Using ODS-Briefcase to mediate access to data stored on Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3)


Amazon S3 provides a simple web services interface that can be used to store and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web. It gives any developer access to the same highly scalable, reliable, secure, fast, inexpensive infrastructure that Amazon uses to run its own global network of web sites. The service aims to maximize benefits of scale and to pass those benefits on to developers.

S3 file storage offers users a number of features:

ODS Briefcase offers a new "Amazon S3" folder type which provides several additional features, once the ODS system is configured with a registered Amazon API key and secret pair:


Here is a sample scenario showing the whole process, from getting the Amazon S3 Access Key ID and Secret Key, to retrieving all S3 content to ODS-Briefcase.



1 - Get an Amazon S3 Access Key ID and Secret Key for use with ODS-Briefcase

  1. Browse to the AWS "Security Credentials" page, and log in with your existing AWS user credentials:

  2. Click Access Credentials:

  3. Click Create a new Access Key to get a new Key & Secret pair for use with ODS-Briefcase:

  4. Click Yes when prompted:

  5. Your new Access Key ID will now be displayed. Click Show to see the corresponding Secret Access Key.

  6. You will need both of these for the steps that follow.

2 - Access files stored on Amazon S3 through ODS-Briefcase

  1. Browse to your Virtuoso + ODS instance, http://<cname>[:<port>]/ods, e.g., <>.

  2. Log in as a Virtuoso+ODS user with normal privileges, e.g., demo.

  3. Click to the ODS-Briefcase application:

  4. Click New Folder from the main Briefcase control strip:

  5. In the New Folder form, specify a Folder Name, e.g., MyAmazonS3Folder, and set the Folder type to Amazon S3:

  6. Click to the newly visible S3 Properties tab:

  7. Set Bucket Name to a specific S3 Bucket Name to restrict ODS-Briefcase access to only this Bucket, or you can leave it empty to give ODS-Briefcase access to all your Buckets. Also enter the Access Key ID and Secret Key values you obtained earlier:

  8. All RDF data extracted from and otherwise collected about your S3 files will be saved to a named graph, where the default name is constructed from the host ODS instance, the ODS username, and the Briefcase folder name -- http://<host>[:<port>]/DAV/home/<user-name>/<folder-name>#this -- so, in this example, the default graph would be named <>. Expert users may wish to change this graph name, but the default is suitable for most users.

  9. You can also turn on the Virtuoso Sponger, to process your S3 files more comprehensively. When the Sponger is enabled for your folder, you can specify which "Sponger Extractor Cartridges" and "Sponger Meta Cartridges" will be run over the files in S3. You can enable all cartridges, but this will introduce some processing overhead. It's generally best to enable only those cartridges which will be applicable to your files and their content. For instance, you may know that you'll only be storing Microsoft and Open Office documents here. Click Create to finish the folder creation process.

  10. Your new S3-linked folder should now be displayed in your Briefcase resources list:

  11. Click the folder name to see the resources ODS-Briefcase has found in your Amazon S3 Dataspace:


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