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Amazon’s Neptune Database Will Expand The Knowledge Graph — Here’s How

"We think every company will have their own knowledge graph, and whether it's with Yext or another vendor, tools like Neptune will help power those graphs," says Jon Kennell, Yext's VP of Product.

Amazon has launched a new database service devoted to mapping relationships between people, places, products, images, things that promises to make connections more visible and organized for brands and platforms.

Dubbed “Neptune,” Amazon has built a database service that will expand the ideas of the Knowledge Graph that power consumer’s interests and relationships across social media, artificial intelligence, mapping/navigation platforms, image sharing sites, and voice-activated devices.

Although concept of the Knowledge Graph was largely promoted by Google, it appears Amazon is ready to help advance the idea right alongside the search giant. Launched as the Google Knowledge Graph back in 2012, Google’s intention was a recognition of the future of search and discovery, where users expected to be delivered structured answers to their queries — not just blue links.

As GeoMarketing’s Lauryn Chamberlain has written, the Knowledge Graph “understands” facts about places, people, and things; it then arranges that information to give more relevant information to searchers.

Amazon maps out the Knowledge Graph with its Neptune database service.

Amazon specifically addresses the implications for the Knowledge Graph with the introduction of Neptune:

“Amazon Neptune helps you build knowledge graph applications. A knowledge graph allows you to store information in a graph model and use graph queries to enable your users to easily navigate highly connected datasets.

“Neptune supports open source and open standard APIs to allow you to quickly leverage existing information resources to build your knowledge graphs and host them on a fully managed service.

“For example, if a user is interested in The Mona Lisa, you can also help them discover other works of art by Leonardo da Vinci, or other works of art located in The Louvre. Using a knowledge graph, you can add topical information to product catalogs, build and query complex models of regulatory rules, or model general information, like Wikidata.”

The database is part of the Amazon Web Services cloud computing division. Neptune is embedded in the Aurora and Amazon DynamoDB products.

“The days of the one-size-fits-all database are over,” Amazon says in a press release. “For many years, the relational database was the only option available to application developers. And, while relational databases are great for applications that log transactions and store up to terabytes of structured data, today’s developers need a variety of databases to serve the needs of modern applications.”

Neptune’s Importance For Brands Relying On The Knowledge Graph

To get a sense of what Neptune means for businesses trying to make sense of why the launching of this new database is meaningful, we checked in with Yext VP of Product Jon Kennell. (Full disclosure: Yext is GeoMarketing’s parent company. More details on that relationship here)

“One thing that’s important to recognize is that this is a kind of database, like Oracle, MySQL, MongoDB etc…” says Yext VP of Product Jon Kennell. “So most businesses probably won’t want to build on this directly — they’ll prefer to purchase purpose-built applications that work on top of Neptune.

“But seeing Amazon come out with this is a huge validator of the growing importance of graph data storage, Knowledge Graphs, and all of the things we spoke about at Yext’s Onward 17 conference. We think every company will have their own knowledge graph, and whether it’s with Yext or another vendor, tools like Neptune will help power those graphs.”