I'm looking at using Neo4j to produce a simple graph database for our band's sheet music library (40 members, approx. 1000 pieces of music, each with around 40 parts, which may exist in multiple instances for the rehearsal pads for individual musicians, e.g. "Library ID no. 123, The Symphonic Gershwin, flute 1 part, copy no. 2". Using Excel I can easily produce nicely formatted reports to produce cover sheets ("All pieces in the rehearsal pad for flute 1", summaries ("All pieces currently in the library, with details of composers, arrangers, location of the piece and when last performed", etc.) Within Excel I have formatted the page layout so it has our band's logo in the header, the tables are nicely formatted for printed output. How can I achieve the same kind of output with Neo4j?
Within Excel I have formatted the page layout so it has our band's logo in the header, the tables are nicely formatted for printed output. How can I achieve the same kind of output with Neo4j?
Excel, and spreadsheet software, is built to include utilities for controlling the appearance of the data in the sheet. Databases only provide storage and structure to information, and rely on other software to manage the appearance.
Good news and bad news: you have a whole world of options for formatting the data for display or print. If you just need a list to print, the Neo4j Browser might be enough for you.
If you need prettier output, there's still a world of options.
- In the Neo4j Browser, you can export the results of any query as a CSV, which could then be opened in Excel for formatting.
- Build an application like Graph App Charts, though this is probably not the answer you were looking for.
- Link the data to something like yFiles to create predefined reports.
- Build a simple web-app to load and format the data.
Ultimately, turning raw data into something pretty is half the job of most web-developers out there. Neo4j isn't a replacement for tools like Excel.
Hi Tony, many thanks for the reply and setting out a number of options! Very much appreciated.
"Pretty" - i.e. user-friendly! - output is an important requirement, so simply printing a list would not meet that requirement. As for the other options, I really want to avoid the need to export/import between tools to accomplish something as rudimentary as producing output (report) from my data, so exporting to CSV & then importing to Excel or linking to yFiles - is not suitable. Not being a developer, I will not even contemplate "building an application" :-) (2nd & 4th bullets). I completely understand that as a database Neo4j is not intended to "manage appearance", but I now feel that if I want to only use a single tool to do what I want then I am much better off sticking with Excel, faults and all (principally, the data duplication is annoying, but I can live with it).
You can try using Power BI or Tableau for visualization..