Getting Started

Welcome to BrightstarDB, the NoSQL semantic web database for .NET. The documentation contains lots of examples and detailed information on all aspects of BrightstarDB. The following sections provide some gentle hints of where to look depending on what you are planning to do with BrightstarDB.

It’s probably a good idea, no matter what you plan to use BrightstarDB for, to read the Concepts section and the ‘Why BrightstarDB?’ section to understand the architecture and ideas behind the technology.

If you just want to see the simplest example of creating a BrightstarDB Entity Data Model then jump straight to the Developer Quick Start.

We hope you enjoy developing with BrightstarDB. Please consider joining our community of developers and users and share any questions or comments you may have.


If you are an architect considering using BrightstarDB then the Concepts section is important. Following that skimming over the different APIs will give you an overview of the different tools that developers can use to work with BrightstarDB. The other sections that provide a good overview of BrightstarDB’s capabilities and features are the API Documentation, Admin API and Polaris Management Tool sections.


If you are coming to BrightstarDB from an RDF perspective and want to work with RDF Data and SPARQL then the best place to start is the Polaris Management Tool. This shows how to create a new store without code, load in RDF data, and execute queries and update transactions. Other sections of interest will probably be SPARQL Endpoint and if you are writing code the RDF Client API.


BrightstarDB provides several layers of API that are aimed at specific development activities or scenarios. There are three main API levels, Entity Framework, Data Objects and RDF.

BrightstarDB Entity Framework & LINQ

The BrightstarDB Entity Framework is a powerful and simple to use technology to quickly build a typed .NET domain model that can persist object state into a BrightstarDB instance.To use this you create a set of .NET interfaces that define the data model. The BrightstarDB tooling takes these definitions and creates concrete implementing classes. These classes can then be used in an application. The flexibility of the underlying storage makes evolving the model very easy and straight forward. BrightstarDB is optimized for associative data which provides a high performance when working with objects. As this is a fully typed domain model it also provides LINQ and OData support.

The main sections to see for developing .NET typed domain models are the Developer Quick Start section, the section on the BrightstarDB Entity Framework, and the Entity Framework Samples.

Data Objects & Dynamic

When working with data that may change shape at runtime, or when a fixed typed domain model is not required, the Data Object and Dynamic APIs provide a generic object layer on top of the RDF data. This layer provides abstractions that allow the developer to treat collections of triples as the state of a generic object. The sections Data Object Layer and Dynamic API provide documentation and examples of this APIs.


To work programmatically with RDF, SPARQL, and SPARQL see update the RDF Client API and SPARQL Endpoint sections.

Portable Class Library and Windows Store

If you are building a Windows Store application you can now make use of the Portable Class Library build of BrightstarDB. This build also supports targetting Silverlight 5 and Windows Phone 8. For more information please refer to Developing Portable Apps.