GraphQL for JSON and SHACL/RDF Interoperability

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 - 13:30 to 17:30
Seminarraum 121

Presenter:  Ralph Hodgson, CTO, TopQuadrant, Inc.


GraphQL is an increasingly popular approach of using REST APIs and JSON to querying databases built with different technologies. Using GRAPHQL with RDF/SHACL provides powerful access to RDF data​, combining W3C standards for schema definition, data validation, inferencing and query​, with a JSON-centric ​query language. ​  RDF data is made more easily available to the JSON and browser ecosystems. Data structures, tables and objects from multiple sources can be combined into an enterprise knowledge graph.

SHACL (the Shapes Constraint Language) is a data modeling language standard that has been developed by a W3C Working Group. By describing the “shapes” of the data applications for validation checks, quality control, interoperability, and to generate user input forms.

Either the W3C Standards (RDF Schema, SHACL and OWL) or GraphQL's own schema language can be used to define types and fields with rich semantic rules and constraints. This approach uses GraphQL directives to significantly improve the value of GraphQL schemas for JSON-based data processing. You can define multiple views for the same data, supporting whatever data shape your application prefers.

This tutorial will first give an overview of GraphQL and RDF/SHACL. The next part of the tutorial will describe architecture options for building user interfaces, in particular the use of React with SHACL-generated GraphQL schemas. The tutorial illustrates these capabilities using examples from TopBraid Enterprise Data Governance’s (EDG) support for the GraphQL standard. In particular, demonstration using examples from TopBraid EDG ontology-based solutions.


  1. Explain the benefits of GraphQL for Semantic-based solutions;
  2. Introduce SHACL as both a constraint language and a modelling language;
  3. Provide an overview of an approach to building model-driven React user interfaces;
  4. Conduct class exercises on using SHACL;
  5. Explain how SHACL is used to generate GraphQL schemas;
  6. Describe how GraphQL directives are integrated with SPARQL;
  7. Show examples of how TopBraid EDG uses SHACL-driven user interfaces with GraphQL


  1. Semantic Modeling approaches for rich User Interface
  2. Models are constraint-based specifications
  3. User Interface architectures
  4. GraphQL for RDF/SHACL
  5. SHACL-driven GraphQL interoperability


Ralph Hodgson is a co-founder and CTO at TopQuadrant, Inc., a US-based company that specializes in semantic standards-based enterprise data governance and information management solutions. He combines expertise in semantic technologies and other emerging technologies for intelligent systems with over 25 years of experience in business application development and deployment, consulting, software development and strategic planning.  He is a frequent speaker at conferences on semantic technology and data governance. His last talk was at “The Data Governance & Information Quality (DGIQ)” conference, June 2018 in San Diego, California. His last involvement with the series of conferences was the last conference in 2017.

Registration to this workshop

You need an admission to the SEMANTICS 2018 conference to attend this workshop.
You may choose a full conference pass or a single day workshop ticket at our ticket store.
Please enter your ticket ID and email to register for this workshop.

Please enter the ID in the format XXXX-XXXX-XXXX; e.g. 5364-3318-8955