What is Graph Database?

By | October 7, 2021
What is Graph Database?

In this article, I will be covering the concept of Graph Database and how it is different from other Popular Databases present out there. A Graph Database is a NoSQL or non-SQL database, which means it does not store data in a tabular data structure.  If you are reading this article then I am assuming that you have already heard of Graph database somewhere and you want to know more about it.

In the past few years graph databases have grown rapidly, and lots of developers and businesses taking interest in it. It provides a powerful database model which is very similar to the real-world entity and the relationship between the data can also be found easily using this Database.

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What is a Graph Database?

The concept of Graph Database is similar to the normal Graph Data Structure where we use nodes and edges to represent a graph. In the Graph Database, the Nodes represent the data or real-world entity such as people, place, location etc. and Edges represent the relationship between the Nodes. Graph Database edges give it an edge over Relational Databases because using the concepts of the edges the complex relationship between the nodes can be shown it its natural form, but in Relational Database showing complex relation between two records or rows can be perplexing.

Graph Databases are more flexible as compared to other Databases models. Often many Graph Databases do not have a proper schema but it does not mean that we cannot define a schema. Even without a defined schema, the relationship between the data node is way better than Relational Databases. But by defining a pre-schema can lead to better-performing Databases.

The name “Graph” to the Graph Database is not giving for nothing, in the database, we can apply mostly all the Graph Theories to make the data retrieval more efficient. For example, we can use the different graph traversal algorithms on our database to find the shortest route to get out data.

Features of Graph Database

A beginner who is learning a new technology for fun or want to explore something new, might not consider its feature. But in Real-world or in business when we choose a new technology, we have to consider all its features or what benefit it can bring to the business and projects. Let’s discuss the features of the Graph Database which suit your project and business.

1. Performance

The universal truth is with time the Data will increase, and the relation between the data become complex. So, there we need such a database which does not compromise with performance even the data and its relation become complex. Although Traditional Relational Databases are capable of holding huge data and applying complex queries, but there we have to compromise with the performance. But in Graph Databases, the complex relational queries can be run easily without affecting the Database performance.

2. Flexibility

In Relational database, if we want to add a new attribute or a complete table to the database, we have to consider the overall schema or data structure of the database so all things could go along without affecting the overall database performance. But this is not a case in Graph Database, because here we do not need to define a schema for our database and we can add new data and attribute without endangering the current database.

3. Agility

Graph Database can perfectly sync with agile Software development. The flexibility of the database allows the developer to evolve the database according to the business need.

Conclusion

Graph Database follows a real-world relationship approach to store data using nodes and edges. Its non-predefined schema feature makes it completely different from the other traditional databases where the schema is mandatory to define in order to make the database work efficiently. Yet, still developers and business choose Relational SQL databases over NoSQL Graph Database because it’s a safer option. It will take 3 to4 more years for NoSQL database to rule the market.

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