Chapter 23. Deprecations

This section outlines deprecations in Neo4j 1.9 in order to help you find a smoother transition path to future releases.

Read operations outside of transactions
In future releases, read operations are only allowed within transactions. This only affects embedded usage, where you can already start to wrap read operations in transactions to be prepared for the future.
The ! and ? property operators in Cypher
In future releases, expressions like = "value" will not fail when a node is encountered without the property, and will instead return null. This is the same behaviour as! = "value", and thus the ! property operator is deprecated and will be removed. Expressions using the ? property operator, such as = "value", are also deprecated. Please use not(has( OR = "value" instead.
Cypher CREATE syntax
The CREATE a={foo:’bar’} syntax has been deprecated. Instead, use CREATE (a {foo:’bar’}).
Using DELETE to remove properties in Cypher
The DELETE a.prop syntax has been deprecated. Instead, use REMOVE a.prop.
Using parameters for index keys in Cypher
In future releases, parameters can not be used as the key in START clauses using indexes (ie. START n=node:index({key}='value')). Use the literal key names instead.
Using parameters to identify nodes in patterns
In future releases, parameters can not be used to identify nodes in a pattern (ie. MATCH ({node})-->(other))). Note that this form was only possible when mixing the embedded Java API and cypher, and thus does not affect users Neo4j Server.
Iteration syntax in FOREACH, EXTRACT, etc
In future releases, the iterating functions will use a | instead of a : to separate the components of the statement. For example, EXTRACT(n in ns : n.prop) is replaced with EXTRACT(n in ns | n.prop). The iterating functions include FOREACH, EXTRACT, REDUCE, ANY, ALL, SINGLE and NONE. Note the alternative form using | is also possible in Neo4j 1.9.2 and later.
Graph Matching
The graph-matching component will be removed in future releases.
Plugins will no longer be distributed with Neo4j. Please see individual maintainers about availability. For instance, the source for the Gremlin plugin will be available at:
The Reference Node
With the introduction of Labels in Neo4j 2.0 the Reference Node becomes obsolete and will be removed. Instead, labelled nodes become the well-known starting points in your graph.