Using SPARQL for Good: Querying LDAP with SquirrelRDF

Posted in development, semantic web, technology at 12:34 am by wingerz


A few months ago I was working with Cathleen Finn (in IBM Corporate Community Relations), and she mentioned the pains she had to go through to get lists of employees working in New England states (for the purpose of sending recruitment emails). The process involves making a request to someone in another group and waiting for them to come back with a spreadsheet. Of course this is a process that has to be done every time and can take several days. It’s especially frustrating because we have all of the data (in a LDAP directory) but there isn’t any good way to get at it to solve this problem.

Lee, Elias, and I had mucked around with SquirrelRDF a while back, running it from the command line. Since I didn’t have access to that machine, I looked up our LDAP schema, wrote a mapping file, and wrote a SPARQL query to pull email addresses for everyone working at an office location in Massachusetts. It took a while to run the query, but in the end I got exactly the data I was looking for, no more and no less.

I played around with SquirrelRDF a bit more intending to set it up as a service to be used in some of our internal Semantic Web demos. I wrote up some of what I did in a recently published developerWorks article.

1 Comment »

  1. Lui said,

    July 16, 2007 at 12:25 pm


    I just read you developerWorks article and I tried to use SquirrelRDF.
    At the moment, I’m facing several issues :
    – How can I use SquirrelRDF to query both my LDAP and an other RDF source?
    If I try to add a from statement to specify my second RDF source, I don’t think my query will be sent to the LDAP server? Any ideas?
    – do you know why this kind of query :
    PREFIX foaf:
    SELECT ?person ?cp
    WHERE {
    ?person foaf:based_near ?cp.

    is not supported?


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