It is some years that I’m exploring the graph world, mainly using Oracle solutions. This means PGX for property graphs, and either the standalone OTN version or the one packaged with the Oracle Database (there is also the big data one, but never really needed it so far).
The tool is really nice and powerful. When used with the database you can benefits from the ease of use of the database as storage for graphs, using standard SQL. And loading graphs into PGX for proper graph queries or algorithms is easy and quick.
The main downside in adoption of this tool was licensing. I never talk about licensing because it’s really not something I like, but to use PGX coming with the database you had to buy the Spatial and Graph pack license.
You had to buy … Not anymore
I wrote “you had to buy” on purpose. That’s history, part of the past, it isn’t the case anymore! An Oracle’s blog post confirm the news.
Oracle listened to some feedbacks of clients, and potential users, who didn’t want to have to buy a license for 2 components and use only one. It’s probably not the reason and this change is driven by other business reasons. Still I take it as win for property graph in Oracle.
As of December 5, 2019, the Machine Learning (formerly known as Advanced Analytics), Spatial and Graph features of Oracle Database may be used for development and deployment purposes with all on-prem editions and Oracle Cloud Database Services.https://blogs.oracle.com/database/machine-learning%2c-spatial-and-graph-no-license-required-v2
From now on, if you have a license for your database, you can use property graph free of charge. Cost isn’t a reason anymore to not investigate and implement the usage of property graphs in the daily processes.
Does it really change something?
It is absolutely a major change as you have all the features you can expect from an “enterprise” product (official support etc.) without having to buy anything else.
No need to read 4x the OTN license to see if you are allowed to use in the way you expect to conduct your tests. No need to worry that, because of one sample use, you ended up in an illegal situation with your licensing.
You can now freely perform proper tests and experiment focusing fully on the property graph, and not having nightmares about Oracle licensing at night. And once testing is over, it’s still free to use is as a production solution!
Where to start?
There are many resources online covering various usages of property graphs coming packaged with the database or not.
A good introduction on how to create a graph in the database and load it into PGX can be found in the slides and notebooks of one of my presentations I did few times this year.
- Graph Database: from scratch in 45 minutes + (Notebooks)
- Property Graph in Oracle Database: A Polyglot Solution
- When Machine Learning meets Graph Databases
- Relational DB vs Graph DB: And the Winner Is?
I have a lot more to say about Property Graphs with Oracle PGX, the possible usage and some use cases. I will really to keep developing the topic more and more in the future. And because it’s not “free”, don’t hesitate to give it a try!!