Passionately curious about Data, Databases and Systems Complexity. Data is ubiquitous, the database universe is dichotomous (structured and unstructured), expanding and complex. Find my Database Research at SQLToolkit.co.uk . Microsoft Data Platform MVP

"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing" Einstein

Thursday 16 March 2017

Graph Database Tools and Conferences

The wikipedia defintion of a graph databases is "In computing, a graph database is a database that uses graph structures for semantic queries with nodes, edges and properties to represent and store data. A key concept of the system is the graph (or edge or relationship), which directly relates data items in the store. "

An introductions to graph databases from a Neo4J viewpoint is described.


There a a couple of UK based training conferences specifically for Graph databases

GraphConnect a leading conference for Neo4J , 11 May 2017 this year

Connected Data London has no date yet for this year. Last year's presentations for the conference are available free online to view. One talk "Using RDF and graph technologies at NASA" talk by David Meza, Head of Knowledge Management at NASA is shared.

SQL Server vNext

There is graph support in the next version of SQL Server. The private preview page states

SQL Graph adds graph processing capabilities to SQL Server, which will help you link different pieces of connected data to help gather powerful insights and increase operational agility. Graphs are well suited for applications where relationships are important, such as fraud detection, risk management, social networks, recommendation engines, predictive analysis, dependence analysis, IoT suites, etc.
Initially, SQL Server will support CRUD graph operations and multi-hop graph navigation, and the following functionality will be available in the private preview:

  • Create graph objects, that is, nodes to represent entities and edges to represent relationships between any 2 given nodes. Both Nodes and Edges can have properties associated to them.
  • SQL language extensions to support join free, pattern matching queries for multi-hop navigation
Kennie Pontoppipidan wrote a great blog post on where to find out more information.


There are various other graphing tools I have found useful through my PhD.


I have spent some time using Graphviz an open source graph visualization software. Graph visualization is a way of representing structural information as diagrams of abstract graphs and networks. It has important applications in networking, bioinformatics,  software engineering, database and web design, machine learning, and in visual interfaces for other technical domains. It is an easy to use tool for quick graphical representation.

NodeXL Graph

Another tool I have used is  NodeXL Graph. NodeXL Basic is a free, open-source template for Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016 that makes it easy to explore network graphs.  With NodeXL, you can enter a network edge list in a worksheet, click a button and see your graph, all in the familiar environment of the Excel window. The tool can create some more complex diagrams and provides a few different options.

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