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Manipulating the graph: Queries and templates

In this chapter, we will learn how to use queries and query templates:

Most graph databases support a query language that can be used to express pattern queries in the graph. For example, Neo4j supports Cypher and JanusGraph supports Gremlin.

The Cypher query language is similar to SQL, it can be learned from Neo4j's online documentation.

Running standard queries

Standard queries can be executed from the Query Management panel, that can be opened using the Magic wand icon in the top left corner of the workspace.

The following query returns all the cities that are connected to at least 3 companies and at most 100.

MATCH (city:City)<-[hasCity:HAS_CITY]-(company:Company)
WITH city, count(company) as score, collect(company) as companies, collect(hasCity) as hasCities
WHERE score > 3 AND score < 100
RETURN city, companies, hasCities

Running a standard query

Note that the Cypher query has to contain a RETURN statement. Only nodes and edges returned are displayed. Returned values that are not a node or an edge (such as the score in the previous example) are not displayed.

Running query templates

  • A Query Template is a query that accepts variables.
  • Query templates can be executed from the context menu (right-click) of a node
  • When user input is required, a form is displayed to the user

The following template returns, in the limit of "max", the "COMPANY" neighbours of the parameter node.

MATCH (n)-[edge]-(company:Company)
WHERE id(n) = {{"Node":node}}
RETURN edge, company
LIMIT {{"max":number:10}}

Running a query template

A query template accepts several types of variables:

  • Node / Node set
  • Text
  • Number
  • Enumeration (one value among a list of predefined choices, e.g. a country from a predefined list of countries)
  • Date / Date-time
  • Boolean (True / False)

Single-node query templates can be run on multiple nodes at once, the same way it is possible to expand multiple nodes at once.

Managing queries and templates

The Query Management panel is opened through the "Magic Wand" icon in the workspace. It contains 3 tabs:

  • Standard Queries: list of all queries owned by and shared with the user
  • Query Templates: list of all templates owned by and shared with the user
  • Query Editor: create, test and save queries and templates

open query modal

A user can view the details, execute and load in the editor:

  • The queries and templates he created (identified as "Not shared" if not shared, "Shared with groups: ‘X’ and ‘Y’" if shared with user groups X and Y)
  • The queries and templates that were shared with them (identified "Shared with me")
  • The built-in templates

A user can edit and delete:

  • The queries and templates he created

shared query

Sharing queries and templates

Queries and Templates can be shared:

  • With everybody
  • With a selection of user groups

sharing a query

Queries and Templates can require a lot of computing resources from the database. Make sure to test your queries and templates properly and verify that you have enough computing power before sharing them. If overloaded, your database server may run slow or even crash, making the database unavailable, and Linkurious Enterprise unusable.

Creating a standard query

The Query Editor provides a place to create and validate queries before saving them.

The Preview allows to visualize the results of a query:

  • View the details of a node like in the workspace
  • Expand nodes to better understand the context and validate the result of the query. The original results have a blue halo to differentiate them from nodes added later on through the expand action.
  • You can add the results of the query directly to the workspace, without saving the query by clicking "Add results to the workspace" at the bottom right

query preview

Creating a query template

A Template is a mix of code (Cypher or Gremlin) and placeholders for variables. The way to declare the variables is inspired by the "Mustache" templating language, using the double curly braces to mark the start and end of a variable declaration.

Example:

MATCH (n)-[e]-(m) WHERE id(n) = {{"My node":node}} RETURN e, m

Testing templates in the editor

When a Template variable is detected, a form is generated and displayed to the right of the query editor, allowing the template to be tested.

template testing

Query templates syntax

A variable is made of 3 terms separated by a colon (:), the first 2 being mandatory:

  • Variable ID (mandatory). A quoted string. It serves as the label of the input in the user form. It allows you to reuse the same variable in multiple places in your code.
  • Variable type (mandatory). Must be one of node, nodeset, string, number, date, datetime, enum.
  • Variable parameters (optional). Variable-specific parameters.

A Query Template can be made of:

  • Node variables (node or nodeset)
  • Non-graph variables (e.g. number, string, etc.)

