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26 January 2012, 12:20

Graph database Neo4J heads to the cloud

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Neo4J logo Version 1.6 of Neo4J, the NoSQL graph database, has been released and includes a beta of Neo4J for the Heroku cloud, an improved query language, and web admin with a full shell. The developers say they are taking a careful approach in their cloud plans, and the beta of Neo4J for Heroku offers the ability to access Neo4j servers through their REST interface. Details of the cloud support are available in the Heroku Dev Center.

The Cypher query language in Neo4J has been internally enhanced with a new type system and simpler pattern matcher which together improve query performance. The query language now supports the ability to get all shortest paths, easily extract the first value from lists with nulls using COALESCE, alias columns, and handle variable length relationships. Array properties are now addressable through Cypher. For those who are unfamiliar with using a query language such as Cypher to query a graph database, an introduction video is available.

The web admin interface of Neo4J can now use Cypher in its data browser to enable users to navigate the node space using queries and the Cypher console now supports all the commands of the Neo4J Shell. Internally, the developers have ensured that key-value pairs for entities within the graph are unique, as this requirement has been a common use case. They have also upgraded to Apache Lucene 3.5; Lucene is used by Neo4J for indexing features.

The developers have also given the results of a future feature poll, which will be used to prioritise development. Sharding and horizontal scalability lead the requests, followed by Supernode (massively connected nodes) support and unique indexing.

The new version of Neo4J is available to download, with a Community version (GPL licensed), Advanced version with added monitoring (AGPL licensed), and Enterprise version with live backup and high availability (also AGPL licensed). Neo4J is also available through Maven2.


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