Monthly Archives: June 2022

Query Optimizers are made of sand

I’ve written a ton of SQL and Cypher queries over the last 20 years…and I’ve rewritten those queries as stored procedures more times than I can count. The issues with the expressivity of the query language and the ability of the query optimizer to “do the right thing” have been around longer than my career. I’ve written about this problem before. I went so far as to completely give up. In RageDB I let the developer write the query in a programming language directly. Skipping the “middle man” and letting the user be the query optimizer. Because in the end… this is what always happens. Well almost always.

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When the demo is over

At the end of the NODES conference opening Keynote, Neo4j presents a demo of sub 20ms query performance on a graph of 11 shards, 101 shards and 1129 shards. Quite an impressive feat. Then the CEO asks “is this too good to be True?”. TLDR: Yes. Well, let’s find out why.

The “code” for the demo was released on github so we can dive in. We will start with the weirdest part of the code:

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