SDB Database Notes

The Apache Jena SDB module has been retired and is no longer supported.
The last release of Jena with this module was Apache Jena 3.17.0.


Database creation

The database should be created with code set UTF-8 so unicode is enabled (SDB creates tables CCSID UNICODE for full internationalization support).


Loading Restriction

Only one load operation can be active at any one time. Limitations on temporary tables in Derby mean the loader tables are not temporary and hence are shared by all connections.


The collation sequence for the database must be one that is binary (BIN in the name). It does not matter which one is used. Without BIN, string matching is case insensitive but RDF requires case sensitive literals and IRIs. The normal layout is not affected by this because it does not use string comparisons.


National Characters

SDB formats all table columns used for storing text in the MySQL schema to UTF-8. However, this does not cause the data to be transmitted in UTF-8 over the JDBC connection.

The best way is to run the server with a default character set of UTF-8. This is set in the MySQL server configuration file:


A less reliable way is to pass parameters to the JDBC driver in the JDBC URL. The application will need to explicitly set the JDBC URL in the store configuration file.


Connection timeouts

If you get the connection timing out after (by default) 8 hours of no activity, try setting autoReconnect=true in the JDBC URL.


  1. For InndoDB, the critical parameter is innodb_buffer_pool_size. See the MySQL sample configuration files for details.
  2. Using ANALYZE TABLE on the database tables can improve the choices made by the MySQL optimizer.

Connection Timeout

MySQL closes the JDBC connection after a period of no use (8 hours by default).

While deprecated my MySQL, ?autoReconnect=true may help here.

Other ways of addressing the problem are to make a simple query call on a regular basis just to keep the connection alive (e.g. SELECT * { <http://example/junk> <http://example/junk> <http://example/junk> }).

Some connection pool systems automatic compensate for this feature of MySQL.


Databases must use UTF-8 encoding

Create SDB stores with encoding UTF-8.

International character sets can cause corrupted databases otherwise. The database will not pass the SDB test suite.

Set this when creating the database with pgAdmin or if you use the command line, for example:

 WITH OWNER = "user"
      ENCODING = 'UTF8'
      TABLESPACE = pg_default;

Improving loading rates

The index layout (“layout2/index”) usually loads faster than the hash form.

Existing store

When loading into an existing store, where there is existing data and ANALYZE has been run, the process is:

  • Drop indexes

    sdbconfig –drop

  • Load data

    sdbload file

  • Redo the indexes

    sdbconfig –index

Fresh store

PostgreSQL needs statistics to improve load performance through the use of ANALYSE.

When loading the first time, there are no statistics so, for a large load, it is advisable to load a sample, run ANALYSE and then load the whole data.

  • Create the database without indexes (just the primary keys).

    sdbconfig –format

  • Load a sample of the triples (say, a 100K or a million triples

    • until

the load rate starts to drop appreciably). The sample must be representative of the data.

 sdbload --time sample
  • Run ANALYZE on the database.

  • If your sample is one part of a large set of files, this set is not necessary at all. If you are loading one single large file then you might wish to empty the database. This is only needed if the data has bNodes in

it because the load process suppresses duplicates.

 sdbconfig --truncate
  • Now load the data or rest of the data.

    sdbload –time file

  • Add the indexes. This only takes a few minutes even on a very large store but calculating them during loading (that is, --create, not --format) is noticeably slower.

    sdbconfig –index

  • Run ANALYZE on the database again.


It is essential to run the PostgreSQL ANALYZE command on a database, either during or after building. This is done via the command line psql or via pgAdmin. The PostgreSQL documentation describes ways to run this as a background daemon.

Various of the PostgreSQL configuration parameters will affect performance, particularly effective_cache_size. The parameter enable_seqscan may help avoid some unexpected slow queries.