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04 October 2012, 12:28

Neo4j 1.8 adds creation to Cypher query language

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Neo4j logo The graph database Neo4j has been updated to add the ability for its Cypher query language to write data and update indexes. This is designed to make it easier to explore the power of the graph database by directly interacting with it. The new CREATE command can take definitions of new nodes and associated data and edges that create relationships. An example use given in the Neo4j blog is

CREATE (me {name:"Andreas"}), (heather {name:"Heather"}),
(jest {title:"Infinite Jest"}),
(me)-[:knows]->(heather), (heather)-[:likes]->(jest)

which creates, in order, a node "me" with a name "Andreas", a node "heather" with a name "Heather", a node "jest" representing a book titled "Infinite Jest", and then the relationships... that "me" knows "heather" and "heather" likes "jest". These relationships and nodes can be queried efficiently using existing Cypher commands. The Cypher query language is command-line accessible from the Neo4j shell or programatically from the Java or Python APIs.

Other enhancements in Neo4j 1.8 include the addition of rolling upgrades for high availability clusters, which should give zero downtime and smoother administration. REST API request responses are now streamed to the requesting client allowing them to start processing results sooner. Support for bi-directional traversals, branch state and path expanders has been added to the traversal framework to enable faster queries. The developers have also fixed a number of concurrency issues, added configurable log rotation, improved the performance of some of the graph algorithms and improved error reporting. Finally, support for explicit transactions has been added to the neo4j-shell.

Neo4j 1.8 is back compatible with versions 1.6 and 1.7 and requires no explicit upgrading of stores. An overview of all changes is given in the release notes and a full listing of all the changes is available in the change log. Neo4j is available to download as a GPL-licensed community edition or AGPL Advanced or Enterprise editions (AGPL version downloads require registration). The manual for Neo4j 1.8 is available online and in PDF or plaintext formats.


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