SDB Loading data

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.

There are three ways to load data into SDB:

  1. Use the command utility sdbload
  2. Use one of the Jena operations
  3. Use the Jena model.add

The last one of these requires the application to signal the beginning and end of batches.

Loading with

A Jena Model obtained from SDB via:


will automatically bulk load data for each call of one of the operations.

Loading with Model.add

The Model.add operations, in any form or combination of forms, whether loading a single statement, list of statements, or another model, will invoke the bulk loader if previously notified before an add operation.

You can also explicitly delimit bulk operations:

 ... do add/remove operations ...

Failing to notify the end of the operations will result in data loss.

A try/finally block can ensure that the finish is notified.

 model.notifyEvent(GraphEvents.startRead) ;
 try {
    ... do add/remove operations ...
 } finally {
   model.notifyEvent(GraphEvents.finishRead) ;

The operations do this automatically.

The bulk loader will automatically chunk large sequences of additions to sizes appropriate to the underlying database. The bulk loader is threaded with double-buffered; loading to the database happens in parallel to the application thread and any RDF parsing.

How the loader works

Loading consists of two phases: in the java VM, and on the database itself. The SDB loader takes incoming triples and breaks them down into components ready for the database. These prepared triples are added to a queue for the database phase, which (by default) takes place on a separate thread. When the number of triples reaches a limit (default 20,000), or finish update is signalled, the triples are passed to the database.

You can configure whether to use threading and the ‘chunk size’ – the number of triples per load event – via StoreLoader.

Store store; // SDB Store
store.getLoader().setChunkSize(5000); //
store.getLoader().setUseThreading(false); // Don't thread

You should set these before the loader has been used.

Each loader sets up two temporary tables (NNode and NTrip) that mirror Nodes and Triples tables. These tables are virtually identical, except that a) they are not indexed and b) for the index variant there is no index column for nodes.

When loading prepared triples – triples that have been broken down ready for the database – are passed to the loader core (normally running on a different thread). When the chunk size is reached, or we are out of triples, the following happens:

  • Prepared nodes are added in one go to NNode. Duplicate nodes within a chunk are suppressed on the java side (this is worth doing since they are quite common, e.g. properties).
  • Prepared triples are added in one go to NTrip.
  • New nodes are added to the node table (duplicate suppression is explained below).
  • New triples are added to the triple table (once again suppressing dupes). For the index case this involves joining on the node table to do a hash to index lookup.
  • We commit.
  • If anything goes wrong the transaction (the chunk) is rolled back, and an exception is thrown (or readied for throwing on the calling thread).

Thus there are five calls to the database for every chunk. The database handles almost all of the work uninterrupted (duplicate suppression, hash to index lookup), which makes loading reasonably quick.

Duplicate Suppression

MySQL has a very useful INSERT IGNORE, which will keep going, skipping an offending row if a uniqueness constraint is violated. For other databases we need something else.

Having tried a number of options the best seems to be to INSERT new items by LEFT JOIN new items to existing items, then filtering WHERE (existing item feature) IS NULL. Specifically, for the triple hash case (where no id lookups are needed):

SELECT DISTINCT NTrip.s, NTrip.p, NTrip.o -- DISTINCT because new triples may contain duplicates (not so for nodes)
NTrip LEFT JOIN Triples ON (NTrip.s=Triples.s AND NTrip.p=Triples.p AND NTrip.o=Triples.o)
WHERE Triples.s IS NULL OR Triples.p IS NULL OR Triples.o IS NULL