Learning Neo4j by Rik Van Bruggen, Packt Publishing Book Review

One of the fascinated technical books I have ever read, while not difficult to understand (hint: Neo4J is well put together), it is very informative, yet elegantly written that to an able to learn on its own reader can open a whole slew of possibilities and opportunities.

I need to step back and tell that I approached this book initially with some scepticism, and while I was on the very first pages of it one of my co-workers pryingly glanced over my shoulder and asked, what are you reading? I replied: “it is a book on a Graph database called Neo4J”. His reaction was, “I did not even know there are such a database type!”. As a database professional though I felt obliged to make myself aware and somewhat educated on alternative or niche databases, this is what I thought then, but now… read on.

Ric Van Bruggen is definitely in love with Neo4J, but he is also a talented teacher, this book could much less of a technical reference than it is without him. Ric tastefully expands from the history and basics of Graph databases up to very practical, yet advance usages and ends the book with the tools ecosystem and even a neat Cypher ref-card. Besides, I think Cypher is the cornerstone to the successful operation of Neo4J. For the impatient reader, Cypher to Neo4J is as SQL to RDBMS’.

The book reads like a story, it gradually builds your level of knowledge and at the same time makes you “feel at home” with Neo4J, it is a very welcoming database.

My interest grew with every page I flipped.

The database gets easily installed on any platform, and for the record, its graphing (visual) abilities are stunning! It can also output data in the tabular form. Yet, based on what Ric stated it is VERY fast – he processed 2.1 mil nodes in under 50 sec on a laptop (disclaimer: I did not run any Cypher code, but I am planning to).

This book, especially its chapters 6 and 7 (use case examples), were of immense interest to me, the Recommendation Engine, Impact Analysis I loved both a lot. I think my case using Neo4J will be on finding the best driving path (based on more than 2 factors) that I want to experiment with.

I figured, Neo4J is supported by a vast number of enterprise grade tools comprising a serious ecosystem in which Neo4J strives to take on new heights.

After reading this book I must say the Graph Databases are seriously overlooked.

Well done, Ric, Packt and etc. A 5 out of 5 from me!

Take Neo4J for spin!


Posted on February 8, 2015, in Book Review, Database and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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