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valid for Ontop Version 1

Table of Contents

Known Issues

In the following we present in a categorized manner the remaining open issues the user has to be aware of:


  • Datatypes: at the moment we support part of the standard datatypes. See Ontop Datatypes.
  • GRAPH is not supported yet.
  • Timezone can give problem due to different time based on the local timezone


  • Semantic Index (classic) mode do not support string operation over URI
  • Quest can only process SPARQL queries that are well-designed graph patterns (Perez, Arenas & Gutierrez 2006).
  • Simple literal is traslated as rdfs:Literal
  • Equality has a mislead comparison since it doesn't compare value space. Example: "1"^^xsd:double and "1.0e0"^^xsd:double should be the same using equality, but Quest treats them as two different values.
  • Custom datatypes in Quest are not supported. Example:
       SELECT ...
       FILTER (?telp = "123-456-789"^^ex:telephonNumber)
  • Equality in the FILTER statement. Datatype mismatch error is generated because Quest recognises database column of type VARCHAR as a literal, and the target constant as a string. Example:
       SELECT ...
       FILTER (?name = "John")
The datatype for variable ?name is xsd:string and the value constant "John" is rdfs:Literal. Both are treated as different datatypes. Instead, you can use REGEX or the function STR:
       SELECT ...
       FILTER (str(?name) = "John")
  • ORDER BY doesn't support functions as parameters, accepts variables only. Example:
    a. SELECT ...
          ORDER BY str(?o)
    b. SELECT ...
          ORDER BY xsd:integer(?o)
    c. SELECT ...
          ORDER BY (?o1 + ?o2)
  • ORDER BY require its variables to be also present in the projection part (SELECT ?var1 ?var2 ...).
  • FILTER(!BOUND): does not work in some cases, when reasoning is involved and there are multiple mappings for the left side of Left Join table. Example:
    ?something a :SomeClass 
    	OPTIONAL { ... conditions ....}
    FILTER (!BOUND(..variable from conditions..))
This will sometimes not work, when SomeClass will have multiple mappings to reason from.
  • Complex nested FILTER-s: there are cases in which it doesn't work. Users should note these cases and report it to us.
  • DISTINCT: presents issues when selecting multiple datatypes (integer, double, decimal) into the same result.
  • Expressions inside BOUND, isIRI, isURI, isBLANK, isLITERAL, STR are not supported.
  • Aggregates: Sggregate functions are not (yet) supported.
  • REGEX is not supported by MsSQL and DB2, while the other databases handle it differently: see Regex SPARQL filter
  • When we query for datatypes we do not support subtype retrieval. For example if we ask for xsd:integer only type defined as xsd:integer will be returned. If we want between the result also the type defined as xsd:positiveInteger, we have to ask for them explicitly in the query.
  • URI with a hierarchical directory path of the form directory/directory/.../name are supported if we use them without prefix or with complete prefix. Example we can query <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_7_Series#section/help> using it as it is or with a complete prefix as:
    PREFIX bmwSection: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_7_Series#section/
    SELECT * WHERE {?x ?y bmwSection:help}
    It is not supported the form:
    PREFIX bmw: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_7_Series#
    SELECT * WHERE {?x ?y bmw:section/help} 
  • With arithmetic expression (multiply, subtract, addition) a literal value is returned and not the specified datatype.
  • No support for cast function (e.g. xsd:string(...), xsd:integer(...) ).
  • REPLACE function is supported with some limitations based on the database used. See Replace SPARQL filter.
  • Functions: REPLACE, CONCAT, REGEX return results even if the variables used are not string literals (not null as expected by SPARQL specifications). CONCAT and REGEX return always a literal. Example:
    CONCAT("123"^^xsd:integer, "456"^^xsd:integer) will return "123456" 
    REPLACE(153, 5, 2) will return "123"
    REGEX("123456", 123, "i") return true
  • Bug with CONCAT and literals with language tags. A simple literal will be returned if the information about the language tag is stored in a column of the database.
  • Union of BIND is not supported.
  • Do not use SELECT Expressions with more variable declarations, use the correspondant version with BIND. Example:
    Instead of:
    SELECT  ?title (?p AS ?fullPrice) (?fullPrice*?discount) AS ?customerPrice)
    { ?x ns:price ?p .
      ?x dc:title ?title . 
      ?x ns:discount ?discount .
    SELECT  ?title  (?fullPrice*?discount) AS ?customerPrice)
      ?x dc:title ?title . 
      ?x ns:discount ?discount .
      BIND (?p AS ?fullPrice)
      ?x ns:price ?fullPrice .
  • Hash functions in oracle are supported only if DBMS_CRYPTO is enabled by the DBA.
  • Hash, timezone and uiid functions are supported based on the database see Supported Sparql Functions for more information.
  • Using Oracle strBefore and strAfter SPARQL functions return null instead of an empty string when no result has been found.
  • IF, COALESCE, EXISTS, NOT EXISTS, IN, NOT IN, sameTerm, ISNUMERIC, IRI, BNODE, STRDT, langMatches , timezone and SHA384 functions are not supported .


