Connection

Once you have installed the driver and have a running Neo4j instance, you are ready to connect your application to the database.

Connect to the database

You connect to a database by creating a Driver object and providing a URL and an authentication token.

from neo4j import GraphDatabase

# URI examples: "neo4j://localhost", "neo4j+s://xxx.databases.neo4j.io"
URI = "<URI to Neo4j database>"
AUTH = ("<Username>", "<Password>")

with GraphDatabase.driver(URI, auth=AUTH) as driver: (1)
    driver.verify_connectivity() (2)

Creating a Driver instance (1) only provides information on how to access the database, but does not actually establish a connection. Connection is instead deferred to when the first query is executed. To verify immediately that the driver can connect to the database (valid credentials, compatible versions, etc), use the .verify_connectivity() method (2) after initializing the driver.

Both the creation of a Driver object and the connection verification can raise a number of different exceptions. Since error handling can get quite verbose, and a connection error is a blocker for any subsequnt task, the most common choice is to let the program crash should an exception occurr during connection.

Driver objects are immutable, thread-safe, and fairly expensive to create. Share them across threads (but not across processes) and use impersonation to query the database with a different user. If you want to alter a Driver configuration, you will need to create a new object.

Close connections

Always close Driver objects to free up all allocated resources, even upon unsuccessful connection or runtime errors. Either instantiate the Driver object using the with statement, or call the Driver.close() method explicitly.

Further connection parameters

For more Driver configuration parameters and further connection settings, see Advanced connection information.

Glossary

LTS

A Long Term Support release is one guaranteed to be supported for a number of years. Neo4j 4.4 is LTS, and Neo4j 5 will also have an LTS version.

Aura

Aura is Neo4j’s fully managed cloud service. It comes with both free and paid plans.

Driver

A Driver object holds the details required to establish connections with a Neo4j database. Every Neo4j-backed application requires a Driver object.

Cypher

Cypher is Neo4j’s graph query language that lets you retrieve data from the graph. It is like SQL, but for graphs.

APOC

Awesome Procedures On Cypher (APOC) is a library of (many) functions that can not be easily expressed in Cypher itself.

Bolt

Bolt is the protocol used for interaction between Neo4j instances and drivers. It listens on port 7687 by default.

ACID

Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability (ACID) are properties guaranteeing that database transactions are processed reliably. An ACID-compliant DBMS ensures that the data in the database remains accurate and consistent despite failures.

eventual consistency

A database is eventually consistent if it provides the guarantee that all cluster members will, at some point in time, store the latest version of the data.

causal consistency

A database is causally consistent if read and write queries are seen by every member of the cluster in the same order. This is stronger than eventual consistency.

null

The null marker is not a type but a placeholder for absence of value. For more information, see Cypher Manual — Working with null.

transaction

A transaction is a unit of work that is either committed in its entirety or rolled back on failure. An example is a bank transfer: it involves multiple steps, but they must all succeed or be reverted, to avoid money being subtracted from one account but not added to the other.