Graph databases are growing increasingly important as they are used to find connections in data, such as if you bought this, you might like this related item on an e-commerce site; or if you have these friends, you might also know these people on a social site. It’s growing popular in business, and especially among data scientists, who find it useful to find relationships in large collections of data.
Neo4j founder and CEO Emil Eifrem says the company developed the graph database concept, and it has been growing and developing well. “2019 was a really good year for us, generally speaking, but I think more importantly in the graph space. We’ve chosen the category creation and go- to-market strategy when we put the word graph and database together, and we wanted to evangelize that as a concept,” he explained.
As for the new version, Eifrem says it’s a broad new release, but there are a few things he wanted to focus on. For starters is the ability to limitlessly scale. He says this is possible because of new sophisticated horizontal scaling in version 4.0. For previous versions, the company replicated data across the database, a common method for processing data, but it can slow down as the amount of data scales. They wanted to change this in the new version.
“What we’re adding now in 4.0 is partitioning. So this is what’s called ‘sharding’ in the database world. It’s this really ultra powerful feature that allows you to scale both reads and writes and size. Basically, you’re only limited by your budget, how many machines you can add,” he explained.
Another piece in the new release is the addition of role-based access. As graph databases spread from the department or team level across the organization, it becomes increasingly important to restrict certain data to only those who have access based on their role and privileges.
“Today, graph databases in Neo4j are being widely deployed across the enterprise, and now all of a sudden there’s multiple teams across the entire enterprise that wants to access the data. And then you get into security and privacy concerns,” he said. That’s where role based access can protect the data.
The new version has many other features including the ability to run multiple databases on a single Neo4j cluster and support for “Reactive” systems, which gives these kinds of developers “full control over how their applications interact with the database, including robust data pipelines, streaming data, machine learning and more,” according to the company.
Neo4j has been around 2007 and has raised over $160 million, according to Crunchbase.