Graph database leader Neo Technology today announced the availability of Neo4j 2.3, a partnership with IBM as well as the open sourcing of Cypher, its query language for graphs. Neo4j 2.3 features enhanced abilities to create massive graphs for rapidly scaling, intelligent applications that automate the application of business rules to real-time updates to data from disparate sources. The latest release supports the scale-out of the implementation of intelligent rules that enrich data relationships amongst application-specific entities. Neo4j 2.3’s improved ability to manage applications at scale features enhanced capabilities to develop queries in conjunction with improved Cypher performance and a more intelligent query planner. In addition to intelligent management of rapidly scaling applications, this release delivers expanded schema and metadata functionality that allows customers to more effectively manage and perform analytic operations on data. Neo4j 2.3 also features an integration with Spring Data, a slew of improvements to the Cypher query language and support for Docker.
In conjunction with the release of Neo4j 2.3, Neo4j also announces a partnership with IBM to render Neo4j available on IBM POWER8. The partnership features the deployment of Neo4j on a massive in-memory platform that can expediently support use cases that include internet of things data, supply chain or fraud-related analytics and updates to billions of data points from sources spanning the globe via real-time data ingestion. As noted in the press release, “IBM Power Systems can provide up to 56 terabytes of extended memory space with CAPI flash architecture on a single machine,” thereby rendering possible the creation of graphs of a magnitude and scale not seen to date. The IBM POWER 8 allows customers to not only create massive graphs and graphical relationships between data, but to also act upon the insights delivered by those graphs in near real-time, thereby minimizing the time lag between the development of actionable business intelligence and the execution of proactive responses to data-driven events and insights. In yet another announcement, Neo4j will be open sourcing Cypher, its query language for graphs, as openCypher, a project that stands to revolutionize graph analytics in much the same way as SQL did for relational databases several decades ago. openCypher boasts an impressive roster of initial supporters that include Oracle, Databricks, Tableau, GraphAware, GrapheneDB, Graph Story and Information Analysis Incorporated (IAI). Ion Stoica, CEO of Databricks, remarked on the open sourcing of Cypher as follows:
Graph processing is becoming an indispensable part of the modern big data stack. Neo4j’s Cypher query language has greatly accelerated graph database adoption. We look forward to bringing Cypher’s graph pattern matching capabilities into the Spark stack, making graph querying more accessible to the masses.
As Stoica notes, Databricks has plans to integrate Cypher’s functionality into the Spark stack as part of the larger project of creating an integrated set of big data tools and applications. The interest had by Databricks in integrating Cypher into the Spark portfolio underscores the value of the query language developed by Neo4j and illustrates the significance of Neo4j’s graphing technology more generally for contemporary big data analytics. As such, the release of Neo4j 2.3, its partnership with IBM and the open sourcing of its query language Cypher marks a milestone in Neo4j’s evolution as it emphatically asserts its centrality to the big data revolution and demonstrates enhanced abilities to manage massive graphs and the automation that allows their applications to scale. The screenshot below illustrates Neo4j 2.3’s user interface for understanding graph-based data: