About Neo4j Desktop

This section presents the purpose and capabilities of Neo4j Desktop.

1. Purpose

Neo4j Desktop is an installable application to help you work with Neo4j, whether you are just getting started or have prior Neo4j experience. For a new user, it is designed to help you learn and experiment with Neo4j locally, by including everything you need to get started. Once you know Neo4j, Desktop becomes your local development environment for projects where you will use Neo4j.

A Developer edition license of the Neo4j graph database is included with Neo4j Desktop. The Developer edition offers all the capabilities and features of Neo4j Enterprise Edition, for development use by an individual person on a single machine. Multi-machine features (e.g. clustering) are not supported with Neo4j Desktop. See Operations Manual → Neo4j feature details for more information on the Neo4j Enterprise Edition.

Neo4j Desktop is for you if you are developing with Neo4j as an individual user and want full control and visibility into your database environment. You can download and deploy Neo4j on your own server, or get it in a cloud marketplace (e.g. AWS, Azure, Google), if you wish to self-manage it. See Operations manual → Installation for more information on different options for installing Neo4j. If you are developing in collaboration with others, and/or if you prefer the database environment to be managed for you, consider Neo4j Aura, our managed cloud database service.

2. High-level capabilities

With Neo4j Desktop, you can create and manage any number of local databases as your machine can support. Neo4j databases are hosted by a database management server (DBMS) instance and, starting with Neo4j 4.0, you can have one or more databases in a given DBMS instance. Since Desktop can run all currently supported Neo4j database versions, you can choose to create one or more DBMS instances to maintain different Neo4j versions, separate your databases by the type of data they contain, or to achieve a particular desired configuration of the DBMS. You can manage the configuration of your DBMSs, add plugins, view logs, backup and restore data, upgrade Neo4j versions and more to get the full lifecycle experience of running Neo4j.

Desktop also provides and hosts a number of graph apps, which are purpose-built applications that work with your graph databases. Neo4j Browser and Bloom are two such graph apps that are bundled with Desktop. Browser is used as a query tool to run Cypher queries against your Neo4j graph data and view results. Bloom is used to visualize graph data using search inputs. In addition to these, other graph apps are available from a Graph Apps Gallery inside Desktop. Graph apps can be used with the currently running DBMS in Desktop.

You can also create a remote connection in Desktop to a DBMS instance that is running on an external server. However, external DBMSs can only be activated in Desktop for use with graph apps. They cannot be configured or managed from within Desktop. At any given time, only one local DBMS instance or a remote connection can be running in Desktop.