When a Query Template consists of at least one node variable, it is available through both the context menu and the Query Management panel.

When a Query Template consists of non-graph variables only, it is available through the Query Management panel only.

Single-node templates

When a query template that consist of one node variable and any number of non-graph variables:

  • it is available in the node context-menu (i.e. node right-click menu)
  • when there is a node-category restriction, the template is only available for nodes matching the constraint

running qudery templates from the node context menu

Two-nodes templates

  • It is possible to use up to two node variables in a Template.
  • The Template is available from the context menu when exactly two nodes are selected.
  • The Shortest Path is now a built-in Template with two nodes variables (source and target).

using the shortest path bultin query

Multi-nodes templates

  • There is a specific type of variable for multiple nodes: nodeset
  • This variable accepts selections of 1, 2 or more nodes
  • This variable should be used when you want your Template to accept an undetermined number of nodes as input.

E.g. the following Template returns only the nodes that are shared neighbours to each and every node of the input nodeset:

MATCH (n) WHERE id(n) in {{"My nodes":nodeset}}
MATCH (n)-[e]-(m)
WITH m, collect(e) as edges, count(distinct n) as sharedNeighborCount
WHERE sharedNeighborCount = length({{"My nodes":nodeset}})
RETURN m, edges

using a nodeset variable

Query templates variable types

node variable

Used to inject a single node ID in a graph query.

  • Keyword: node.
  • Parameters:
    • categories (optional): string or array of strings restricting the availability of the template to the specified categories (as a consequence, the Template will show in the context menu only if the selected node has one of the specified categories).

Examples:

  • {{"my node":node:"COMPANY"}} (shorthand for category parameter)
  • {{"my node":node:["COMPANY","SUPPLIER"]}} (shorthand for category parameter)
  • {{"my node":node:{"categories": ["COMPANY","SUPPLIER"]}}}

nodeset variable

Used to inject a list of node IDs in a graph query.

  • Keyword: nodeset
  • Parameters:
    • categories (optional): Same as for node type.

Examples:

  • {{"my nodes":nodeset:"COMPANY"}} (shorthand for category parameter)
  • {{"my nodes":nodeset:["COMPANY","SUPPLIER"]}} (shorthand for category parameter)
  • {{"my nodes":nodeset:{"categories": ["COMPANY","SUPPLIER"]}}}

enum variable

Used to inject a string, numerical or boolean value in a graph query, from a list of choices.

  • Keyword: enum
  • Parameters:
    • values (required): An array of values to choose from or an array of value + label.
    • default (optional): A default value, must be one of the values

Examples:

  • {{"my enum":enum:["FR", "EN", "US"]}} (shorthand for values)
  • {{"my enum":enum:[1, 2, 3]}} (shorthand for values)
  • {{"my enum":enum:[true, false]}} (shorthand for values)
  • {{"my enum":enum:{"values": ["FR", "EN", "US"], "default": "EN"}}}
  • {{"my enum":enum:{"values": [{"label": "France", "value": "FR"}, {"label": "U.S.A", "value": "US"}]}}}

boolean variable

Used to inject a true/false value in a graph query.

  • Keyword: boolean
  • Parameters:
    • default (optional): A default value

Examples:

  • {{"my choice":boolean}}
  • {{"my choice":boolean:true}} (shorthand for default value)
  • {{"my choice":boolean:{"default": true}}}

date variable

Used to inject a date-time in a graph query.

  • Keyword: date
  • Parameters:
    • format (required): The serialization format of the date in the query, must be one of:
      • native: serialized as a native Date database object
      • timestamp: serialized as a numerical Unix timestamp in seconds
      • timestamps-ms: serialized as a numerical Unix timestamp in milliseconds
      • iso: serialized as a "yyyy-mm-dd" string (same as yyyy-mm-dd)
      • yyyy-mm-dd: serialized as a "yyyy-mm-dd" string (same as iso)
      • dd/mm/yyyy: serialized as a "dd/mm/yyyy" string
      • mm/dd/yyyy: serialized as a "mm/dd/yyyy" string
    • default (optional): A default value (expressed in "yyyy-mm-dd" format)
    • min (optional): The minimum accepted value (expressed in "yyyy-mm-dd" format)
    • max (optional): The maximum accepted value (expressed in "yyyy-mm-dd" format)

