Using Gremlin to access the graph in Amazon Neptune - Amazon Neptune
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Using Gremlin to access the graph in Amazon Neptune

You can use the Gremlin Console to experiment with TinkerPop graphs and queries in a REPL (read-eval-print loop) environment.

The following tutorial walks you through using the Gremlin console to add vertices, edges, properties, and more to a Neptune graph, highlights some differences in the Neptune-specific Gremlin implementation.


This example assumes that you have completed the following:

Using the Gremlin Console
  1. Change directories into the folder where the Gremlin console files are unzipped.

    cd apache-tinkerpop-gremlin-console-3.6.5
  2. Enter the following command to run the Gremlin Console.


    You should see the following output:

    \,,,/ (o o) -----oOOo-(3)-oOOo----- plugin activated: tinkerpop.server plugin activated: tinkerpop.utilities plugin activated: tinkerpop.tinkergraph gremlin>

    You are now at the gremlin> prompt. You enter the remaining steps at this prompt.

  3. At the gremlin> prompt, enter the following to connect to the Neptune DB instance.

    :remote connect tinkerpop.server conf/neptune-remote.yaml
  4. At the gremlin> prompt, enter the following to switch to remote mode. This sends all Gremlin queries to the remote connection.

    :remote console
  5. Add vertex with label and property.

    g.addV('person').property('name', 'justin')

    The vertex is assigned a string ID containing a GUID. All vertex IDs are strings in Neptune.

  6. Add a vertex with custom id.

    g.addV('person').property(id, '1').property('name', 'martin')

    The id property is not quoted. It is a keyword for the ID of the vertex. The vertex ID here is a string with the number 1 in it.

    Normal property names must be contained in quotation marks.

  7. Change property or add property if it doesn't exist.

    g.V('1').property(single, 'name', 'marko')

    Here you are changing the name property for the vertex from the previous step. This removes all existing values from the name property.

    If you didn't specify single, it instead appends the value to the name property if it hasn't done so already.

  8. Add property, but append property if property already has a value.

    g.V('1').property('age', 29)

    Neptune uses set cardinality as the default action.

    This command adds the age property with the value 29, but it does not replace any existing values.

    If the age property already had a value, this command appends 29 to the property. For example, if the age property was 27, the new value would be [ 27, 29 ].

  9. Add multiple vertices.

    g.addV('person').property(id, '2').property('name', 'vadas').property('age', 27).iterate() g.addV('software').property(id, '3').property('name', 'lop').property('lang', 'java').iterate() g.addV('person').property(id, '4').property('name', 'josh').property('age', 32).iterate() g.addV('software').property(id, '5').property('name', 'ripple').property('lang', 'java').iterate() g.addV('person').property(id, '6').property('name', 'peter').property('age', 35)

    You can send multiple statements at the same time to Neptune.

    Statements can be separated by newline ('\n'), spaces (' '), semicolon ('; '), or nothing (for example: g.addV(‘person’).iterate()g.V() is valid).


    The Gremlin Console sends a separate command at every newline ('\n'), so they are each a separate transaction in that case. This example has all the commands on separate lines for readability. Remove the newline ('\n') characters to send it as a single command via the Gremlin Console.

    All statements other than the last statement must end in a terminating step, such as .next() or .iterate(), or they will not run. The Gremlin Console does not require these terminating steps. Use .iterate whenever you don't need the results to be serialized.

    All statements that are sent together are included in a single transaction and succeed or fail together.

  10. Add edges.

    g.V('1').addE('knows').to(__.V('2')).property('weight', 0.5).iterate() g.addE('knows').from(__.V('1')).to(__.V('4')).property('weight', 1.0)

    Here are two different ways to add an edge.

  11. Add the rest of the Modern graph.

    g.V('1').addE('created').to(__.V('3')).property('weight', 0.4).iterate() g.V('4').addE('created').to(__.V('5')).property('weight', 1.0).iterate() g.V('4').addE('knows').to(__.V('3')).property('weight', 0.4).iterate() g.V('6').addE('created').to(__.V('3')).property('weight', 0.2)
  12. Delete a vertex.

    g.V().has('name', 'justin').drop()

    Removes the vertex with the name property equal to justin.


    Stop here, and you have the full Apache TinkerPop Modern graph. The examples in the Traversal section of the TinkerPop documentation use the Modern graph.

  13. Run a traversal.


    Returns all person vertices.

  14. Run a Traversal with values (valueMap()).

    g.V().has('name', 'marko').out('knows').valueMap()

    Returns key, value pairs for all vertices that marko “knows.”

  15. Specify multiple labels.


    Neptune supports multiple labels for a vertex. When you create a label, you can specify multiple labels by separating them with ::.

    This example adds a vertex with three different labels.

    The hasLabel step matches this vertex with any of those three labels: hasLabel("Label1"), hasLabel("Label2"), and hasLabel("Label3").

    The :: delimiter is reserved for this use only.

    You cannot specify multiple labels in the hasLabel step. For example, hasLabel("Label1::Label2") does not match anything.

  16. Specify Time/date.

    g.V().property(single, 'lastUpdate', datetime('2018-01-01T00:00:00'))

    Neptune does not support Java Date. Use the datetime() function instead. datetime() accepts an ISO8061-compliant datetime string.

    It supports the following formats: YYYY-MM-DD, YYYY-MM-DDTHH:mm, YYYY-MM-DDTHH:mm:SS, and YYYY-MM-DDTHH:mm:SSZ.

  17. Delete vertices, properties, or edges.

    g.V().hasLabel('person').properties('age').drop().iterate() g.V('1').drop().iterate() g.V().outE().hasLabel('created').drop()

    Here are several drop examples.


    The .next() step does not work with .drop(). Use .iterate() instead.

  18. When you are finished, enter the following to exit the Gremlin Console.


Use a semicolon (;) or a newline character (\n) to separate each statement.

Each traversal preceding the final traversal must end in iterate() to be executed. Only the data from the final traversal is returned.