.lic in the directory containing the running executable, if the file exists

  • the content of the file at the default value for the license-file server parameter, if the file exists

If a candidate key is found in one location, the remaining locations will not be checked even if the candidate turns out to be invalid or expired. See Section 4.3 for details of how to specify server parameters such as license-content and license-file.

2.4.2. Hardware

RDFox is a main-memory data store and as such its performance is heavily dependent on access to a suitable amount of RAM. Oxford Semantic Technologies recommends that users ensure that RDFox has unpaged access to 60-110 bytes of RAM per triple that their store will contain. This includes both explicitly imported triples and those materialized via reasoning.

When configured for persistence, it is important to ensure that sufficient disk space is available to accommodate the persisted data. To use file-sequence persistence in a replicated setup, the underlying file system must meet the criteria described in Section 13.2.2.1.