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09 Feb: Update – Titan is staying after all. Aurelius has now clarified that work will be continuing towards Titan 1.0, which will be released after Tinkerpop 3.0.
“Titan isn’t going anywhere and we are still working on it. The development velocity and community activity will be significantly less in the future unless the community steps in and helps.” Read more.
Things move quickly in the graph world.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Neo Technology announced it had closed $20 million of Series C funding. Yesterday DataStax, the firm behind Cassandra for enterprise, announced it had acquired Aurelius – the group responsible for the Titan graph database.
These two events are not coincidental: industry interest in graphs is exploding.
Graph theory has been transformed from an obscure branch of mathematics into a subject everyone is talking about. An entire ecosystem of startups and technologies has been created to help make sense of connected data – and everybody wants a piece of the action.
DataStax’s acqui-hire is a smart move. Although Titan lagged well behind Neo4j in the popularity stakes, the concept of a truly scalable distributed graph database was a promising one. With the Aurelius team on their side, DataStax is well placed to build a new graph database that meets the needs of their enterprise customers.
DataStax’s intentions are clear. Their VP of engineering was quoted as follows:
“We’re not going to do an integration. The play here is we’ll take everything that’s been done on Titan as inspiration, and maybe some of the Titan project will make it into DSE Graph. […] We will not be supporting or integrating Titan as a product into our portfolio.”
So DataStax (and presumably Aurelius) have no plans to continue with the project in its current form. Instead, they will take aspects of Titan and build a new graph database from the ground up – this time fully tied into the Cassandra stack.
Given Titan never actually made it to a stable release, this may worry those who have built projects around it.
Some individuals have expressed interest in taking Titan on as a community project. Others have suggested a move to other graph databases that support the Blueprints model (Tinkerpop lives on as an Apache incubator project!). This gives a good number of options – Neo4j, OrientDB, Bitsy and other NoSQL stores… This should mean that with some work, Titan graph databases could be transitioned over.
No graph application is complete without slick front-end graph visualization. So, what does Titan’s uncertain future mean for KeyLines’ customers?
The good news is that KeyLines code is database agnostic. It allows you to change your backend however you need with minimal changes to make to your front-end code. Also, if your front-end uses the Blueprints API, the migration process is even easier.
We can help you with this if needed. Your investment in the front-end stack won’t be wasted.
For more information about KeyLines, or migrating your graph visualization away from a Titan data store, get in touch!