  • BNODES are not supported in the mapping language.
  • Date, time and hexBinary are missing from our default mappings from SQL to RDF values.
  • Mappings cannot involve subClassOf (BSBM uses them), that is the database cannot contain the ontology. If it does, `rdf:type` doesn't work appropriately.
  • Two columns with the same name are treated as equal to each other. Example:
    {name} a :Person
    SQL Query:
    Select T1.name from T2, T1
    If both T1 and T2 have a table called name this 2 columns will be treated as equal to each other and one of the 2 will be used. It is possible that T2.name is used instead of T1.name
  • If the source query may lead to the creation of a sub-view (e.g. if it uses a DISTINCT or operators unsupported by our mapping parser), please make sure to use variables of the view in the target, not fully qualified column names of one of the tables used in the view definition.
    Example: Currently unsupported mapping:
    target		:series-{se.id} :hasSeason :series-{se.id}-season-{te.season_nr} .
    source		SELECT DISTINCT se.id, te.season_nr
    			FROM title se, title te
    			WHERE se.kind_id=2 AND se.id = te.episode_of_id AND te.season_nr IS NOT NULL
    Supported variant:
    target		:series-{vid} :hasSeason :series-{vid}-season-{vseason_nr} .
    source		SELECT DISTINCT se.id AS vid, te.season_nr AS vseason_nr
    			FROM title se, title te
    			WHERE se.kind_id=2 AND se.id = te.episode_of_id AND te.season_nr IS NOT NULL

Sesame API and Workbench

  • Because the SPARQL Update language is not supported, it is not possible to Update and Delete RDF data triples.
  • Delete Repository fails for repositories that cannot be created (invalid configuration). One workaround is to create a valid repository with the same name and then to delete it. Another workaround is to delete it from Sesame's console.


  • Implementation of most OWLReasoner methods is missing.
  • Symbol @ When we pass a literal to the OWL API, if it finds an "\@" it will interpret it as a language tag. The OWL API says:
"If the datatype is  rdf:PlainLiteral, and the lexical value contains
a language tag then the language tag will   be parsed out of the lexical value. For example, "abc@en"^^rdf:PlainLiteral would be parsed into a lexical value  of 'abc' and a language tag of 'en'. "

Thus, if one expects such symbols in an object property the best solutions are: 1) cast the object to string in the mapping 2) replace the @ in the query with @.


  • Case sensitivity: correct SQL queries in mappings may fail because Quest registers the name with a different case.
  • Mixed template construction: mapping a concept or related concepts that will be joined should have the same template pattern. Either the full URI is contained in a database column or it is constructed with the help of templates in the mappings. Mixing the two methods is not supported because upon equality, comparison or join, our unfolder recognizes the template, but not the value of columns.
{db_value1_uri} = {db_value2_uri} -> SUPPORTED
http://example.org/{id1} = http://example.org/{id2} -> SUPPORTED
{db_value1} = http://example.org/{id} -> NOT SUPPORTED

Databases and SQL

  • Registered Keywords - when you have a column name that is also a registered DBMS keyword, you should enclose that column name in quotes. Supported common keywords are: cast, do, extract, first, following, last, materialized, nulls, partition, range, row, rows, siblings, value, xml.
  • CASTING is an issue in DB2 and MySQL. Apply normalization when matching column names and table names against JDBC metadata.
  • Double/Real and other precision datatypes behave differently in each database.
  • ORDER BY in SQL Server: It is not possible to use LIMIT or OFFSET without an ORDER BY clause. Exceptions: OBDAException: Error executing SQL query: Incorrect syntax near 'OFFSET'. OBDAException: Error executing SQL query: Invalid usage of the option FIRST in the FETCH statement.
  • ORDER BY in H2: in presence of an Union, the last version of H2 (1.4.), it orders both subqueries independently of each other giving wrong results. See SPARQL-compliance test offset-1
    Unoptimized sql operators will be transformed in view and generate a result.
  • REGEX OPERATOR is not supported by MsSQL and DB2, while the other databases handle it differently
  • ALIAS cannot be repeated see also Case sensitivity for SQL identifiers
  • REPLACE is translated in the databases H2, Postgres and Oracle with regexp_replace.
  • Mysql Server works only with ANSI_QUOTES enabled, using double quotes for identifiers.

R2RML mappings

  • no support for inverseExpression
  • predicate cannot be uritemplate (column reference or template declaration)
  • object cannot be uritemplate (column reference or template declaration) when predicate is rdf:type
  • no support for bnode in Quest
  • no support for sqlversion
  • no support for graphMaps (hence context graphs)
  • duplicate rows from database get processed as duplicate statements
  • bnode naming is arbitrary
  • constant type objects are returned as simple literal. Constant-valued term maps are not considered as having a term type, and specifying rr:termType on these term maps has no effect.
For example we return "2011-01-04T00:00:00.0" instead of "2011-01-04T00:00:00.0"^^xsd:dateTime

The current state of the W3C R2RML compliance tests could be seen here

Ontop Bootstrapper

  • The BNode syntax generated by Ontop bootstrapper cannot be processed by Ontop
  • Foreign keys on multiple columns are not supported


  • Classic RDF mode is suboptimal, the schema needs to be optmized.


(Perez, Arenas & Gutierrez 2006) Semantics and Complexity of SPARQL. The Semantic Web - ISWC 2006, Vol. 4273 (2006), pp. 30-43, by Jorge Pérez, Marcelo Arenas, Claudio Gutierrez edited by Isabel Cruz, Stefan Decker, Dean Allemang, et al.