An Open-Source Object-Graph-Mapping Framework for Neo4j and Scala: Renesca

  • Felix Dietze
  • Johannes Karoff
  • André Calero ValdezEmail author
  • Martina Ziefle
  • Christoph Greven
  • Ulrik Schroeder
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9817)


The usage and application of graph databases is increasing. Many research problems are based on understanding relationships between data entities. This is where graph databases are powerful. Nevertheless, software developers model and think in object-oriented software. Combining both approaches leads to a paradigm mismatch. This mismatch can be addressed by using object graph mappers (OGM). OGM adapt graph databases for object-oriented code, to relieve the developer. Most graph database access frameworks only support table-based result outputs. This defeats one of the strongest purposes of using graph databases. In order to harness both the power of graph databases and object-oriented modeling (e.g. type-safety, inheritance, etc.) we propose an open-source framework with two libraries: (1) renesca, which is a graph database driver providing graph-query-results and change-tracking. (2) renesca-magic, a macro-based ER-modeling domain specific language (DSL). Both were tested in a graph-based application and lead to dramatic improvements in code size (factor 10) and extensibility of the code, with no significant effect on performance.


Graph databases Scala Neo4j REST API Object-graph-mapper OGM 



We would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments on an earlier version of this manuscript. The authors thank the German Research Council DFG for the friendly support of the research in the excellence cluster “Integrative Production Technology in High Wage Countries”.

Supplementary material


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Felix Dietze
    • 1
  • Johannes Karoff
    • 2
  • André Calero Valdez
    • 1
    Email author
  • Martina Ziefle
    • 1
  • Christoph Greven
    • 3
  • Ulrik Schroeder
    • 3
  1. 1.Human-Computer Interaction CenterRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany
  2. 2.RWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany
  3. 3.Learning Technologies Research GroupRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany

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