Neo4j is the world’s leading graph database. The architecture is designed for optimal management, storage, and traversal of nodes and relationships. The graph database takes a property graph approach, which is beneficial for both traversal performance and operations runtime. Neo4j offers dedicated memory management and memory-efficient operations.

Neo4j is scalable and can be deployed as a standalone server or across multiple machines in a fault-tolerant cluster for production environments. Other features for production applications include hot backups and extensive monitoring.

There are two editions of Neo4j to choose from, the Community Edition and the Enterprise Edition. The Enterprise Edition includes all that Community Edition has to offer, plus extra enterprise requirements such as backups, clustering, and failover capabilities.

Community Edition

The Community Edition is a fully functional edition of Neo4j, suitable for single-instance deployments. It has full support for key Neo4j features, such as ACID-compliant transactions, Cypher, and programming APIs. It is ideal for learning Neo4j, do-it-yourself projects, and applications in small workgroups.

Enterprise Edition

The Enterprise Edition extends the functionality of Community Edition to include key features for performance and scalability, such as a clustering architecture and online backup functionality. Additional security features include role-based access control and LDAP support, for example, Active Directory. It is the choice for production systems with requirements for scale and availability, such as commercial solutions and critical internal solutions.


Neo4j uses semantic versioning (Semantic Versioning Specification 2.0.0). Given a version number MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH, the increment is based on:

  • MAJOR version - incompatible API changes towards previous MAJOR version.

  • MINOR version - functionality in a backward-compatible manner.

  • PATCH release - backward-compatible bug fixes.

Neo4j’s fully managed cloud service Neo4j Aura uses only MAJOR versioning.


Cypher is a declarative query language for graphs. Neo4j uses the property graph approach, where relationships are stored alongside the data in the model, and not computed at query time. Cypher is a powerful, graph-optimized query language that understands, and takes advantage of, these stored connections. When trying to find patterns or insights in data, Cypher queries are often much simpler and easier to write than massive SQL JOINs. Since Neo4j does not have tables, there are no JOINs to worry about.

For more details, see the The Neo4j Cypher Manual → Introduction.


The recommended way of programmatically interacting with the database is either through the official Neo4j Drivers, or through using the Neo4j Java API. Neo4j provides an ACID-compliant transactional backend for your applications.

The official Neo4j Drivers

The official Neo4j Drivers interacts with Neo4j via the Bolt protocol (

See the Neo4j Download Center - Drivers for more links.

Other tools

Neo4j feature details

Neo4j key features

Table 1. Key features
Feature Community Edition Enterprise Edition

Native Graph

Property graph model

Native graph processing & storage

Standard and Aligned store format (34 Billion Nodes & Relationships)

ACID-compliant transactions

Cypher graph query language

Slotted Cypher runtime

Pipelined Cypher runtime (faster)

Listing and terminating running queries

High-performance caching

Cost-based query optimizer

Clients and APIs

Cypher Client

Neo4j Browser with syntax highlighting

Bolt Protocol

Language drivers for C#, Go, Java, JavaScript & Python [1]

High-performance native API

Support for Neo4j Graph Data Science Community Edition [1]

Support for Neo4j Graph Data Science Enterprise Edition [1]

Indexes and constraints

Fast writes via native label indexes

Composite indexes

Full-text node & relationship indexes

Property-existence constraints

Node Key constraints


Role-based access control

Sub-graph access control

LDAP and Active Directory integration

Kerberos security option

Data management

Offline import

Offline incremental import

Auto-reuse of space

Store copy

Offline backup (dump)

Scale and availability

Online back-up and restore

Multiple databases (beyond the system and default databases)

Autonomous clustering

Sharded and federated Composite databases

Monitoring and management

Endpoints and metrics for monitoring via Prometheus

Neo4j Operations Manager

1. Must be downloaded and installed separately.