Sign in or register
for additional privileges

Scalar 1 User’s Guide

You appear to be using an older verion of Internet Explorer. For the best experience please upgrade your IE version or switch to a another web browser.

RDF Syntax

All API results are returned in RDF, serialized as either RDF-XML or RDF-JSON. The serialization can be managed by the ?format=[xml|json] GET variable (xml is the default). RDF can be intimidating when first encountered. However, it can be summed up by stating that it is content presented in a flatted or non-hierarchical way. For example, each Scalar node — page, media, annotation, etc. — is a node in the RDF output. Additionally, each relationship is also a node, linking two other nodes together. The relationship nodes are at the same hierarchical level as the content nodes, thus presenting RDF’s flattened hierarchy.

Content Nodes

As a practical example, consider the home page of this User's Guide represented in RDF-XML:

In the above example, you can see that a piece of Scalar content is broken into two RDF nodes: first, the content wrapper, and then its version. In this case, the version number 23 of the piece of content is output.

Relationship Nodes

Now consider a second piece of content with the URL, To create a relationship between the two pieces of content, a third node can be provided in RDF (using the ?rec=1 GET variable):

In this relationship node, a body is described as the home page (/index), and the target as the getting started page (/getting-started). This node is describing a relationship where “getting started” is index 1 of the home page. Put another way, the home page is a path containing other pages where “getting started” is the first page in the path. All RDF follows these three node types: content, version, and relationship nodes. 


RDF-XML can be difficult to traverse, therefore the Scalar API also offers the same data in the RDF-JSON format. For example, here is the same content described above in JSON format (using the ?format=json GET variable):

In RDF-JSON, data is provided as an object. The only difference between an RDF-JSON object and a typical JSON object is that rather than index numbers to denote each node as in JSON (e.g., 0, 1, 2, …), in RDF-JSON the URL of each node acts as its key (e.g.,

Comment on this page

Discussion of "RDF Syntax"

Add your voice to this discussion.

Checking your signed in status ...

Previous page on path Working with the API, page 2 of 6 Next page on path