A close look into Quantis Suite 2.0 and how Neo4j is implemented to manage Life-Cycle Analysis LCA data.

Quantis SUITE 2.0 is a web based LCA software for environmental footprinting of company, products and technologies. I will not detail here all the features. But here are the main features related to our need of a graph database like Neo4j:
  • Design hierarchical systems to analyse, using trees
  • Link your assets from designed systems to internationally recognised databases related to LCA
  • Dynamically explore computed results using OLAP-like features
This software is under development for more than three years by a small team up to 5 developers. I have been there from the beginning, leading the team for the technical part. I am writing this article as the software architect and lead developer. After two years of development, it became clear that a classical SQL/JPA combo will never fit some of our long term specific needs, like massive usage of trees, fast customization capabilities, easy made plug-ins. The advanced scientific part seemed also too specific to be handled by an existing SQL/OLAP solution. So we explored some other solutions, and finally decided last year to introduce Neo4j as our main database, while keeping a MySQL database for some parts. Today, Neo4j is in our pre-production version, and will be soon used in production.
 

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