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One of the most interesting (and unsung) NoSQL databases is the Graph Database.  While graph databases have most ostensibly been deployed to model events and relationships by the social media giants, and to handle big data in the Lambda Architecture, they can also be deployed to provide better scale to problems traditionally handled by relational databases, such as access control.  Neo4j’s open source graph database leads the category.  This session will introduce you to Neo4j and walk through the basics of the graph query language Cypher and building custom REST API endpoints for the Neo4j server. 

This workshop is organized in two parts:

Part 1:

  • Min  0 - min 15: Introduction to graphs, graph databases, and a quick comparison to relational databases  (Slides 1-20 of Neo4j tutorial)
  • Min 15 - min 30: Introduction to Cypher, the Neo4j query language
  • Min 30 - min 50: Exercises: Querying graphs using basic Cypher

Part 2:

  • Min 50 - min 65: Introduction to Neo4j Server Plugins (custom REST API endpoints) and a few words on more advanced Cypher queries
  • Min 65 - min 90: Exercises: Creating REST API endpoints, accessing Neo4j via REST API, and advanced Cypher queries


The workshop leader, Aaron Merlob, is a Data Scientist at Junyo, an education-focused big data analytics company based in Menlo Park, CA.  Over the last 5 years, Aaron has had many opportunities to see the power of graph-based approaches: Bayesian network analysis for predicting and explaining complex biological systems at a Harvard Medical School bioinformatics laboratory, social network analysis for predicting physician adoption of pharmaceuticals at Activate Networks, mining online social networks for consulting projects, and the Lambda Architecture at Junyo.  Aaron loves skiing, reading old books, and long walks on the Esplanade.  He lives with his wife on Boston’s historic Beacon Hill. 


Earlier Event: January 27
Later Event: January 30