Scalable Open Source Big Data database processes queries in milliseconds; used in autonomous drones, federated situation-aware access control systems, and petabyte-scale graphs modeling, among many other applications.

Wakefield, MA —24 September 2019— The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), the all-volunteer developers, stewards, and incubators of more than 350 Open Source projects and initiatives, announced today Apache® Rya® as a Top-Level Project (TLP).

Apache Rya (pronounced "ree-uh") is a Cloud-based Big Data triple store (subject-predicate-object) database used to process queries in milliseconds. The project was originally developed at the Laboratory for Telecommunication Sciences, and was submitted to the Apache Incubator in September 2015.
"We are very excited to reach this important milestone showing the maturity of the project and of the community around it," said Dr. Adina Crainiceanu, Vice President of Apache Rya and Associate Professor of Computer Science at the U.S. Naval Academy. "RDF (Resource Description Framework) triple data format is simple and flexible, making it easy to express diverse datasets such as connections between users on social media, financial data and transactions, medical data, and many others. Rya provides a scalable solution to store and query such data. The publication of the first research article about Rya garnered interest from industry, academia, and several government agencies. Bringing the project to ASF allowed collaboration and increased pace of development."
With its ability to store billions of linked information sets and return answers to most computer-based questions in under a second, Rya's scalable RDF data management system is built on top of Apache Accumulo® to support SPARQL queries for RDF data. A MongoDB back-end is also implemented. Rya uses novel storage methods, indexing schemes, and query processing techniques that scale to billions of triples across multiple nodes. 
Rya is in use at organizations such as Enlighten IT Consulting, Modus Operandi, Parsons Corporation, Semantic Arts, Semantic Web Company, Sierra Nevada Corporation, and U.S. Department of Defense agencies. Apache Rya is recognized as one of the most advanced database projects in the United States Department of the Navy, powering a new generation of drones, advanced tactical communications through manned-unmanned teaming, and supporting autonomous swarms of smaller robots, among numerous other applications. In addition, Apache Rya is being used for artificial intelligence projects involving semi-autonomous content production operations.
"I would like to thank our mentors for their guidance and recognize the Apache Rya founders for making their project available for all to use and further extend," said Jennifer Brown, Project Manager for Semantic Technologies at Parsons Corporation, and member of the Apache Rya Project Management Committee. "In 2012 the founders introduced an RDF store backed by Apache Accumulo that was capable of basic inferencing, scaling to billions of triples, and providing millisecond query times. Our Semantic Technologies team at Parsons Corporation has enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate with the Apache Rya community to contribute new indexing strategies, query planner optimizations, additional inference capabilities, alerting extensions, native support for popular graph processing frameworks, and more."
"It's great to see Apache Rya has matured into a Top-Level Project. Rya is a very innovative and Open Source RDF data management system based on Big Data technology," said Dr. Zhiyuan Chen, Associate Professor, Information Systems Department, University of Maryland Baltimore County. "We have used Apache Rya in a variety of research projects ranging from more efficient query processing techniques over geographically distributed RDF data to situation-aware access control in federated systems. We found Rya very easy to use, easy to extend, and extremely efficient."
"Apache Rya has the potential to become one of the most scalable RDF data management systems on the market," said Andreas Blumauer, Founder and CEO, Semantic Web Company GmbH and Director, PoolParty Software Ltd. 
"Our technology helps organizations discover the rare and hidden patterns with applied semantics enhancements and AI/ML analytics, to develop Living Intelligence in a data domain," said Kim Ziehlke, Principal Software Engineer at Modus Operandi. "Patterns are used to predict potential opportunities and threats and as a result, our clients can take preventative action, or take leading-edge advantage in complex decisions. Modus Operandi has achieved 2+ BILLION triples, sub-second queries, thousands of unstructured docs processed per second all backed by the Apache Rya triple store."
