FlockDB - What is it? And best cases for it uses

Just came across FlockDB graph database. Details at github /flockDB. Twitter claims it uses FlockDB for the following:

Twitter runs FlockDB on a large cluster of machines. we use it to store social graphs (who follows whom, who blocks whom) and secondary indices at twitter.

At first glance, setup and trying it doesn't look straight forward. Have anyone already used it / setup this? If so, please answer the following general queries.

  • What kind of applications is it better suited for? (Twitter claims it is simple and very rough, it remains to see what it meant though)
  • How is FlockDB better than other graph db / noSQL db. Have you setup FlockDB, used it for a application?
  • Early advices any?

Note: I am evaluating the FlockDB and other graph databases mainly for learning them. Perhaps, I will build an application for that.


Flockdb is still Yet to be released by Twitter, which means the current version you are seeing won't run properly. Going by the history of commits i guess within a couple of days you can see a stable version which you can build and test.

Compared to something like Neo4J you can say Flockdb is not even a graph database. The toughest part of a graph database is how many levels of depth it can handle. From the little documentation of Flockdb it seems like it can't handle more than 1 level of depth. Where FlockDb wins compared to DBs like Neo4J is it's low latency, high throughput and inherent distributed nature.

Regarding Applications - i guess it will be a great fit whenever you need social networking or twitter like behavior. I don't think many will find such use cases though (who gets 20k friend requests per sec ?).

I Just started looking into Flockdb. Right now i am planning to use it in my forum software. Instead of user1 follows user2 relationship, i am planning to use it for user1 read post1, user1 favorites post1 etc. Being one of the highly active online communities we get a lot of such traffic(read/favorite). Can't think of any other use cases now.

Don't miss OrientDB. It's a document-graph dbms with special operator for traversing relationships: http://code.google.com/p/orient/wiki/GraphDatabase

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