SAN MATEO, Calif. – APRIL 1, 2017 – It’s the first day of the new quarter, and it’s time for some fresh change here at the Neo4j headquarters. Just like last year, we thought we’d break this news at GraphConnect Europe, but important news can’t always wait, especially news this big.

Back in 2000, when our CEO Emil Eifrem sketched out the first property graph model on the back of a napkin, he began work on what would become Neo4j – so called because the original graph database was written as a Java library.

But, as we all know by now, Neo4j has long since outgrown its Java-only roots (while not forsaking them entirely), and let’s be honest: the name Neo4j is, well…unique. It might be a big boon to us in terms of brand recognition, SEO and the memory stickiness factor, but at some point, everyone has to evolve and adapt.

So, it’s time we changed that name.

Hello, World: Meet Neo5j

“With a name like Neo4j, there’s really only one direction you can go from there: Up,” said Emil Eifrem in a statement early this morning. “We’re so excited to change our product name to something that’s easier and more intuitive for our growing community to both remember and pronounce.”

After groundbreaking announcements like Neo4j (ahem, Neo5j) Matrix Edition, the only NRA-approved, Donald Trump-endorsed database NullDB, and of course, Neo 4 Java (released this time last year), we feel like this is the announcement to top them all.

Starting today only, all instances and mentions of Neo4j will be renamed to Neo5j to reflect the upgraded product name and the (numerically upwards) future direction of the company. From there, we’ll be working to reword all of our marketing materials and legal paperwork.

If you're reading this about Neo4j, then you've been fooled. Happy April Fools' Day 2017!

Why We’re Excited about Neo5j

Of course, the entire Neo5j leadership team is delighted for the name change.

“People tend to intuitively know that five is a bigger number than four,” said VP of Product, Philip Rathle. “So we thought, why not give them a name that shows how much bigger and better we’ve become as both a product and a company?”

But it’s not just a big change for the Product team, this is big for all of our Marketing efforts as well.

“We are excited to go to market with the new, innovative Neo5j branding,” said VP of Global Marketing, Utpal Bhatt. “It’s really an elevation of the brand, and we feel like it really rolls off the tongue easier than before.”

Even our quiet CTO Johan Svensson thought he’d chime in.

“I really liked the name Neo4j,” Svensson whispered. “I always thought of it as standing for ‘Neo for Johan’. I mean, what’s better than building a database named after yourself? I’m always the co-founder they all forget. This name change is just another effort to strike me from the record.”

What’s in a Name?

A lot of people have already asked us: why a “5” and not another number?

Well, it’s just that everything good comes in fives: the number of Olympic rings, the number of players on a basketball team, the number of Marx brothers, the number of classical Chinese elements, the five branches of the US military, and really most importantly, the five members of the Spice Girls.

We see the world’s leading graph database as a natural fit to join these famous quintets throughout human history.

“This is such an important and game-changing move in the database market,” said Emil Eifrem. “We just really couldn’t think of a better day to make this announcement than on April 1st.”



About the Author

Emil Eifrem , CEO & Co-Founder, Neo4j, Inc.

Emil Eifrem Image

Emil Eifrem sketched what today is known as the property graph model on a flight to Mumbai in 2000. As the CEO and Co-Founder of Neo4j and a co-author of the O’Reilly book Graph Databases, he’s devoted his professional life to building and evangelizing graph databases.

Committed to sustainable open source, Emil guides Neo4j along a balanced path between free availability and commercial reliability. He plans to save the world with graphs and own Larry’s yacht by the end of the decade. Emil tweets at @emileifrem.


Michael Hunger, Developer Relations says:

I’m done with renaming everything in the repository.
Phew what a effort on a Saturday.

New organization:
New main repository:

Samuel França says:

I was already stressing with this new name when I saw that it was published on April 1st “Dia das Petas” as we call it in Portugal !!!! Please do not name … neo4j = “New world for Joins”

Derek Small says:

Love it…. We’ve upgraded our partner pages and have requested our marketing firm to start changing our graph connect handouts.
Well done Emil

I wish you had stuck with the name neo4j because of the following simple reasons.

1) It is popular
2) Search engine results already use neo4j as a keyword
3) Many questions on stack overflow will need to be edited.
4) Semantic versioning is enough show of growth for long term users of neo4j
5) neo4J is easier to pronounce and has a natural , nice ring to it, try saying repetitively neo5j and neo4j
6) I think the community should have voted for and against the name change. We can do a survey on stackoverflow or twitter.

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