Neo4j, a popular graph database, is available as an open-source product for anyone to download and use. Its enterprise product aimed at larger organizations is growing fast, but the company recognized there was a big market in between those two extremes, and today it introduced a new managed cloud service called Aura.
They wanted something in the product family for smaller companies, says Emil Eifrem, CEO and co-founder at Neo4j. Aura really gives these smaller players a much more manageable offering with flexible pricing options. “To get started with an enterprise project can run hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. Whereas with Aura, you can get started for about 50 bucks a month, and that means that it opens it up to new segments of the market,” Eifrem told TechCrunch. As he points out, even a startup on a shoestring budget can afford $50 a month.
Aura operates on a flexible pricing model, and offers the kind of value proposition you would expect from a cloud version of the product. The company deals with all of the management, security and updates for you. It will also scale as needed to meet your data requirements as you grow. The idea is to allow developers to concentrate on simply building applications and let Neo4j deal with the database for you.
He says over time, he could see larger businesses, which don’t want to deal with the management side of developing a graph database application, also using the cloud product. “Why would you want to operate your own database? You should probably focus on your core business and building applications to support that core business,” he said. But he recognizes change happens slowly in larger organizations, and not every business will be comfortable with a managed service. That’s why they are offering different options to meet different requirements.
Graph databases allow you to see connections between data. It is the underlying technology, for example, in a social networking app, that lets you see the connection between people you know and people your friends know. It is also the technology on an e-commerce site that can offer recommendations based on what you bought before because people who buy a certain product are more likely to purchase other related products.