Using SPARQL UPDATE LOAD to import data into Neptune - Amazon Neptune
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Using SPARQL UPDATE LOAD to import data into Neptune

The syntax of the SPARQL UPDATE LOAD command is specified in the SPARQL 1.1 Update recommendation:

LOAD SILENT (URL of data to be loaded) INTO GRAPH (named graph into which to load the data)
  • SILENT   –   (Optional) Causes the operation to return success even if there was an error during processing.

    This can be useful when a single transaction contains multiple statements like "LOAD ...; LOAD ...; UNLOAD ...; LOAD ...;" and you want the transaction to complete even if some of the remote data could not be processed.

  • URL of data to be loaded   –   (Required) Specifies a remote data file containing data to be loaded into a graph.

    The remote file must have one of the following extensions:

    • .nt for NTriples.

    • .nq for NQuads.

    • .trig for Trig.

    • .rdf for RDF/XML.

    • .ttl for Turtle.

    • .n3 for N3.

    • .jsonld for JSON-LD.

  • INTO GRAPH(named graph into which to load the data)   –   (Optional) Specifies the graph into which the data should be loaded.

    Neptune associates every triple with a named graph. You can specify the default named graph using the fallback named-graph URI,, like this:


When you need to load a lot of data, we recommend that you use the Neptune bulk loader rather than UPDATE LOAD. For more information about the bulk loader, see Using the Amazon Neptune Bulk Loader to Ingest Data.

You can use SPARQL UPDATE LOAD to load data directly from Amazon S3, or from files obtained from a self-hosted web server. The resources to be loaded must reside in the same region as the Neptune server, and the endpoint for the resources must be allowed in the VPC. For information about creating an Amazon S3 endpoint, see Creating an Amazon S3 VPC Endpoint.

All SPARQL UPDATE LOAD URIs must start with https://. This includes Amazon S3 URLs.

In contrast to the Neptune bulk loader, a call to SPARQL UPDATE LOAD is fully transactional.

Loading files directly from Amazon S3 into Neptune using SPARQL UPDATE LOAD

Because Neptune does not allow you to pass an IAM role to Amazon S3 when using SPARQL UPDATE LOAD, either the Amazon S3 bucket in question must be public or you must use a pre-signed Amazon S3 URL in the LOAD query.

To generate a pre-signed URL for an Amazon S3 file, you can use an Amazon CLI command like this:

aws s3 presign --expires-in (number of seconds) s3://(bucket name)/(path to file of data to load)

Then you can use the resulting pre-signed URL in your LOAD command:

curl https://(a Neptune endpoint URL):8182/sparql \ --data-urlencode 'update=load (pre-signed URL of the remote Amazon S3 file of data to be loaded) \ into graph (named graph)'

For more information, see Authenticating Requests: Using Query Parameters. The Boto3 documentation shows how to use a Python script to generate a presigned URL.

Also, the content type of the files to be loaded must be set correctly.

  1. Set the content type of files when you upload them into Amazon S3 by using the -metadata parameter, like this:

    aws s3 cp test.nt s3://bucket-name/my-plain-text-input/test.nt --metadata Content-Type=text/plain aws s3 cp test.rdf s3://bucket-name/my-rdf-input/test.rdf --metadata Content-Type=application/rdf+xml
  2. Confirm that the media-type information is actually present. Run:

    curl -v bucket-name/folder-name

    The output of this command should show the media-type information that you set when uploading the files.

  3. Then you can use the SPARQL UPDATE LOAD command to import these files into Neptune:

    curl https://your-neptune-endpoint:port/sparql \ -d "update=LOAD <>"

The steps above work only for a public Amazon S3 bucket, or for a bucket that you access using a pre-signed Amazon S3 URL in the LOAD query.

You can also set up a web proxy server to load from a private Amazon S3 bucket, as shown below:

Using a web server to load files into Neptune with SPARQL UPDATE LOAD

  1. Install a web server on a machine running within the VPC that is hosting Neptune and the files to be loaded. For example, using Amazon Linux, you might install Apache as follows:

    sudo yum install httpd mod_ssl sudo /usr/sbin/apachectl start
  2. Define the MIME type(s) of the RDF file-content that you are going to load. SPARQL uses the Content-type header sent by the web server to determine the input format of the content, so you must define the relevant MIME types for the web Server.

    For example, suppose you use the following file extensions to identify file formats:

    • .nt for NTriples.

    • .nq for NQuads.

    • .trig for Trig.

    • .rdf for RDF/XML.

    • .ttl for Turtle.

    • .n3 for N3.

    • .jsonld for JSON-LD.

    If you are using Apache 2 as the web server, you would edit the file /etc/mime.types and add the following types:

    text/plain nt application/n-quads nq application/trig trig application/rdf+xml rdf application/x-turtle ttl text/rdf+n3 n3 application/ld+json jsonld
  3. Confirm that the MIME-type mapping works. Once you have your web server up and running and hosting RDF files in the format(s) of your choice, you can test the configuration by sending a request to the web server from your local host.

    For instance, you might send a request such as this:

    curl -v http://localhost:80/test.rdf

    Then, in the detailed output from curl, you should see a line such as:

    Content-Type: application/rdf+xml

    This shows that the content-type mapping was defined successfully.

  4. You are now ready to load data using the SPARQL UDPATE command:

    curl https://your-neptune-endpoint:port/sparql \ -d "update=LOAD <http://web_server_private_ip:80/test.rdf>"

Using SPARQL UPDATE LOAD can trigger a timeout on the web server when the source file being loaded is large. Neptune processes the file data as it is streamed in, and for a big file that can take longer than the timeout configured on the server. This in turn may cause the server to close the connection, which can result in the following error message when Neptune encounters an unexpected EOF in the stream:

{ "detailedMessage":"Invalid syntax in the specified file", "code":"InvalidParameterException" }

If you receive this message and don't believe your source file contains invalid syntax, try increasing the timeout settings on the web server. You can also diagnose the problem by enabling debug logs on the server and looking for timeouts.