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Sones Extends the Reach of Open Source Graph DBs

· Database Zone

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A German data storage company, sones, opened the source code of its graph database this month, effectively ending .NET's lack of access to an open source graph DB.  The sones GraphDB also has a REST interface like Neo4j which makes it accessible to many more programming environments.  sones is now licensed under the AGPLv3.

Sones is a OO graph data store for semi-structured, distributed data.  It is built on the .NET framework and Mono, allowing it to run on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and other Unix systems.  The main focus of the sones DB is not on the data, objects, or vertices of the graph, but rather on their type-safe connections (edges).  The sones Wiki clarifies this by saying, "This means we are inter­ested in the name of a user within a large scale social net­work, but we are much more inter­ested to know which films his friends'-friends watched last sum­mer and thought that they were amaz­ing.  In the near future we will pro­vide a large frame­work of graph algo­rithms for these prob­lems and usage scenarios."

Sones has both a SOAP and a REST web service interface.  It also uses the GraphDB query language (GQL).  You can find a cheatsheet here.  Neo4j is one of the few other Graph DBs with a RESTful service.  Before sones was open sourced, OSS graph DBs were limited to JVM developers or Twitter's FlockDB, which isn't a complete graph DB.  

One of the newest features in sones is the GraphDB Visualization tool.  It connects to a live database and lets you run queries on it, which are then presented in a intuitive spiderweb/hairball-like graph.  You can also manipulate queries and data to see how a graphDB works, looks, and feels.

Here is a video of the sones GraphDB VisualGraph tool in action:

And here it is on Microsoft's Surface:

You can find a tutorial with examples of how to use sones Graph DB here.  Take a look at this code comparison between sones and some other graph DBs.

Go pick up the source code for sones GraphDB at GitHub.

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