Spring Boot


  • Java 1.8+

  • Maven/Gradle

Maven project setup

Create a Spring boot application to use the example provided below. To do this, define the necessary dependencies and the project layout in Maven or Gradle. This example focuses on the Maven-based solution.

Your pom.xml file should match the following:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<project xmlns="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
         xsi:schemaLocation="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0 http://maven.apache.org/xsd/maven-4.0.0.xsd">

        <relativePath/> <!-- lookup parent from repository -->

    <name>Neo4j Spring Boot Example</name>
    <description>Example showing how to use Spring Boot and do write and read transactions</description>




Code example

package org.neo4j.examples;

import java.util.Collections;
import java.util.HashMap;
import java.util.List;
import java.util.Map;

import org.neo4j.driver.Driver;
import org.neo4j.driver.Record;
import org.neo4j.driver.Result;
import org.neo4j.driver.Session;
import org.neo4j.driver.SessionConfig;
import org.neo4j.driver.TransactionWork;
import org.neo4j.driver.exceptions.Neo4jException;
import org.slf4j.Logger;
import org.slf4j.LoggerFactory;
import org.springframework.boot.CommandLineRunner;
import org.springframework.boot.SpringApplication;
import org.springframework.boot.autoconfigure.SpringBootApplication;
import org.springframework.context.ConfigurableApplicationContext;
import org.springframework.stereotype.Component;

public class Example {

    public static void main(String[] args) {
        SpringApplication.run(Example.class, args);


class ExampleCommandLineRunner implements CommandLineRunner {
    private static final Logger LOGGER = LoggerFactory.getLogger(ExampleCommandLineRunner.class.getName());

    private final Driver driver;

    private final ConfigurableApplicationContext applicationContext;

    // Autowire the Driver bean by constructor injection
    public ExampleCommandLineRunner(Driver driver, ConfigurableApplicationContext applicationContext) {
        this.driver = driver;
        this.applicationContext = applicationContext;

    public void run(String... args) throws Exception {
        try (Session session = driver.session(SessionConfig.forDatabase("neo4j"))) {
            // Using transaction functions allows the driver to handle retries and transient errors for you

            // The first examples indicates a write transaction that must go through the leader of a cluster
            Record peopleCreated = session.writeTransaction(createRelationshipToPeople("Alice", "David"));
            System.out.println("Create successful: " + peopleCreated.get("p1") + ", " + peopleCreated.get("p2"));

            // The second examples indicates a read transaction, that can be answered by a follower

        // Shutdown the application context to simulate application end.
        // This closes all managed beans as well. The driver is one of those and its resources will be released.

    private static TransactionWork<Record> createRelationshipToPeople(String person1, String person2) {

        return tx -> {
            // To learn more about the Cypher syntax, see https://neo4j.com/docs/cypher-manual/current/
            // The Reference Card is also a good resource for keywords https://neo4j.com/docs/cypher-refcard/current/

            String createRelationshipToPeopleQuery = "MERGE (p1:Person { name: $person1_name }) \n" +
                "MERGE (p2:Person { name: $person2_name })\n" +
                "MERGE (p1)-[:KNOWS]->(p2)\n" +
                "RETURN p1, p2";

            Map<String, Object> params = new HashMap<>();
            params.put("person1_name", person1);
            params.put("person2_name", person2);

            try {
                Result result = tx.run(createRelationshipToPeopleQuery, params);
                // You should not return the result itself outside of the scope of the transaction.
                // The result will be closed when the transaction closes and it won't be usable afterwards.
                // As we know that the query can only return one row, we can use the single method of the Result and
                // return the record.
                return result.single();

                // You should capture any errors along with the query and data for traceability
            } catch (Neo4jException ex) {
                LOGGER.error(createRelationshipToPeopleQuery + " raised an exception", ex);
                throw ex;

    private static TransactionWork<List<String>> readPersonByName(String name) {

        return tx -> {
            String readPersonByNameQuery = "MATCH (p:Person)\n" +
                "    WHERE p.name = $person_name\n" +
                "    RETURN p.name AS name";

            Map<String, Object> params = Collections.singletonMap("person_name", name);

            try {
                Result result = tx.run(readPersonByNameQuery, params);
                return result.list(row -> row.get("name").asString());
            } catch (Neo4jException ex) {
                LOGGER.error(readPersonByNameQuery + " raised an exception", ex);
                throw ex;


Running the example

Follow the steps below to run the example code:

  1. Copy and paste the code above into a file named Example.java within a package/folder like org.neo4j.examples in the main/java/src folder.

  2. Enter the information for the AuraDB instance you want to connect to by adding the following to the application.properties file:

    spring.neo4j.uri=neo4j+s://<Bolt url for Neo4j Aura instance>
    spring.neo4j.authentication.username=<Username for Neo4j Aura instance>
    spring.neo4j.authentication.password=<Password for Neo4j Aura instance>

    and replace:

    • <Bolt url for Neo4j Aura instance> with the URI.

    • <Username for Neo4j Aura instance> with the username.

    • <Password for Neo4j Aura instance> with the password.

  3. Use the following command to run the example code:

    ./mvnw spring-boot:run

Example walkthrough

This example creates an ExampleCommandLineRunner, an implementation of Spring’s CommandLineRunner. This bean’s run method executes after the Spring context is successfully created.

There are two methods called from the implemented run method:

  • createRelationshipToPeople creates two 'Person' nodes, Alice and David, and a 'KNOWS' relationship between them using a write transaction.

  • readPersonByName finds Alice using a read transaction.

Developing with Neo4j Aura requires the use of Transaction Functions. Transaction Functions enable automatic recovery from transient network errors and enable load balancing.

Make sure to log queries and data sent from your application as it is useful when you encounter errors and can help with debugging.