Query Languages

Neo4j has its own query language called Cypher. Consequently, users have to be trained to use it. ArangoDB uses also its own custom language called AQL. It supports aggregation, graph queries, grouping, joins, list iteration, results filtering, results projection, sorting and variables.

On the contrary, OrientDB supports SQL as a query language (most developers are familiar with it). It also offers the possibility to manage graphs of connected documents and enables to handle relationships without SQL joins.

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Scalability and replication

Neo4j supports replication but only in the enterprise version. In both Neo4j and ArangoDB databases, the replication mechanism is based on master/slave architecture.

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It means that only one server can be the master. Therefore, Neo4j and ArangoDB are not able to scale on writes because write throughput is limited to the capacity of the single master server. Such type of replication provides read-scalability and supports backups.

Unlike Neo4j and ArangoDB that supports master-slave replication, OrientDB supports a multi-master replication and sharded architecture. This feature enforces data reliability. It means that all the servers in a cluster are masters and are able to read and write to the database. Indeed, in OrientDB, the throughput is not limited by a single server. With OrientDB, the global throughput is the sum of the throughput of all the servers. This ensures a linear scalability.

OrientDB can host several databases per instance. Instead Neo4j allows one database per server. With ArangoDB, it is possible to connect many slave databases to the master database. ArangoDB provides an asynchronous replication. It permits also a vertical and a horizontal sharding (i.e., to add more computation power, to shard data to many servers).

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