Neo4j Labs: Heroku, Neo4j and Google Spreadsheet in 10min. Flat.

Hi all,

Last Friday, we were all labbing again – the best day of the week.

I didn’t have much time so I decided to try to produce a screencast that would measure the time required to go from nothing to flash using some of our tools.

What I came up with demonstrates the process required to set up a Neo4j instance via Heroku, then connect to it from within a Google Spreadsheet (which your managers will like) using appscript.
Simple, yet pretty cool.

Note: Please make sure that you are part of the Heroku private beta program, before trying this yourself.  Alternatively send an email to heroku at for getting registered.
The addon-documentation is also available at heroku (protected).

 The basic steps are:
  • Register at Heroku and install the heroku gem
  • Create and install a Heroku app (heroku apps:create)
  • Add a Neo4j addon instance to it (heroku addons:add neo4j)
  • Upload existing Twitter data to the graph
  • Create a custom Ruby app (code below)
  • Execute Cypher queries (queries below) 
  • Connect to the app using a Google Spreadsheet 
  • Build a small bar chart from a Cypher query.
Watch the screencast to see it in action:

Heroku, Neo4j and Google Spreadsheet in 10min. Flat.

What do you think, both about the content and the screencast itself? Some thoughts:
  • quality is not stellar but acceptable with IShowU and built-in MacBookPro Mic
  • probably a transcript of the commands used in the cast would be good, as suggested by Patrick Durusau
  • YouTube seems to have a problem accepting my login via iMovie, which I used for putting together the pieces.
  • All in all, it will take about 2h to produce this kind of casts, hope to get that down to 1h for 5 minutes.
Create and launch Heroku Application
# Register at Heroku and for the beta program
> git init
> heroku apps:create <app-name>
> heroku addons:add neo4j
> add the files below
> git add *; git commit -m"neo4j demo"
> git push heroku master
# Gemfile
source :rubygems

gem 'sinatra'
gem 'json'
gem 'rest-client'
require './cypher-endpoint'
run Sinatra::Application

require 'sinatra'
require 'rest-client'
require 'json'

rest =['NEO4J_URL'])

post '/raw-cypher' do
data = {:query=> }
rest["/db/data/ext/CypherPlugin/graphdb/execute_query"].post data.to_json,

Cypher Queries
start user=node(212) match user-[:USED]->tag return
start user=node:users(twid:*)
match user-[:TWEETED]->tweet
return user.twid, count(*)
curl -d'start user=node:users("twid:*")
match user-[:TWEETED]-> tweet -[:TAGGED]-> tag
return user.twid,, count(*)
order by count(*)
desc limit 10'

For the next screencasts, please suggest topics that you are interested in!
Even better – create a screencast about a Neo4j topic yourself.



PS: The front picture is my son Kalle during a tour around the beautiful island of Nordkoster.

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