Apache Tinkerpop rocks DataStax support for Gremlin

DataStax offers a commercially supported ‘enterprise-robust’ database built on open source Apache Cassandra.

As such, DataStax has told Computer Weekly Open Source Insider that it is actively engaged with supporting a variety of live, working, growing open source projects.

Among those projects is Apache Tinkerpop… and inside Tinkerpop is Gremlin.

What is Tinkerpop?

Apache TinkerPop is a graph computing framework for both graph databases that work with OnLine Transactional Processing (OLTP) and graph analytic systems that work with OnLine Analytical Processing (OLAP).

For extra clarification, TinkerPop is an open source, vendor-agnostic, graph computing framework distributed under the commercial-friendly Apache2 license.

According to Apache, “When a data system is TinkerPop-enabled, its users are able to model their domain as a graph and analyse that graph using the Gremlin graph traversal language. Furthermore, all TinkerPop-enabled systems integrate with one another allowing them to easily expand their offerings as well as allowing users to choose the appropriate graph technology for their application.”

TinkerPop supports in-memory graph databases through to distributed computing databases that can run in parallel across hundreds of nodes, so you can scale up as much as your data set requires you to.

What is Gremlin?

Gremlin is the most common query language used for graph – it’s used across multiple graph technologies so provides a common framework for working with graph data.

In terms of use, Gremlin works for both OLTP-based graph databases as well as OLAP-based graph processors — and its automata (abstract machine status) and functional language foundation enable Gremlin to naturally support imperative and declarative querying.

Gremlin is a functional open source graph traversal language and it works like Java in that it is composed of a virtual machine and an instruction set.

DataStax on Gremlin

DataStax says that getting used to Gremlin can make it easier to understand how graphs work and how to query data.

According to an official company statement, “At DataStax, we support this project wholeheartedly – for example, the Gremlin project chair works at DataStax and the DataStax team contributes the vast majority of the commits. We will continue to support this project as it has organically grown to be the most widely adopted traversal framework for the whole community around graph.”

DataStax offers a free DataStax Academy course entitled Getting Started with TinkerPop and Gremlin at this link. The company also notes that in order to be familiar with Gremlin traversal syntax and techniques, developers need to understand how the language works… consequently, DataStax has provided a free Gremlin recipes series to offer some insight into Gremlin internals.

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