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Key Criteria for Evaluating Graph Databasesv1.0

An Evaluation Guide for Technology Decision Makers

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Graph Databases Primer
  3. Report Methodology
  4. Decision Criteria Analysis
  5. Evaluation Metrics
  6. Analyst’s Take

1. Summary

Although graph database technology has been around for more than 20 years, it has only recently grown in popularity, with significant adoption over the last few years. Graph databases have become the fastest growing database category in the last few years. This is at least partially attributable to the fact that we live in an increasingly connected world. While this may seem like a mere philosophical observation, that connectedness has had very real ramifications for business and application development, and it is what drives the interest in graph databases.

Why? Consider supply chain applications, which, 20 years ago, were not a use case for graph databases. The average manufacturing company would have a supply chain two to three levels deep, and it could be analyzed using relational databases. Today, supply chains may be 20 or 30 levels deep. Writing and executing queries that span so many hops is neither easy nor practical with other technologies. This is just one of many areas where graph databases shine.

Data integration and knowledge management leveraging knowledge graphs, analytics leveraging graph algorithms, and visualization and exploration of complex networks and relationships are some key functionalities graph databases can enable, and these propagate out into a multitude of other use cases and applications, including master data management, identity and access management, network and IT operations, fraud detection, and recommendation engines.

Although graph database technology is not new, the maturation of hardware and software stacks, as well as the evolution of the business landscape, have combined to form a perfect environment for graph databases.

This GigaOm Key Criteria Report identifies the key criteria and evaluation metrics for selecting a graph database platform. It outlines the process for how to determine the basic requirements of a system, what features serve to differentiate solutions within the market, and new features now being developed and deployed that we predict will become relevant within the next 12-18 months. It also explores the top-line characteristics—known as evaluation metrics—that ultimately drive decision making in the space.

How to Read this Report

This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding consider reviewing the following reports:

Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.

GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.

Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.