Grand stack aims to simplify data-intensive app development

The JavaScript-centered beta stack from Neo4j uses a strict schema for the API, driving the database model, and translating GraphQL queries

Grand stack aims to simplify data-intensive app development

Graph database builder Neo4j has built a technology stack called Grand intended for full-stack web and mobile applications that involve complex manipulation of data.

The Grand stack combines a set of technologies geared toward scalable applications and the use of JavaScript. The stack has integrations between GraphQL and Neo4j to make it easier for developers to use the two together. GraphQL defines a strict schema that is used as a blueprint for an API. Integration with Neo4j allows that schema to drive the database model and translate GraphQL queries to Cypher.

The Grand stack also enables more complex graph traversal. Developers do not have to implement resolver functions for the GraphQL server because they are provided by using the stack, based on the schema. Resolver functions define how to fetch data in a GraphQL server implementation, either from a database or an API.

The stack itself still is in development; the Neo4J-GraphQL integration remains in beta, for example, and tighter integration with the database is sought. Development of role-based access to the schema fields is part of this plan.

Components of the stack, all open source, include:

At least initially, JavaScript is critical in Grand, because it is used in React, the Apollo tools, and Neo4J-GraphQL integration. Node.js, for JavaScript on the server, also is used as a target platform.

To show how Grand works, Neo4j has an online workshop that uses the stack to build a movie-recommendations web application. This application can be done easily with Grand stack because developers need only annotate GraphQL fields with a Cypher query designating how to generate a recommendation, said Will Lyon, a software engineer at Neo4j who built the stack’s GraphQL and Neo4j integrations.

Where to download Grand stack resources features resources for the project. Developers can access the projects comprising the stack at the project’s websites or on GitHub: