Part 1 – Accessing OrientDB in Python: OrientDB Installation

In this how-to, I’m going to show you how you can access your OrientDB Graph database in your Python projects.


What is OrientDB?

OrientDB is the Graph Database with a hybrid model taken from both the Document Database and Object Orientation worlds. It can work in schema-less mode, schema-full or a mix of both. Supports advanced features such as ACID Transactions, Fast Indexes, Native and SQL queries. It speaks the language of the Web: HTTP and JSON.

— fromĀ

OrientDB is a mix of 2 database technology: Document-oriented and Object-oriented databases. Also, one of the advantages of OrientDB compared to other NoSQL databases is its SQL-like query language. This means that there will be less-hassle learning to query the data for the people coming from the RDBMS world. There are also other features like:

  • Graph database support
  • Document database support
  • Object database support
  • Dictionary indexes support
  • A SQL-like query language
  • Transaction support
  • Hooks (a sort of trigger, but at the system level rather than class level)
  • Custom SQL function (to write your own functions in Java to expand the SQL parser)
  • Stored procedures
  • Plugin support to add features to the server’s core
  • REST interface
  • Java API library
  • Clustering

Here is a slide that describes what OrientDB is.

Why OrientDB?

In my opinion, the top 3 players in the Graph Database world are Neo4j, OrientDB and Titan. I have listed the 3 graph databases and the reasons why I chose OrientDB.


Free for a single-node setup. High-availability and Clustering available in the Enterprise edition. I’ve been reading a lot of good things about Neo4j but I don’t want to be limited with a single node. Specially for open-sourced projects where it can’t afford to avail the Enterprise edition.


One thing that pulled me out in using Titan is I have to setup the separate database backend. One feature I want in a database is that I can use it right away during development. Anyway, it can use Cassandra, HBase and Oracle BerkleyDB for its database backend. But it doesn’t mean that Titan is inferior to the two other Graph database. Actually, I think Titan can scale a lot compared to the other 2. Cassandra and HBase are used and proven in a lot of production applications and can handle multi-billions of data.


What I like with OrientDB is that you can run it using the compiled version available for download in their website. Download, extract and run – that’s it. You can access your database through its built-in Web UI. There’s also the Graph Edition of OrientDB which includes some parts of the TinkerPop stack like:

  • Blueprints
  • Gremlin
  • Pipes

Oracle Java installation on Ubuntu

This portion will show you how you can install Oracle Java VM. Thanks to Webupd8 Team for providing the deb package.

Before proceeding, we should first switch to root.

sudo -i

Install webupd8’s Ubuntu repository. This is where we’re gonna pull the package that downloads and installs

echo "deb precise main" >> /etc/apt/sources.d/oracle_java.list
echo "deb-src precise main" >> /etc/apt/sources.d/oracle_java.list
apt-key adv --keyserver --recv-keys EEA14886

Update, install and activate.

apt-get update
apt-get install oracle-java7-installer
apt-get install oracle-java7-set-default

OrientDB Graph Edition Installation

We are going to use the GraphEd version of OrientDB.

apt-get install -y unzip

Make the scripts on bin executable and start the server.

cd /opt/orientdb-graphed-1.5.1/bin
chmod -R +x bin

Now, point your browser to http://<server_ip>:2480/studio to access the OrientDB Studio. The graph edition includes a sample graph database that we can use.

The name of the sample database is “tinkerpop” and the default username and password is “admin”.

On our next part, I will show you how to install rexster. Rexster will be used to interface the OrientDB graph database to python using the BulbFlow module. For the mean time, you can check the overview of BulbFlow and Rexster

[email protected]:/opt/orientdb-graphed-1.5.1/bin# ./ 
          .`        `                                     
          ,      `:.                                      
         `,`    ,:`                                       
         .,.   :,,                                        
         .,,  ,,,                                         
    .    .,.:::::  ````                                   
    ,`   .::,,,,::.,,,,,,`;;                      .:      
    `,.  ::,,,,,,,:.,,.`  `                       .:      
     ,,:,:,,,,,,,,::.   `        `         ``     .:      
      ,,:.,,,,,,,,,: `::, ,,   ::,::`   : :,::`  ::::     
       ,:,,,,,,,,,,::,:   ,,  :.    :   ::    :   .:      
        :,,,,,,,,,,:,::   ,,  :      :  :     :   .:      
  `     :,,,,,,,,,,:,::,  ,, .::::::::  :     :   .:      
  `,...,,:,,,,,,,,,: .:,. ,, ,,         :     :   .:      
    .,,,,::,,,,,,,:  `: , ,,  :     `   :     :   .:      
      ...,::,,,,::.. `:  .,,  :,    :   :     :   .:      
           ,::::,,,. `:   ,,   :::::    :     :   .:      
           ,,:` `,,.                                      
          ,,,    .,`                                      
         ,,.     `,                     GRAPH-DB Server   
       ``        `.                                       

2013-10-22 03:59:21:320 INFO Profiler is recording metrics with configuration: 0,0,0 [OJVMProfiler]
2013-10-22 03:59:21:327 INFO Loading configuration from: /opt/orientdb-graphed-1.5.1/config/orientdb-server-config.xml... [OServerConfigurationLoaderXml]
2013-10-22 03:59:21:475 INFO OrientDB Server v1.5.1 (build @[email protected]) is starting up... [OServer]
2013-10-22 03:59:21:500 INFO Port busy, trying the next available... [OServerNetworkListener]
2013-10-22 03:59:21:500 INFO Listening binary connections on (protocol v.17) [OServerNetworkListener]
2013-10-22 03:59:21:501 INFO Port busy, trying the next available... [OServerNetworkListener]
2013-10-22 03:59:21:501 INFO Listening http connections on (protocol v.10) [OServerNetworkListener]
2013-10-22 03:59:21:518 INFO Installing GREMLIN language v.2.5.0-SNAPSHOT - graph.pool.max=50 [OGraphServerHandler]
2013-10-22 03:59:21:521 INFO OrientDB Server v1.5.1 is active. [OServer]
About the Author
Freelance Linux DevOps Engineer, Loves to scale things and make stacks intelligent

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