Data Management

A Comparison of a Graph Database and a Relational Database

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Executive Summary

Relational databases have been around for many decades and are the database technology of choice for most traditional data-intensive storage and retrieval applications. Retrievals are usually accomplished using SQL, a declarative query language. Relational database systems are generally efficient unless the data contains many relationships requiring joins of large tables. Recently there has been much interest in data stores that do not use SQL exclusively, the so called NoSQL movement. Examples are Google's BigTable and Facebook's Cassandra. This paper reports on a comparison of one such NoSQL graph database called Neo4j with a common relational database system, MySQL, for use as the underlying technology in the development of a software system to record and query data provenance information.

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