Goals For Java developers who use the Spring Framework or Spring Boot, this guide introduces Spring integration but emphasizes the Spring Data Neo4j library. The library provides convenient access to Neo4j including object mapping, Spring Data repositories, conversion, transaction handling,… Learn More →

For Java developers who use the Spring Framework or Spring Boot, this guide introduces Spring integration but emphasizes the Spring Data Neo4j library. The library provides convenient access to Neo4j including object mapping, Spring Data repositories, conversion, transaction handling, etc.
You should be familiar with graph database concepts and the property graph model. Having installed Neo4j and tried out the Cypher query language helps too. You should also be familar with Spring. Knowing Spring Data and Spring Boot are both great additions to your toolbox as well. When developing with Neo4j, please use JDK 8 and your favorite IDE.

Neo4j for Spring Users


Neo4j offers a rich set of possibilities for developers using Spring. If you are looking for using Neo4j on the JVM in general, check out our Java Developer’s Guide.

If you want to benefit from full fledged Object Mapping and the other helpful support that comes with Spring Data, use Spring Data Neo4j 4.

Neo4j’s Spring Data integration was the founding project of the Spring Data efforts, started by Rod Johnson and Emil Eifrem. Spring Data Neo4j 4 was rewritten in 2015 to incorporate the many improvements in Neo4j and Cypher but also in the Spring Data ecosystem. It integrates tightly with the Spring Framework and offers Object-Graph mapping on top of Neo4j.

It is based on the Neo4j-OGM a plain java Object-Graph-Mapper and integrates in the Spring Data infrastructure, including Spring-Data repository, and annotated object mapping support.

Spring Data Neo4j 4 is also supported by Spring Boot from version 1.4.0.M3. You can use the Spring Boot Starter page to get started with Spring Data Neo4j immediately.

Spring Data Neo4j 4

Spring Data Neo4j has been around for a long time. Meanwhile Neo4j, it’s APIs and usage developed quickly from an embedded Java only database to a Server solution which is mostly interacted with via Cypher. That’s why we made the decision that a clean slate and reimplementation of the library from scratch is the best approach to embrace the modern Neo4j architecture. In a joint effort with our partner GraphAware the all-new Spring Data Neo4j 4 library was developed and tested by existing users.

Spring Data Neo4j integrates the Neo4j-OGM library to provide fast and comprehensive object graph mapping. Additionally it provides support for Spring Conversions, Transaction Handling, Spring-Data Repositories, Spring-Data REST and Spring-Boot.

To get started, add Spring Data Neo4j 4 as a dependency, then configure the necessary beans in your Java config. Then you can use Neo4jTemplate to manage your entities (optionally annotated) and define Spring-Data-Repositories as convenient interfaces to your persistence layer.


  • Spring Boot Integration (since 1.4)
  • annotation based object graph mapping
  • interface based repository support with annotated and derived finder methods
  • fast class metadata scanning
  • optimized management of data loading and change tracking for minimal data transfers
  • multiple transports: binary protocol, HTTP and embedded
  • persistence lifecycle events


Spring-Data-Neo4j 4 Dependency
public class PersistenceContext extends Neo4jConfiguration {

    public SessionFactory getSessionFactory() {
        return new SessionFactory("org.neo4j.cineasts.domain");
public class Movie {

  @GraphId Long id;

  String title;

  Person director;

  @Relationship(type="ACTED_IN", direction = Relationship.INCOMING)
  Set<Person> actors = new HashSet<>();
Declare a repository interface
interface MovieRepository extends GraphRepository<Movie> {

  @Query("MATCH (m:Movie)<-[rating:RATED]-(user)
          WHERE id(m) = {movieId} RETURN rating")
  Iterable<Rating> getRatings(@Param("movieID") Long movieId);

  List<Movie> findByTitle(String title);
Use repository
@Autowired MovieRepository repo;

List<Movie> movie = repo.findByTitle("The Matrix");

Iterable<Rating> ratings = repo.getRatings(movieId);

We provide a number of example projects using Spring Data Neo4j 4, Spring Boot and Web-Frameworks like Angular.js




The Neo4j, GraphAware and Pivotal teams.








Reference, JavaDoc, ChangeLog


GraphAware, Introducing SDN4


Introducing SDN 4


Movies Example, Other Example Projects

The Example Project

The Neo4j example project is a small, one page webapp for the movies database built into the Neo4j tutorial. The front-end page is the same for all drivers: movie search, movie details, and a graph visualization of actors and movies. Each backend implementation shows you how to connect to Neo4j from each of the different languages and drivers.

You can learn more about our small, consistent example project across many different language drivers here. You will find the implementations for all drivers as individual GitHub repositories, which you can clone and deploy directly.

Using Spring Boot with JDBC

Spring Boot is a rapid application development infrastructure that allows you to quickly write Spring-based applications with little setup and configuration.

Here we use a simple Spring Boot WebMVC and JDBC application to provide a backend for our movie application.

It uses the well known APIs of @RestController and JdbcTemplate to do the job.

More details can be found in the example project.

Spring Data Neo4j 3.x

Spring Data Neo4j was the first Spring Data project and enables convenient integration of Neo4j in your Spring-based application. It provided object-graph mapping functionality and other features common to the Spring Data projects.

Spring Data Neo4j 3.x works best with an embedded Neo4j database. To achieve highest-performance Neo4j-Server integration, use Spring Data Neo4j 4 or move your SDN persistence layer into an Server Extension.

The example uses Spring-Boot with Spring-Data-Neo4j and Spring-Data-REST and an additional RestMVCController.

See the example project for further details.




Michael Hunger, Oliver Gierke, Nicki Watt and many contributors




Reference, JavaDoc, ChangeLog


Movies Example