Understanding Frameworks

In traditional Database Management Systems you need to define a "schema". The schema is...

  • A map of where to put things and where to find them.
  • A mechanism to impose constraints on what those things are and where in the database they can go.

A database (physical) schema is also a straightjacket. Fill your database and you're locked into the structures defined by that schema. The only way to make significant change is to "migrate" your data. Imagine giant flocks of birds taking wing for a two-month-long journey from one end of the globe to the other. Data migration is no less an undertaking.

NoSQL databases are less-structured. The maps and constraints are basic or non-existent - and this includes the other graph databases. "No Schema" is touted as a positive feature of these database systems, but in truth you end up writing the schema in your application instead. That's not good practice - particularly for enterprise, where many applications and developers across many departments may be using the same DBMS.

GraphBase is different, and it's also unique amongst Graph Databases. We give you powerful maps and we also give you structures to impose the constraints you need. We do this with what we call "Frameworks". A framework is a graph that you "attach" to your data. Typically, the framework graph is a shallow tree of labels used to describe key vertices within your super-graph. Unlike a schema, you can add to or otherwise change a framework without impacting the existing data.

What's more, with GraphBase, there is no limit to the number of frameworks you can apply. And there's little to no performance cost when providing multiple rich frameworks. You can have one tree of labels for your stakeholders, another for your customers, another for the accounts department - and they can all provide a different "view" of the same data.

Simple label-trees are just the start. Your frameworks can also be...

  • Taxonomies.
  • Date or location rasters.
  • Symbol tables.
  • Natural structures - think anatomy, geography, genome maps, etc..

The GraphBase Semantic Framework is one example of a large and rich framework. It's a graph of 80,000 concepts representing more than one million English words. Rich frameworks like this can give your data unprecedented searchability.

GraphBase also uses special frameworks to control access and to impose constraints when you need them. All the power of a schema, but without the pain.


agile... for data.