Book Review – Graph Databases


Graph Databases provides a concise introduction to this particular alternative to the relational database.

Having lots of experience with relational databases and very little experience with graph databases, I found this book to be an interesting read. The book effectively describes the weaknesses of relational databases and explains how graph databases address these weaknesses.

After introducing the idea of a graph database, the book proceeds to demonstrate domains that graph databases are suited to. This corresponds to domains where a network is a natural representation of the data, although the authors tend to suggest that graph databases are almost always more suitable than a relational database!

Next up is the demonstration of a specific implementation: Neo4J and Cypher. Examples of how to create a Neo4J database and query with Cypher follow. Explanations are a little terse, but the interested student can easily investigate further.

Finally, the book includes an interesting comparison of Graph Databases with some of the other NoSQL options available.

My only reservation is that the book felt a little unbalanced in its unwavering promotion of graph databases and the limited discussion of alternatives to Neo4J/Cypher. Overall though, this book provided a good overview of this technology and opened my eyes to the possibilities of Graph Databases.

Note: This book was provided by O’Reilly Media as part of their blogger review program.

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program

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