Neo4j 3.0 Moves Graph Databases Closer to Mainstream

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2016-05-10 Print this article Print
big data

"With IoT applications, we can help configure things so that my bathroom scale is not talking to my neighbor's refrigerator," Rathle told eWEEK.

In addition to the new features in Neo4j, Neo Technology launched a new companion cloud service, Neo4j Browser Sync. This free service enables developers to save and synchronize their favorite scripts and settings.

"Neo4j Browser Sync is a companion cloud service for Neo4j Browser," Rathle said in a blog post. "Browser Sync allows you to synchronize saved scripts and graph style sheets as well as preserve client-side work across connections."

This means users' scripts and settings will be available to them as they move from database to database, machine to machine and Web browser to Web browser.

"Browser Sync gives you quick and easy access to your favorite and most commonly used Cypher queries. In fact, you can store an unlimited number of queries with Browser Sync," Rathle said.

Meanwhile, Eifrem noted Neo4j helped the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) to analyze The Panama Papers—an exposé of offshore tax haven activity of many members of the global elite.

The ICIJ used Neo4j and Linkurious, a graph visualization library for Neo4j, to unearth the juicy details of the Panama Papers.

Mar Cabra, Data and Research Unit editor at the ICIJ, called Neo4j "a revolutionary discovery tool that's transformed our investigative journalism process because relationships are all important in telling you where the criminality lies, who works with whom, and so on," in a statement. "Understanding relationships at huge scale is where graph techniques excel."

The Panama Papers consist of 2.6TB of data that was obtained by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared with the ICIJ. There were more than 11.5 million documents in all, Cabra said.

She noted that the ICIJ needed an intuitive, easy-to-use solution that did not require the intervention of any data scientist or developers, so that journalists could work with the data regardless of their technical abilities.

"Linkurious Enterprise was the best platform to explore this data and to share insights in a secure way," she said. "Using the Linkurious graph visualization platform with Neo4j is a powerful combination."

Eifrem told eWEEK that Linkurious takes a graph of any size and then visualizes a part of that graph on the screen in a way that it makes sense to someone who is not an expert at querying graphs. Yet, Neo4j is used for all the querying and data manipulation of the data sets.

"You can look at Linkurious as the 'Tableau' of graphs, whereas we are the 'Oracle' of graphs, if you will," he said. Neo4j helps to democratize access to large amounts of information, he added.

In a blog post on the ICIJ's use of Neo4j, Eifrem said for more than a decade big Web firms such as Google and Facebook have built up an array of skills and tools that enable them to derive insight and value from massive amounts of data. Data is their core differentiation and their business models depend on increasingly sophisticated ways of working with information, he said.

Now the government can make sense of all kinds of large data sets that are the result of our digital daily lives, Eifrem said in an interview.


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