Reasons for Using Graph Technology

Built for the Modern World

There are many technical reasons why a graph database platform is far superior to other technologies for connected-data applications — power, performance, flexibility, and developer productivity to name a few.

Those technical advantages drive very significant business reasons for selecting graph technology as the right platform for many classes of modern applications.

Rapid Deployment of Business Solutions

The business world is driven by relationships—the interaction of people, organizations, locations, products, orders, payments, and all the other elements of online commerce and operations.

For decades, relational methods have plagued software developers with the constant need to translate from business relationship objects into relational tables and back again. In their infancy, relational systems were more flexible than the older technologies they replaced. But as relational systems grew in complexity, their sheer number of tables and joins often crippled system maintainability and performance.

Graph applications avoid the disconnect between the technical and business worlds by maintaining data in relationships rather than in relational tables. And as a result, everyone—including developers, system architects and business managers—can use simple relationship property graphs to create data models and system designs that transform directly into applications.

Fast Response to Business Change

The one certainty in the business world is change. That change comes in many forms including new technologies, competition, products, customer preferences, corporate reorganizations and economic conditions—and those changes trigger cascades of new application requirements.

When those inevitable changes occur, relational databases force developers to modify data schemas, perform lengthy data transformations and migrations, and maintain redundant datasets to serve old and new features. As this level of complexity rises, the maintainability and performance of relational applications become unacceptable.

In contrast, graph databases are schema-free, and their unconstrained flexibility to relate data in many ways enables graph applications to evolve freely as business evolves. Cross-functional teams can work together to modify property graphs rapidly and reshape applications to address new business requirements. More importantly, as changes happen, graph applications preserve their simplicity, maintainability and performance—thereby minimizing change risk and speeding time to redeployment.

Predictable, Dependable Performance

The data demands of modern business present imposing performance requirements on today’s applications. Users expect sub-second response times from web applications, even those that integrate data from a myriad of disparate sources.

Relational systems cannot reliably deliver this level of responsiveness. As relational datasets grow in size and complexity, table indexes and joins become unwieldy and inefficient. And all too often, existing relational schemas fall apart when users start asking questions that were unforeseen when the system was first designed. The result? Application performance, user productivity and corporate image suffer severely.

In contrast, a native graph database uses index-free adjacency to turn complex joins into fast graph traversals and millisecond response times regardless of dataset size. The rapid response of graph applications—just like responsiveness in business—conveys quality, order and dedication that translates directly into customer confidence, loyalty and revenue.

Ready for Enterprise Deployment

So if graph technology is superior for so many classes of applications, why has it not yet eclipsed relational as the dominant platform for enterprise solutions?

One reason is structural. Most graph technologies have not yet matured enough to handle the demanding requirements of modern business applications. But as the first and most advanced graph database, Neo4j meets the demands of enterprise applications by providing:

  • Horizontal read scalability for dependable query response times
  • Scalable storage that can handle billions of entities
  • ACID transactionality that can process a group of related transactions as one
  • Server clustering and load balancing for high availability
  • Multi-site data-center support for worldwide deployments
  • Enterprise-class identity and data security

Fastest-Growing Database Technology

All new technologies face adoption challenges. But as graph technology garners more awareness, IT groups are increasingly selecting it for new projects and wide-scale deployments. Developers are learning the powerful simplicity of Cypher, the industry-standard query language developed by Neo4j. And system architects are now recognizing business problems as graph apps rather than complex relational projects.

The enterprise-readiness of Neo4j has made graph database the fastest growing application segment in the modern business world. And as industry leaders are increasingly deploying business-critical graph applications, Neo4j is taking its rightful place alongside relational technologies as a vital enterprise application platform.

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