Neo4j Opens up its Graph Query Language, Cypher, with Support from Leading Companies

openCypher project aims to bring graph querying to the masses, with support from Oracle, Databricks, Tableau and other leading companies

openCypher project aims to bring graph querying to the masses, with support from Oracle, Databricks, Tableau and other leading companies

SAN FRANCISCO – Oct. 21, 2015 – GraphConnect –  Neo Technology, creator of Neo4j, the world’s leading graph database, announced today the launch of openCypher, an open source project that will make Cypher® – the world’s most popular graph query language – available to technology providers as a universal language for querying graph data.

The creation of openCypher is a pivotal moment in the evolution of the graph data space. Much like SQL did for relational databases, Cypher promises to accelerate the usage of graph processing and analysis worldwide by making it easier for any data storage, analytics or tooling platform to offer access to graph capabilities using a universal query language.

Hundreds of thousands of developers and data analysts already use Cypher, and the majority of people learning about graph databases do so with Cypher.

Besides having garnered wide enthusiasm from the user community, Cypher is currently supported by numerous tooling providers, providing a strong foundation of existing skills and support. The query language has a robust history and has been well proven in the field, with tens of thousands of deployments.

openCypher promises to accelerate an already rapidly expanding graph data space: offering users increased skills marketability and reuse, tooling providers easy support for multiple database backends, and organizations and end users the benefits of technology independence.

Initial supporters of openCypher include: Neo Technology, Oracle, Databricks (the company behind Apache Spark), Tableau, GraphAware, GrapheneDB, Graph Story, GraphGrid, Information Analysis Incorporated (IAI), Linkurious, Structr, ThoughtWorks and Tom Sawyer Software.

The openCypher project aims to make it easy for technology providers to implement Cypher inside of their tools and platforms. openCypher will be a place where users can go to find Cypher-compatible products and will also over time include:

  • A Cypher language specification licensed under the creative commons license
  • A reference implementation distributed under Apache 2.0 license that includes key building blocks needed to implement Cypher, available under a permissive open source license
  • A Technology Compatibility Kit (TCK) that includes tests for vendors
  • Reference documentation for versioned releases of Cypher

As a graph query language, Cypher allows users to focus on their domain instead of getting lost in the mechanics of data access. It aims to be accessible to both developers and operations professionals alike.

Both expressive and efficient, Cypher is intuitive and immediately familiar, without the high learning curve that normally comes with learning a new language. It’s a language that users love, making it an especially strong candidate technically: for its power, familiarity and ease.

Supporting Quotes

“Oracle is a strong supporter of standard, open APIs and languages. As with SQL, we believe open language standards accelerate platform and paradigm adoption. With the release of Oracle Big Data Spatial and Graph and our longstanding support for the Spatial and Graph option for Oracle Database, we are excited to deliver new, scalable solutions to the graph community. openCypher offers the graph community an opportunity to address the need for standards-based interfaces to simplify graph data access.” – Jim Steiner, Vice President, Spatial and Graph Technologies, Oracle

“Graph processing is becoming an indispensable part of the modern big data stack. Neo4j’s Cypher query language has greatly accelerated graph database adoption. We look forward to bringing Cypher’s graph pattern matching capabilities into the Spark stack, making graph querying more accessible to the masses.” – Ion Stoica, CEO and Founder, Databricks

"Lots of software systems could be improved by using a graph datastore. One thing holding back the category has been the lack of a widely supported, standard graph query language. We see the appearance of openCypher as an important step towards the broader use of graphs across the industry." – Rebecca Parsons, CTO, ThoughtWorks

“Much as SQL was a springboard more than 30 years ago to bring relational database technology to the fore, we expect Cypher to have a similar effect on graph database adoption. Companies such as Google, Facebook and LinkedIn have leveraged graph processing to transform their respective industries. openCypher will accelerate that, making it easier to bring the same transformative power of graphs to enterprises of any size.” – Emil Eifrem, CEO, Neo Technology

To learn more about openCypher, visit:, or check out our blog post at:

Neo Technology is also proud to announce its new release of Neo4j 2.3 and its collaboration with IBM to introduce Neo4j for IBM POWER8.

All trademarks and registered trademarks, including Neo Technology ®, Neo4j ® and Cypher ® are the property of their respective owners.