"Apache Rya is a foundational piece of technology on our projects," said Roshan Punnose, Technical Director at Enlighten IT Consulting and member of the Apache Rya Project Management Committee. "We use Rya to model graphs and entities at petabyte scale. It is the only technology that we have found to scale this type of information with field level visibilities, which allow data protections required on our projects. We have worked with Rya for 7 years and have benefitted from the work the Apache Rya team has done to help increase performance. We would like to thank all the contributors for their diligence and hard work in making Rya a first class citizen of the Apache community."
"Apache Rya is a very exciting project at The Apache Software Foundation that combines the world of 'Semantic Data' with that of 'Big Data'," said Christopher Tubbs, ASF Member and Project Management Committee (PMC) member of Apache Accumulo and Apache Fluo. "Implementing anything at scale can pose a challenge, but making semantic data searchable using familiar standards, such as SPARQL, and optimizing it at scale is really quite an amazing feat. Yet, that's precisely what the Rya community has done. Building on highly scalable platforms such as Apache Accumulo, the Rya community has produced an impressive platform for storing and querying very large semantic data sets. Apache Rya is something that every data scientist should get to know, because it's pretty cool."
"Apache Rya is an amazing project that enables users to execute SPARQL against large RDF data sets," said Keith Turner, Principal Software Engineer at Peterson Technologies, Vice President of Apache Fluo, member of the Apache Accumulo Project Management Committee, and ASF Member. "I had the pleasure to work with the Rya community when they asked for advice on using Apache Fluo for pre-computed joins. During our discussions, I found the folks working on Rya didn't need much assistance because they already had a thorough understanding of the complex issues surrounding distributed consistency. When considering using a piece of software that solves a hard problem for you, it’s comforting to know great minds stand behind it. With great software and wonderful community, what are you waiting for? Give Rya a try. Also, as an extra bonus Rya is an Apache community and all are welcome to participate in shaping the future of Rya."
"We are grateful for the mentorship provided by the Apache Incubator in building a diverse and open community and learning the Apache Way," added Crainiceanu. "We are looking forward to continuing our journey as a Top-Level Project."
Availability and Oversight
Apache Rya software is released under the Apache License v2.0 and is overseen by a self-selected team of active contributors to the project. A Project Management Committee (PMC) guides the Project's day-to-day operations, including community development and product releases. For downloads, documentation, and ways to become involved with Apache Rya, visit and
About the Apache Incubator
The Apache Incubator is the entry path for projects and codebases wishing to become part of the efforts at The Apache Software Foundation. All code donations from external organizations and existing external projects enter the ASF through the Incubator to: 1) ensure all donations are in accordance with the ASF legal standards; and 2) develop new communities that adhere to our guiding principles. Incubation is required of all newly accepted projects until a further review indicates that the infrastructure, communications, and decision making process have stabilized in a manner consistent with other successful ASF projects. While incubation status is not necessarily a reflection of the completeness or stability of the code, it does indicate that the project has yet to be fully endorsed by the ASF. For more information, visit
About The Apache Software Foundation (ASF)
Established in 1999, the all-volunteer Foundation oversees more than 350 leading Open Source projects, including Apache HTTP Server --the world's most popular Web server software. Through the ASF's meritocratic process known as "The Apache Way," more than 760 individual Members and 7,300 Committers across six continents successfully collaborate to develop freely available enterprise-grade software, benefiting millions of users worldwide: thousands of software solutions are distributed under the Apache License; and the community actively participates in ASF mailing lists, mentoring initiatives, and ApacheCon, the Foundation's official user conference, trainings, and expo. The ASF is a US 501(c)(3) charitable organization, funded by individual donations and corporate sponsors including Aetna, Alibaba Cloud Computing, Anonymous, ARM, Baidu, Bloomberg, Budget Direct, Capital One, Cerner, Cloudera, Comcast, Facebook, Google, Handshake, Huawei, IBM, Indeed, Inspur, Leaseweb, Microsoft, ODPi, Pineapple Fund, Pivotal, Private Internet Access, Red Hat, Target, Tencent, Union Investment, Workday, and Verizon Media. For more information, visit and
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