What are the pros and cons of Graph database?

 Posted by Niladri.Biswas on 12/12/2012 | Category: NoSql Interview questions | Views: 11541 | Points: 40


a) Graph databases seem to be tailor-made for networking applications. The
prototypical example is a social network, where nodes represent users who have various kinds of relationships to each other. Modeling this kind of data using any of the other styles is often a tough fit, but a graph database would accept it with relish.

b) They are also perfect matches for an object-oriented system.


a) Because of the high degree of interconnectedness between nodes, graph
databases are generally not suitable for network partitioning.

b) Graph databases don’t scale out well.

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Comments or Responses

Posted by: Kevinsonra on: 6/19/2017 | Points: 10
The previous answers have already done a good job of summarising the advantages and disadvantages of graph databases.

I would add one more advantage. The model in a graph database is easier to change than in a relational database. If the type of relationship in an RDBMS changes e.g. from 1:N to M:N I need to use DDL to change the model, which may require downtime. I don’t have this problem in a graph database where changing the relationships/edges between vertices is much easier.

I would add two disadvantages of a graph database over a relational database:

Graph databases are poor at aggregating data. Don’t use it for Business Intelligence.

It is difficult to implement versioning/auditing of data in a graph database. While not impossible it is rather awkward though.

I have written up a blog post on the pros and cons of graph databases in comparison to RDBMS. It also discusses the various use cases of a graph database and the different types of storage implementation: https://sonra.io/2017/06/12/benefits-graph-databases-data-warehousing/

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