Whether you’re a brand-new graphista or an old-time vet, 2018 was a year that broke all records and expectations in the Neo4j ecosystem.

In fact, some of our biggest news and announcements ever – as both a company and as a wider community – happened within the past year. Here are the highlights:

Neo4j Bloom Debuts for Graph Data Visualization


Neo4j Bloom graph data visualization tool

At GraphTour San Francisco last May, Neo4j CEO Emil Eifrem announced the arrival of an entirely new product being added to the Neo4j Graph Platform: Neo4j Bloom.

Neo4j Bloom is a graph data visualization tool that allows novices and experts alike to visualize, manipulate and share their connected data with peers, managers and executives – no matter their technical level. We think it’s pretty cool.


The GQL Manifesto Kicks off the Standardization of a Vendor-Neutral Graph Query Language


The GQL Manifesto for a single property graph query language (Graph Query Language)Also last May, we decided that the time had come to create a single unified property graph query language. We called this effort the GQL Manifesto, proposing a new Graph Query Language (GQL) that would combine the strengths of other graph query languages such as Cypher (via vendor-neutral work in the openCypher community), Oracle’s PGQL and the research-oriented G-CORE.

We asked for your vote of confidence to move such standardization forward, and your answer was a resounding yes. We’ll keep you updated on more GQL news as it progresses.


Neo4j 3.4 Introduces Multi-Clustering


Multi-clustering in Neo4j 3.4 release

Right on the heels of the GQL Manifesto, we released the general availability of Neo4j 3.4.

The most important new feature of Neo4j 3.4 was Multi-Clustering. With Multi-Clustering, you can create and manage multiple domain-specific database clusters, effectively partitioning the graph into independent parts. We view this as a step in our march toward fully-sharded horizontal scaling of graph data.


Matt Casters – the Mind behind Kettle – Joins the Neo4j Team


Matt Casters, the creator of Kettle data integration, joins the Neo4j teamIn June, Matt Casters joined the Neo4j team. Matt is the creator of Kettle (a.k.a. Pentaho Data Integration), an open source ETL and data integration tool.

Matt is now the Chief Solutions Architect on the Neo4j team, and he believes integrating Kettle with Neo4j will be a killer combination.


The Neo4j Community Connects in New Ways


The Neo4j Community site and forumNot news: The Neo4j community continues to be one of the best open source communities out there (maybe it has something to do with valuing relationships?). But in 2018, the Neo4j community did manage to come together and connect in a lot of new and meaningful ways.

In April, we started a Medium publication just for Neo4j developer-oriented articles and announcements, and we’re always looking for new contributors. And in August, we launched a brand-new Neo4j community site with forums to discuss everything from in-person meetups to technical questions. In parallel, we kicked off the Neo4j Community Mavens program to recognize our local graph leaders and organizers.


The Neo4j Awards Shelf Gets Heavier


Datanami 2018 Readers & Editors Choice Awards, in which Neo4j won in the operational database category

September was award season (apparently) for the Neo4j graph database.

From InfoWorld, Neo4j won a 2018 Best of Open Source Software (“Bossie”) Award in the databases and data analytics category.

From Datanami, Neo4j won two top awards. First, Neo4j snatched the 2018 Editors’ Choice Award for Best Operational Database, and then Neo4j was recognized in the 2018 Readers’ Choice Award for Top Big Data Achievement for its part in the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ (ICIJ) reporting into the West Africa Leaks.


GraphConnect Brings Together the Global Graph Community


GraphConnect 2018, where Hilary Mason was the keynote speaker

Autumn kicked off with a bang in the graph technology ecosystem with a record-setting GraphConnect that saw the return of the annual Graphie Awards recognizing the top graph innovators, visionaries, startups and community members.

So much happened at GraphConnect 2018 that you really have to read this wrap-up article to even get a sense of the hallmarks and highlights – including the Hilary Mason as one of the keynote speakers(!). No, really, we’re kind of wondering why you missed it.


Graphs4Good Organizes Connected Data for a Better World


Graphs4Good: Connected Data for a Better World

One of the most underrated announcements at GraphConnect 2018 was the launch of our Graphs4Good program. This program coordinates and showcases all of the graph-powered projects working to make the world a better place (like data journalism, cancer research and more).

Neo4j CEO Emil Eifrem hopes the Graphs4Good program will connect and enable world-changers who work with data so that they’re more effective.


Neo4j Closes the Largest Single Investment in the Graph Space


Neo4j closed an $80 million series E funding round

By far, our biggest news story of the year was when Neo4j closed $80 million in a series E funding round. The round saw One Peak Partners and Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital join the graph of Neo4j investors.

All told, Neo4j has now raised $160 million in growth funding, representing the largest cumulative investment in the graph technology category. Emil Eifrem said he’s incredibly proud to be a part of that vote of confidence in graphs.


Neo4j 3.5 Is a Go (Plus a Few Other Things)


The Neo4j 3.5 general availability release introduced a Go language driverIn late November, we announced the general availability release of Neo4j Graph Database 3.5. Overall, version 3.5 was a very DevOps- and DBA-friendly release.

Highlights of Neo4j 3.5 include a new officially supported Go language driver, a new connector for Bolt drivers based on the C programming language (a.k.a. Seabolt, geddit?), and a swathe of new database security features for Neo4j Enterprise Edition.


Denise Persson & Mike Asher Join the Growing Graph Movement


Denise Persson & Mike Asher join the Neo4j team

Neo4j finished off the year with two new Silicon Valley rockstars joining our vision to help the world make sense of data.

Denise Persson – the Chief Marketing Officer at Snowflake Computing – was appointed as the newest independent member of the Neo4j Board of Directors. Upon her appointment, Denise said, “There’s nothing more exciting than joining a category-creating company.”

In tandem, startup veteran Mike Asher joined Neo4j as our inaugural chief financial officer (CFO). Having taken stock of the graph tech landscape, Mike said, “Given the variables, I like our odds. That’s why I’m betting on Neo4j.”


And in 2019, Neo4j Takes on the World of Data


Whew! Like I said, Neo4j had one he– heck of an exciting year in 2018 with all sorts of new horizons opening up for both the company and the wider graph ecosystem.

With all of this accelerating momentum in the graph technology space, Neo4j is readier than ever to take on the world of data in 2019.


Got any predictions for next year’s wrap-up?

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About the Author

Bryce Merkl Sasaki , Editor-in-Chief, Neo4j

Bryce Merkl Sasaki Image

Bryce Merkl Sasaki is the Editor-in-Chief at Neo4j. He studied professional and creative writing for undergrad and has been freelancing for 7 years. Recently, he worked at an inbound marketing agency in Philadelphia as a copywriter before moving to California. When not working, he likes to spend his time working on his novel, looking for pickup soccer games and reading voraciously.


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