Choosing the Right GraphDB Edition for Your Project

June 28, 2018 4 mins. read Vassil Momtchev

Right graphDB choice webinar

Ontotext’s GraphDB is one of the leading semantic graph databases (also known as an RDF Triplestore), which has been successfully applied in mission-critical use cases in various industries such as Media & Publishing, Healthcare & Life Sciences, Digital Libraries and Cultural Heritage.

GraphDB provides various advantages for working with big Knowledge Graphs:

  • High scalability, with deployments of tens of billions of triples (nodes and edges of the graph);
  • Various inference profiles, including custom rules, which are able to derive new information and enrich the semantic graph with new relationships between nodes;
  • Full compliance to standards;
  • Extensions for geo-spatial querying, RDF Rank for graph analytics, experimental Blueprints/Gremlin support, as well as a plugin architecture for 3rd party extensions;
  • Connectors to full-text search engines like Solr and Elasticsearch, which provide the means for high-performance hybrid queries mixing graph pattern matching with full-text or faceted queries;
  • High-availability cluster, for improved resilience and performance of the database in mission-critical scenarios.
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A Quick Overview of GraphDB Editions

GraphDB comes in various editions and deployment options so that customers can choose the set of capabilities best suited for their prototype or use case.


The Free edition of GraphDB provides – as the name implies – a fully featured and free semantic graph database. It has the same features as the Standard edition, with the limitation of only 2 concurrent database queries being executed at any time. GraphDB Free is ideal for experimentation, prototyping or for production deployments where the query load is not too high.


The Standard edition provides all the capabilities and performance of GraphDB for single-node deployments. Since it is Java-based, it can be deployed anywhere, also via Maven artifacts and Docker containers).


The Enterprise edition of GraphDB provides a high availability (HA) cluster for mission-critical deployments. It employs a standard master/worker architecture where queries are load-balanced among the worker nodes and all updates are multiplexed to all nodes. The cluster supports various topologies, including multi-master and multi-data center deployments.


Choosing a GraphDB Edtion for Your Project

There are various phases that a project undergoes when adopting a new technology such as a semantic graph database: from learning, to initial prototyping and experimentation, a full-featured pilot, up to a production deployment. Different priorities are most important in each phase: cost, ease of deployment, performance, high availability.

Technology Adopting Phases

  • During the learning phase, key priorities are usually the cost (free) and instant and easy setup. The Database-as-a-Service (free up to 10M triples) provides an instantly available database in the Cloud, where developers don’t need to spend time on DBA tasks. The Free edition provides a good option for the learning phase for developers who prefer a local deployment (the Free edition is also available via the AWS Marketplace).
  • During the prototyping phase, the cost (free) and ease of deployment and maintenance are still among the leading priorities, but the data volume (size of the semantic graph) starts to grow. The Free edition is a good solution since it has no limit on the size of the graphs it can manage. Additionally, the Database-as-a-Service edition provides low-cost options for bigger graphs (50/250 million triples), which may be preferred during the prototyping phase.
  • When a fully-featured pilot is being developed, performance and scalability usually become key priorities. The Standard edition provides an optimal solution since it is able to manage large volumes of data and concurrent queries. In some cases, the Free and Database-as-a-Service editions may (250 million / 1 billion triples) may be preferred even for a full pilot.
  • In mission-critical production deployment, the key factors are performance and scalability, as well as high availability and resilience. The Enterprise (HA) edition of GraphDB provides the optimal solution, with various topologies that can ensure improved query performance and cluster resilience. In some production scenarios, a single-node database may be sufficient too, so that the Standard edition may be an option too.


Ontotext GraphDB is among the leading enterprise semantic graph databases with high scalability, advanced features and extensions and a variety of deployment options (from single node on-premise, to instant deployments on the AWS cloud, high-availability cluster for mission-critical deployments, as well as a fully-managed database-as-a-service for faster experimentation and prototyping).

If you haven’t already done so, check out GraphDB and choose the edition most suited for your smart data prototypes!


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