The OneGraph Vision: Challenges of Breaking the Graph Model Lock-In

Tracking #: 3273-4487

Ora Lassila
Michael Schmidt
Olaf Hartig
Brad Bebee
Dave Bechberger
Willem Broekema
Ankesh Khandelwal
Kelvin Lawrence
Carlos Manuel Lopez Enriquez
Ronak Sharda
Bryan Thompson

Responsible editor: 
Pascal Hitzler

Submission type: 
Amazon Neptune is a graph database service that supports two graph models: W3C's Resource Description Framework (RDF) and Labeled Property Graphs (LPG). Customers choose one or the other model. This choice determines which data modeling features can be used and - perhaps more importantly - which query languages are available. The choice between the two technology stacks is difficult and time consuming. It requires consideration of data modeling aspects, query language features, their adequacy for current and future use cases, as well as developer knowledge. Even in cases where customers evaluate the pros and cons and make a conscious choice that fits their use case, over time we often see requirements from new use cases emerge that could be addressed more easily with a different data model or query language. It is therefore highly desirable that the choice of the query language can be made without consideration of what graph model is chosen and can be easily revised or complemented at a later point. To this end, we advocate and explore the idea of OneGraph ("1G" for short), a single, unified graph data model that embraces both RDF and LPGs. The goal of 1G is to achieve interoperability at both data level, by supporting the co-existence of RDF and LPG in the same database, as well as query level, by enabling queries and updates over the unified data model with a query language of choice. In this paper, we sketch our vision and investigate technical challenges towards a unification of the two graph data models.
Full PDF Version: