A gem for extracting a Neo4j graph from an ActiveRecord-y Datamodel
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Graphable is a ruby gem which builds static graphs in Neo4j from a secondary, ActiveModel-ish data store.


Say you have some models:

#where ActiveMapper::Root is your ActiveModelly ORM of choice
class User < ActiveMapper::Root

  has_many :followers, :class => User
  attr_accessor :name, :join_date


And you want to turn them into a graph periodically for cool reporting or something. Then you can do:

class User < ActiveMapper::Root

  has_many :followers, :class => User
  attr_accessor :name, :join_date

  include Graphable
  graph_with :all
  graph_indexes :id, :name, :join_date
  has_edge to: User, via: :followers, name: "followed_by"


Which will take your SQL db and turn it into a lovely Neo4j Graph! (With indexes automatically on the :id field, and anything else you specify in the graph_indexes call. Don't worry if you specify something twice, it won't double index!


Graphable defines four class methods and one instance method on your models:


This function returns the name of the Neo4j index Graphable will create for your model. By default, it will be "classes_index", but you can override it if you'd like.


to_node transforms your object into a hash of properties for Neo4j. By default, it will return the ActiveRecord attributes hash with all foreign keys and all nil values deleted. Similar to graph_index_name, you need to override it if you want to change its default behavior (e.g. if you only want 'user.name' to be added to the graph).


You can pass this function a list of instance method names, and it will add key = method_name and value = instance.send(method_name) to the class index, for each instance. Graphable by default will always index on id, so you don't have to specify that one.


This determines which objects Graphable will insert into Neo4j. By default, it will be set to "all", but if your ORM works differently, or if you want to exclude some objects from the graph (e.g. graph_with "unbanned" for class User), call this method.


This is the cool method. It defines what relationships going out from each instance node will be added to Neo4j -- there are no defaults, so you need to call this for every association you care about. There are two ways you can invoke this method:

The first is with :via. Example:

class User < ActMap::Rüt

  has_many :followers, :class => User

  include Graphable
  has_edge :to => User, :via => :followers, :name => "followed_by"


Graphable will call user.followers, expect to get back an array of users, and it will create a "followed_by" relationship from the user to all the other users returned by followers.

The second is with :through:

class User < AM::R

  has_many :pokeballs
  has_many :pokemon, :through => :pokeballs, :class => Pokemon

  include Graphable
  has_edge :to => Pokemon, :through => :pokeballs, :target_method => :pokemon, :name => "has_caught"


Graphable will call user.pokeballs, and then for each element pokeball returned, will call pokeball.pokemon to get the object. It will then create a "has_caught" relationship between the user node and the node for the pokemon.


  • Add tests to gem
  • Scope class methods (to reduce likelihood of collisions with methods outside graphable / in other included libraries)


This is very pretty organic, I we extracted the concept from another project, rewrote it here in an afternoon a few days, and here it is.