Gremlin vs Cypher Initial Thoughts @Neo4j

Gremlin vs Cypher Initial Thoughts @Neo4j

Romiko Derbynew writes:

The Neo4jClient now supports Cypher as a query language with Neo4j. However I noticed the following:

  • Simple graph traversals are much more efficient when using Gremlin
  • Queries in Gremlin are 30-50% faster for simple traversals
  • Cypher is ideal for complex traversals where back tracking is required
  • Cypher is our choice of query language for reporting
  • Gremlin is our choice of query language for simple traversals where projections are not required
  • Cypher has intrinsic table projection model, where Gremlins table projection model relies on AS steps which can be cumbersome when backtracking e.g. Back(), As() and _CopySplit, where cypher is just comma separated matches
  • Cypher is much better suited for outer joins than Gremlin, to achieve similar results in gremlin requires parallel querying with CopySplit.
  • Gremlin is ideal when you need to retrieve very simple data structures
  • Table projection in gremlin can be very powerful, however outer joins can be very verbose

So in a nutshell, we like to use Cypher when we need tabular data back from Neo4j and is especially useful in outer joins.

Excellent comparison of Gremlin vs. Cypher. Both have their advantages.

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