Visual Tools Help

Page Contents


GraphBase Console

The GraphBase Console is the first tool you'll see after launching. It's used to...

  • Connect to a GraphBase Node.
  • Launch the GraphPad, BoundsPad and Navigator tools.
  • See messages about notable GraphBase events.

You can work locally with GraphPad and BoundsPad using XML files - but to use Navigator you must be connected to a local or remote GraphBase Node. You'll need to...

  • Load a Credentials graph. You should have received a default UserCredentials.xml file as part of your download.
  • Connect using the NodeID and URI of the GraphBase Node you want to connect to.


The GraphBase GraphPad is visual tool that allows you to create and manipulate GSF (Graph Simple Form) graphs.

The first thing you'll see when clicking up an instance of GraphPad is a "New Graph" tab. This new graph has a single vertex with a payload value of "new". Every time you attach a new vertex in GraphPad this is what you'll see. Edit this default payload in the text-box to the upper right. If the vertex doesn't need a payload, just delete the text.

In this screenshot, our first vertex is "Amy" and we're attaching six of her friends. [right-mouse-click] brings up a popup version of the "Edit" menu.

It may seem odd that the graph in the above screenshot is represented as a tree. Graph structures can quickly become a visual mess as you'll see in later images. Flattening them into trees usually makes it easier to see and comprehend the data that is attached to each vertex. This flattening process usually results in several vertices being represented in the tree multiple times. These "dupes" are always leaves and are flagged with a small "back-into-the-tree" arrow.

The three screens below show how a classic collabsible tree structure can make it easier to focus on a key vertex and its connections.

You'll also notice a couple of unusual symbols. We've borrowed these from predicate logic. "∀" is the Universal Quantifier (UQ) - effectively it means "this vertex represents all of these". "∃" is the Existentail Quantifier (EQ) - it means "this vertex represents some of these".

An arrow between two vertices indicates that the arc between them is directed. Direction indicates a simple subsumption or containment relationship, where a vertex either "has" or "is of" its connected neighbour.

See Graph Simple Form for a more detailed discussion on quantifiers, containment and other features of the graph structures used by these tools.

In the image above, a second framework has been added to the AmyFriends graph. The two black UQ vertices at the lower left are from the Universal Semantic Framework. Multiple frameworks or "schemas" are a powerful tool for managing graph complexity. Find out more in Understanding Frameworks.

GraphPad Tips

Use the View Buttons to explore your graph from varying perspectives...

  • Set Focus Sets the graph focus to the selected vertex.
  • Breadth View Expands the graph from your focus using a breadth-first traversal.
  • Depth View Expands the graph from your focus using a depth-first traversal.
  • Auto View Produces an automatic layout of your graph.
  • Radial View Produces a radial layout of your graph.
  • Update A visual update is sometimes required after significant changes to your graph.

Several keyboard/mouse actions can be used to speed graph-manipulation...

  • [right-mouse-click] brings up a popup version of the "Edit" menu.
  • [mouse-wheel-scroll] zooms the Auto View or Radial View graph window.
  • [Ctrl-drag] from one vertex to another to connect them with a new arc.


The GraphBase BoundsPad is a visual tool that allows you to create and modify a GraphBase query. This query is refered to as a Bounds object.


A Bounds object contains one or more simple expressions that define the scope of your graph query. Objects can be created using the GraphBase API, but they are often best worked-with using a Bounds Language statement. BoundsPad lets you work with both Bounds objects and Bounds Language statements. For more detail - including examples - see API Help.

BoundsPad Tips

  • Paste Bounds Language statements into the BoundsPad Expression window to check them.
  • To execute any Bounds query, drag it from the left window into Navigator or a GraphPad graph.
  • Dragging also works for inner Bounds.

The GraphBase Navigator lets you open one or more windows into a connected GraphBase Node.

Navigator is a version of GraphPad that displays non-editable views of a super-graph. Your super-graph is the single large graph that contains all of your GraphBase data. It can reside on multiple, geographically-distributed GraphBase Nodes and can be navigated by connecting to any one of those Nodes.A Navigator view window is created by...

  • Dragging in a Bounds query object from BoundsPad or
  • Using the Navigator Search box.

The screen-shot above is a "dbms"-searched view of the Universal Semantic Framework mentioned above. You'll notice that the returned graph does not contain a "Graph DBMS" concept. You can help us correct omissions like this by making comments on the appropriate Semantic Framework page, or by making changes at the community site.

Navigator Tips

  • Copy a graph from GraphPad and use Navigator to deliver it directly to a GraphBase Node.
  • Copy a view graph from Navigator and paste it into GraphPad for editing.
  • To traverse beyond your graph view, select an edge vertex and create a new view centered on that vertex.

Please feel free to use the Comments section below if there's anything you'd like to see addressed in this Help document.


making large complex graphs accessible