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I have a domain where I deal with data which has a parent/child relationship, of arbitrary depth.

Also, full time traversal needs to be enabled, to show the state of the data at a specific point in time.

Currently I am looking at two different types of databases, and was curious as to which would be more appropriate, or how I would overcome some issues in either of the solutions.

Any links to articles regarding this information would also be appreciated.

Solution 1: rdbms

  • good fit for time versioning with a solution like temporal tables in sql server (although the db needs to be open source and free, so I would have to add this to something like PostgreSQL)

  • not that great a fit for arbitrary hierarchical data; need to implement adherent list/nested set

Solution 2: graphdb

  • natural fit for hierarchical data

  • I don’t know a proper way to model time versioning in a way which is performant.

So I am looking on some feedback on the advantages/disadvantages of either database type, and how to overcome some of the shortcomings of either.

I personally was leaning towards an graphdb solution, where I add a start_time and end_time attribute to all nodes and relationships, but I am not sure about the performance and if there are any better ways to get time versioning.

The two main considerations are of course performance and simplicity of the query.

I realize this is a rather open question; I am merely looking to see if I am overthinking this or perhaps fail to take some other positives/negatives inti account.

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  • Is it one giant hierachical structure or many small? – Lennart Apr 17 '20 at 9:55
  • I don't think this is a good question for this forum. It feels like a "List of Software" and/or Opinionated question. But, each of your bullet points might be a good question on its own. Although, I think that the first one should be a duplicate as it is asking how to implement a Slowly Changing Dimension (SCD) Type 4. – Michael Kutz Apr 17 '20 at 12:46
  • @lennart it’s sections and subsections, user created of arbitrary depth. – moi2877 Apr 18 '20 at 11:13
  • @michael I agree it’s probably not a great fit, but I can’t find the information anywhere else. I actually wasn’t familiar with changing dimension types, this already was interesting, thanks – moi2877 Apr 18 '20 at 11:16
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Every graph graph dbms seems to be handling these questions with their own unique ways. From what I know about neo4j, It appears that they can handle this somewhat similarly to how Dgraph Labs can. By placing facets, aka edge properties, on the edges, a kind of point in time graph could be interpreted. (I know more about Dgraph, so that is why I lean that direction with links.)

Here are a few discussions around this topic in Dgraph community:

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