Big Data

Amazon Neptune is here: 6 ways customers use the AWS graph database

Customers including Samsung, Intuit, and Pearson previewed the database, building new graph applications and testing production workloads.

On Wednesday, Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced the general availability of Amazon Neptune, its fast, reliable, fully-managed graph database service that aims to make it easier for enterprises to build and run applications on highly connected datasets.

"Amazon Neptune efficiently stores and navigates highly connected data, allowing developers to create sophisticated, interactive graph applications that can query billions of relationships with millisecond latency," according to a press release.

Thousands of customers, including Samsung, Intuit, and Pearson, previewed the database, and used it to build social networks, recommendation engines, fraud detection, knowledge graphs, and drug discovery applications, among other things, the release noted.

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The database supports popular graph models Property Graph and W3C's RDF, and their respective query languages Apache TinkerPop Gremlin and SPARQL, so developers can quickly build queries that can navigate complex datasets.

Here are six ways that customers can use the AWS graph database, according to its website.

1. Network/IT operations

Amazon Neptune users can store a graph of your network, and use graph queries to answer questions like how many hosts are running a certain application, the website noted. It can store and process billions of events to better manage and secure business networks, and detect anomalies. "For example, if you detect a malicious file on a host, Neptune can help you to find the connections between the hosts that spread the malicious file, and enable you to trace it to the original host that downloaded it," the site noted.

2. Social networking

Neptune can be used to build social networking applications thanks to its ability to quickly process large sets of user profiles and interactions, according to the site. It can also run interactive graph queries with high throughput, so developers can more easily build social features into applications. For example, when building a social feed into an app, Neptune can provide results that prioritize showing users the latest update from their family, from friends who live close by, and from people whose updates they "like."

3. Recommendation engines

Neptune allows developers to store relationships between information like customer interests, friends, and purchase history into a graph, and quickly query it to make personalized recommendations. For example, with Neptune you can make product recommendations to a user based on others who like the same sport and have a similar purchase history.

4. Fraud detection

Neptune allows developers to use relationships to process financial and purchase transactions in near real time, to more easily detect fraud patterns. It can execute fast graph queries to see if a customer is using the same email address and credit card as a known fraud case, according to the website.

5. Knowledge graphs

With Neptune, developers can build knowledge graph applications that allow for storing information in a graph model and using graph queries to navigate those datasets. Open source and open standard APIs supported by the database can help you quickly use existing information resources to build your own knowledge graphs, and host them on a fully managed service.

6. Life Sciences

Applications built with Neptune can store and navigate life sciences information, and process sensitive data using encryption at rest. For example, with Neptune, you can store models of disease and gene interactions, and search for graph patterns to find other genes that may be associated with a given disease, the site noted. Users can also create and store patient relationships from medical records across different systems.

Graph databases like Neptune are useful for IT pros who find themselves managing growing volumes of data, and want to more easily gain insights from this information. Other companies use these databases for tasks like identity access management, and master data management.

Amazon Neptune does not require upfront costs, licenses, or commitments, the release noted—customers pay only for the resources they use. It is now available in several US regions as well as Ireland, with plans to expand in the coming year. To learn more, go to https://aws.amazon.com/neptune.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:
  • Amazon Neptune—a fully-managed graph database service—is now generally available on AWS.
  • Amazon Neptune aims to make it easier for enterprises to build and run applications on highly connected datasets, and can be used to build social networks, recommendation engines, fraud detection, knowledge graphs, and drug discovery applications.

Also see

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Image: iStockphoto/monsitj

About Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

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