Example:

  • {{"my date":date:"yyyy-mm-dd"}} (shorthand for format)
  • {{"my date":date:{"format": "yyyy-mm-dd"}}}
  • {{"my date":date:{"format: "timestamp-ms", "min": "2018-01-02"}}}
  • {{"my date":date:{"format": "yyyy-mm-dd", "default": "2018-01-01"}}}
  • {{"my date":date:{"format": "native", "min": "1990-12-31", "max": "2018-12-31"}}}

datetime variable

Used to inject a date-time in a graph query.

  • Keyword: datetime
  • Parameters:
    • format (required): The serialization format of the date-time in the query, must be one of:
      • native: serialized as a native DateTime database object
      • timestamp: serialized as a numerical Unix timestamp in seconds
      • timestamps-ms: serialized as a numerical Unix timestamp in milliseconds
      • iso: serialized as a "yyyy-mm-ddThh:mm:ss" string
    • timezone (optional): A string in +HH:MM or -HH:MM format. If omitted and the format is "native', a LocalDateTime object is created.
    • default (optional): A default value (expressed in "yyyy-mm-ddThh:mm:ss" format)
    • placeholder (optional): The placeholder text to use in the form.
    • min (optional): The minimum accepted value (expressed in "yyyy-mm-ddThh:mm:ss" format)
    • max (optional): The maximum accepted value (expressed in "yyyy-mm-ddThh:mm:ss" format)

Example:

  • {{"my date-time":datetime:"native"}} (shorthand for format)
  • {{"my date-time":datetime:{"format": "native"}}}
  • {{"my date-time":datetime:{"format": "iso"}}}
  • {{"my date-time":datetime:{"format":"native", "min": "2017-01-02T10:10:10"}}}
  • {{"my date-time":datetime:{"format":"native", "min": "1940-01-01T00:00:00", "max": "2020-01-01T00:00:00", "default": "2000-01-01T00:00:00", "timezone":"+02:00"}}}

number variable

Used to inject a numerical value in a graph query.

  • Keyword: number
  • Parameters:
    • default (optional): A default value
    • placeholder (optional): The placeholder text to use in the form.
    • min (optional): The minimum accepted value
    • max (optional): The maximum accepted value

Example:

  • {{"my number":number}}
  • {{"my number":number:12}} (shorthand for default value)
  • {{"my number":number:{"default": 12}}}
  • {{"my number":number:{"min": 0}}}
  • {{"my number":number:{"min": 0, "max": 15.5, "default": 12}}}

string variable

Used to inject a string of text in a graph query.

  • Keyword: string
  • Parameters:
    • default (optional): A default value
    • placeholder (optional): The placeholder text to use in the form.

Example:

  • {{"my string":string}}
  • {{"my string":string:"paris"}} (shorthand for default value)
  • {{"my string":string:{"default": "paris"}}}
  • {{"my string":string:{"placeholder": "Enter a city"}}}

Access-rights considerations

There are 4 levels of permission associated with the queries and templates:

  • Cannot run queries
    • No permissions to create nor run queries/templates
  • Can run existing queries:
    • Permission to execute any existing query/template that has been shared with them (This includes write queries/templates)
    • No permission to access the Editor and create new queries/templates
  • Can create read-only queries and run existing queries
    • Permission to execute any existing query/template that has been shared with them (This includes write queries/templates)
    • Permission to access the Editor and create new read-only queries/templates and share them with other users
    • No permission to create new read/write queries/templates
  • Can create read/write queries and run existing queries
    • Permission to execute any existing query/template that has been shared with them (This includes write queries/templates)
    • Permission to access the Editor and create new read-only queries/templates and share them when other users
    • permission to create new read/write queries/templates and share then with other users

For Cypher: Any query or template containing the CALL statement is considered as a read/write query.

Queries and templates that write in the database can be shared with any user group, including those that were not granted "Write" permissions on any node category. Be considerate as to who you share queries with, and who has the right to share queries (see "Access Right" section in administration manual)