16.10.3. How Does It Work?

When an RDF aware client requests data from a network accessible resource via the Sponger the following events occur:

  • A requests in made for data in RDF form, and if RDF is returned nothing further happens

  • If RDF isn't returned, then the Sponger passes the data through a Metadata Extraction Pipeline process (using Metadata Extractors)

  • The extracted data is transformed to RDF via a Mapping Pipeline process (RDF is extracted by way of Ontology matching and mapping) that results in RDF Entities (instance data) generation

  • RDF Entities are returned to the client

The imported data forms a local cache and its invalidation rules conform to those of traditional HTTP clients (Web Browsers). Thus, expiration time is determined based on subsequent data fetches of the same resource (note: the first data load will record the 'expires' header) with current time compared to expiration time stored in the local cache. If HTTP 'expires' header data isn't returned by the source data server, then the "Sponger" will derive it's own invalidation time frame by evaluating the 'date' header and 'last-modified' HTTP headers. Irrespective of path taken, local cache invalidation is driven by an assessment of current time relative to recorded expiration time.

To manage the cache expiration, set the MinExpiration parameter in your Virtuoso.ini file.

Read full description of the parameter in the [SPARQL] ini section .

Designed with a pluggable architecture, the Sponger's core functionality is provided by Cartridges. Each cartridge includes Data Extractors which extract data from one or more data sources, and Ontology Mappers which map the extracted data to one or more ontologies/schemas, and route to producing RDF Linked Data.

The Schema Mappers are typically XSLT (e.g. GRDDL and other OpenLink Mapping Schemas) or Virtuoso PL based. The Metadata Extractors may be developed in Virtuoso PL, C/C++, Java, or any other language that can be integrated into the Virtuoso via it's server extensions APIs.

The Sponger also includes a pluggable name resolution mechanism that enables the development of Custom Resolvers for naming schemes (e.g. URNs) associated with protocols beyond HTTP. Examples of custom resolvers include: