Category Archives: database

Declarative Query Languages are the Iraq War of Computer Science

It’s Memorial Day weekend in the United States. Some people are staying home, others are observing the holiday quietly and others still are using it as an excuse to party because they have seemed to have forgotten that the entire world is once again at war. At war with a tiny enemy, so small some people think it’s a hoax. The worst part is the enemy is in each other, our friends and neighbors. But Memorial day is not about remembering the wars, but rather remembering the fallen. To remember those who gave all. Whatever you may think of war, all are terrible, some were necessary. I never served, so that’s about all I get to say about that.

About 14 years ago Ted Neward wrote a very long blog post on “The Vietnam of Computer Science”. There is a follow up, and a short summary by Jeff Atwood as well. If you have never read them, I ask you to do so now…and with that, I believe Query Languages are the Iraq War of Computer Science.

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Keeping Properties Secret in Neo4j

We’re an open source company with nothing to hide, but some of our customers have things they need to keep close to their chest. Sometimes you don’t want everybody to have access to salary information, or future predictions. Maybe you want to hide Personally identifiable information (PII) or Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) data. In Neo4j 3.4 we are introducing more security controls. We are starting with Role based Database wide property key blacklists. That’s a bit of a mouthful but let’s walk through and example to see one of the ways it can be utilized. Imagine you are working in “Area 51” and have to deal with very important information.
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Neptune and Uranus

Last year Microsoft announced “Cosmos DB”, a multi-modal database with graph support. I think multi-modal databases are like swiss army knifes, they can do everything, just not very well. I imagine you would design it to be as good as it can be at its main use case while not losing the ability to do other things. So it’s neither fully optimized for its main thing, nor very good at the other things. Maybe you can do pretty well with two things by making a few compromises, but if you try to do everything…it’s just not going to work out.

Can you imagine John Rambo stalking his enemies with an oversized swiss army knife? Here, let me help with the mental image:
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