Graph database management systems must model, manage and access data and their relationships entirely through native data storage and graph processing methods. To be a native graph DBMS, a technology must conform with these basic rules.

Relational and NoSQL databases break the rules by layering graph capabilities atop non-graph data and are plagued by performance, latency, consistency and data-corruption problems.

Native Storage and Modeling

Store and model data as a graph of relationships instead of in rows and columns, indexed records, or in any other structure.

Native Graph Management

Manage data and relationships entirely through native graph capabilities, and not through a graph-logic layer that sits atop a non-graph storage or processing foundation.

First-Class Relationships

Treat relationships among graph data elements as first-class database elements, complete with directional and quantifying properties used by the graph database engine.

Real-Time Availability

Query data in real time regardless of the volume or complexity of its underlying relationships.

Index-Free Adjacency

Link every data element directly to its incoming and outgoing relationships, making it possible to traverse millions of records per second.

Comprehensive Data Management

Fully handle the retrieval, insertion, modification and deletion of data and underlying relationships.

Discrete Management

Add and modify data and relationships without having to make changes to the existing database schema, data or relationships.

Cypher Support

Fully support Cypher, the open-standard query language embraced by industry leaders.


Prohibit attempts to access or modify data via bypassing openCypher or subverting integrity rules and constraints enforced by the graph database.

ACID Transactions

Ensure that all transactions are ACID—i.e., follow the rules of Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation and Durability—to guarantee graph and data consistency.

Consistent Reads

Ensure that users who read and re-read data always see the same data unless others perform intervening updates.

Consistent Writes

Ensure that users who write and update data always see the latest data unless others perform intervening updates.

Integrity Independence

Store data-integrity constraints in the graph data catalog, not in application programs.

Data independence

Applications are logically unaffected when underlying graph data storage representations or access methods change.

Seamless Presentation

Store and display data relationship graphs in a unified manner to provide users a seamless view of the entire graph model of the database, regardless of where the data is stored.