W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-interest@w3.org > August 2006

Re: RDF vs. relational databases

From: Maciej Gawinecki <mg@bydnet.pl>
Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2006 16:29:08 +0200
Message-ID: <44F44F34.8000104@bydnet.pl>
To: Henry Story <henry.story@bblfish.net>
CC: "revi s." <reviswami78@yahoo.com>, www-rdf-interest@w3.org

Also, as usual the question is what for are you going to use it. 
Relational databases will win in performance competition, when you are 
talking about processing flat-structured data with linear order and it 
is often worth of consideration whether use of RDF e.g. for data-minining.

On the opposite site there are RDF graphs where travelling from one node 
to another one is usually more time-consuming but let's you express 
relations with starting node clearly.

There are some solutions where people store RDF graphs in persistent 
database models (by translating RDF graph into relations inside of db 
tables), and there are some encouraging results with performance. See 
topic of persistent models at:


for more,



Henry Story napisaƂ(a):
> This is how I would put it in short:
> "The Semantic Web is to all previous data formats what the internet is 
> to the previous networking protocols. It abstracts, interconnects and 
> overlays them. It can do this because it uses URIs at its core."
> As soon as you want to be able to use data in a network environment, rdf 
> is your friend. On the other hand the older technologies have been 
> around for longer, so they are better understood, and much better tooled.
> Henry
> On 29 Aug 2006, at 03:14, revi s. wrote:
>> I'm a newbie to RDF and have been facing a fundamental question as read
>> more about RDF. RDF positions itself away from plain XML
>> representations of data saying XML suited for representing data with
>> containment hierarchies, and where "order" is important, whereas RDF
>> has a flatter structure, represents only references among different
>> entities. That sounds just like what a relational database is supposed
>> to do, and those are critieria when deciding whether to used an XML DB
>> or a relational DB to store your data.
>> Where does RDF fit in, and how does it compare to relational databases.
>> I keep hearing that databases are not good for "semi-structured" data,
>> but am not yet able to understand how RDF addresses that. Mozilla for
>> example uses RDF for very structured (table of content) data.
>> What would be points of comparison where RDF is better suited to store
>> and query my data?
>> Revi S.
>> Stay in the know. Pulse on the new Yahoo.com. Check it out.
> --No virus found in this incoming message.
> Checked by AVG Free Edition.
> Version: 7.1.405 / Virus Database: 268.11.6/430 - Release Date: 2006-08-28
Received on Tuesday, 29 August 2006 14:29:46 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Wednesday, 7 January 2015 15:07:58 UTC