Foreword by Emil Eifrem

"Spring is the most popular middleware on the planet," I thought to myself as I walked up to Rod Johnson in late 2009 at the JAOO conference in Aarhus, Denmark. Rod had just given an introductory presentation about Spring Roo and when he was done I told him "Great talk. You're clearly building a stack for the future. What about support for non-relational databases?"

We started talking and quickly agreed that NOSQL will play an important role in emerging stacks. Now, a year and half later, Spring Data Neo4j is available in its first stable release and I'm blown away by the result. Never before in any environment, in any programming framework, in any stack, has it been so easy and intuitive to tap into the power of a graph database like Neo4j. It's a testament to the efforts by an awesome team of four hackers from Neo Technology and VMware: Michael Hunger, David Montag, Thomas Risberg and Mark Pollack.

The Spring framework revolutionized how we all wrote enterprise Java applications and today it's used by millions of enterprise developers. Graph databases also stand out in the NOSQL crowd when it comes to enterprise adoption. You can find graph databases used in areas as diverse as network management, fraud detection, cloud management, anything with social data, geo and location services, master data management, bioinformatics, configuration databases, and much more.

Spring developers deserve access to the best tools available to solve their problem. Sometimes that's a relational database accessed through JPA. But more often than not, a graph database like Neo4j is the perfect fit for your project. I hope that Spring Data Neo4j will give you access to the power and flexibility of graph databases while retaining the familiar productivity and convenience of the Spring framework.

Enjoy the Spring Data Neo4j guide book and welcome to the wonderful world of graph databases!

Emil Eifrem, CEO of Neo Technology