When are graph databases the right fit for MDM

When are graph databases the right fit for MDM

May 21, 2018

Despite the growing number of use cases, William McKnight, who leads the McKnight Consulting Group, says graph databases are not ready to replace relational database MDM platforms. William offers three practical examples of when to supplement master data management (MDM) practice with a graph database.

In theory, leveraging graph databases for master data management (MDM) is appealing. However, in practice, graph databases are not ready to serve as standalone MDM systems. For instance, in relational databases, two entities are related when a key joins them. In relationship-oriented data, two entities are related and the nature of the relationship is known. Furthermore, the relationship has its own attributes. The same outcome can be achieved by leveraging relational databases as well. Then, the issue of what constitutes relationship-oriented master data is still to be resolved.

Graph databases can also span these relationships effortlessly. In essence, this is a gray area for graphs and MDM, because with a good, relational master data model and a data warehouse, the same result can be achieved. Therefore, it is a challenge to determine when a graph database becomes an apt tool for MDM.

Click here to read the three practical ways a graph database can be used in MDM.

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