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Python bindings for Neo4j graph database

Project description

Neo4j Python Bindings

:synopsis: Access Neo4j graph database functionality from python code

Only tested with Neo4j 1.3 on OSX Snow Leopard, Python 2.6

This is a work in progress. Please let me know if stuff in this document fails or doesn't seem to be true.

Thanks much.


Install JCC:

$ easy_install jcc

Download and unpack neo4j somewhere (
Currently only version 1.3 is supported

Set NEO4J_HOME environment variable to this download of Neo4j:

$ export NEO4J_HOME=~/downloads/neo4j-community-1.3

Enter the Neo4py package directory:

$ cd the/directory/with/this/readme

Build C++ wrappers with JCC:

$ python build

Install (may require sudo-ness):

$ python install

Run some tests:
$ python test/

Hopefully no errors! If there are, send me the tracebacks :)

Getting started

Simplest way is to use the 'global' graph.
>>> from neo4py import neo
>>> gdb = neo.init_graph('test-graph.neo4j')
>>> gdb.shutdown()

This global graph may be accessed from anywhere after being initialized with
>>> gdb = neo.get_graph()


Transactions are handled differently than in

>>> tx, created = gdb.get_tx()

If created is True, it is the responsibility of this scope to commit the transaction when done it:

>>> tx.finish(True) # success - commit changes to database
>>> tx.finish(False) # failure - rollback changes

>>> tx.success() # or .failure()
>>> tx.finish() # it doesn't matter if True of False is passed here -- it will be ignored

Nodes, Relationships and Properties (Beginning of fun stuff)

** Not all syntax is compatible **

Creating a node:: (must be within a transaction!)

>>> n = gdb.node()

Specify properties for new node::

>>> n = gdb.node(petals=5, color="Red", height=5.5) #support for number or string array properties is not yet added

Accessing node by id:

>>> n = gdb.nodes[14]

Accessing properties:

>>> value = n['key'] # Get property value

>>> n['key'] = value # Set property value

>>> del n['key'] # Remove property value

# Or, with a default
>>> value = n.get('key', 'default')

>>> for prop in n: do_something(prop)
>>> for prop, value in n.iteritems(): do_someting(prop,value) # loop through node properties

>>>more_props = { "name" : "Jack", "occupation" : "Pilot" }
>>>n2.update(name="Sarah", occupation="Astronaut")

>>> # Node id

Create relationship::

>>> n1.Knows(n2, since="A long time ago")

# Or
>>> n1.relationships("Likes")(n2, how_much="A lot") # Usefull when the name of
# relationship is stored in a variable.
# This syntax may change though... seems obscure?

The creation returns a Relationship object, which has properties accessible like nodes.

>>> rel = n1.Knows(n2, since=123456789)
>>> rel['since']

Additional attributes:

>>> rel.start # start node (n1)
>>> rel.end # end node (n2)

>>> rel.type

Others functions over 'relationships' attribute are possible. Like get all,
incoming or outgoing relationships (typed or not):

>>> rels = list(n1.relationships())

>>> rels = list(n1.relationships("Knows", "Likes").incoming)

>>> rel = n1.Knows.outgoing.single


In progress. Much like
See tests (neo4py/testing/

>>> from neo4py.core import Direction
>>> from neo4py.traversal import Traverser, Stop, Returnable, Order

class MyTraverser(Traverser):
types = [Direction.Incoming.Knows, Direction.Undirected.Likes]
is_stop = lambda pos: pos.node == my_node #can use a python method #### LARGELY UNTESTED ####
#pos is a TraversalPosition object
is_returnable = Returnable.ALL #or a java defined ReturnableEvaluator/StopEvaluator
# (these are faster)
order = Order.DEPTH_FIRST


See tests (neo4py/testing/

>>> node_idx = gdb.node_indices.create("My node index", fulltext=True) #create an new fulltext index
#Will fail index with name already exists
>>> node_idx = gdb.node_indices["My node index"] #retrieve already created index

>>> "That index" in gdb.node_indices #test if index exists
>>> "My node index" in gdb.node_indices

>>> rel_idx = gdb.rel_indices.create("Relationship index") # works the same, but for relationships

>>> node_idx['name', "Jack"] = n1
>>> node_idx['name', "Jack"] = n500 # two nodes indexed under 'name' => "Jack"

>>>nodes = list(node_idx['name', 'Jack']) # Returns iterator over both nodes (exact matching using this syntax)

>>>nodes = list(node_idx.simple_query('name', 'jack') # fulltext query by single key/value
>>>nodes = list(node_idx.query('name:jack')) # Run lucene query (supports multiple keys)

Relationship indices same, but with a couple extra options (See Neo4j Docs):
>>> rels = list(rel_idx.simple_query('key', 'value', start_node=n1) #limit query, for efficiency (can also be end_node)
>>> rels = list(rel_idx.query('key:value', end_node=some_other_node)

Models, Django support, QuerySets, Aggregates

In Progress

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