Chapter 2. Evolving from Relational to Graph Thinking

Together over the years, we have advised hundreds of teams on where and how to get started with graph data and graph technologies. From our conversations with those teams, we assembled the most common questions and advice for introducing graph thinking and graph data into your business.

We want to start your journey toward graph thinking with the following three questions that every team will encounter when evaluating graph technologies:

  1. Is graph technology better for my problem than relational technology?

  2. How do I think about my data as a graph?

  3. How do I model a graph’s schema?

Those teams that spend the time up-front to understand these three topics are more likely to successfully integrate graph technologies into their stack. Conversely, from our experience, businesses shelved early-stage graph projects because their teams skipped through collectively understanding these questions for their business.

Chapter Preview: Translating Relational Concepts to Graph Terminology

The three questions in the opening section form the outline of this chapter.

We will start off with an abbreviated tour of the differences between relational and graph technologies. Then we will walk through an abbreviated tour of relational data modeling. From the model, we will translate the relational concepts to graph modeling techniques and take a short tour of some fundamental terms from graph theory.

We will also introduce the Graph Schema ...

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