john-bodley / neo4j-uuid

GraphAware Runtime Module that assigns a UUID to all nodes (and relationships) in the graph transparently

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GraphAware Neo4j UUID

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GraphAware UUID is a simple library that transparently assigns a UUID to newly created nodes and relationships in the graph and makes sure nobody can (accidentally or intentionally) change or delete them.

Getting the Software

Server Mode

When using Neo4j in the standalone server mode, you will need the GraphAware Neo4j Framework and GraphAware Neo4j UUID .jar files (both of which you can download here) dropped into the plugins directory of your Neo4j installation. After changing a few lines of config (read on) and restarting Neo4j, the module will do its magic.

Embedded Mode / Java Development

Java developers that use Neo4j in embedded mode and those developing Neo4j server plugins, unmanaged extensions, GraphAware Runtime Modules, or Spring MVC Controllers can include use the UUID as a dependency for their Java project.


Releases are synced to Maven Central repository. When using Maven for dependency management, include the following dependency in your pom.xml.



To use the latest development version, just clone this repository, run mvn clean install and change the version in the dependency above to

Note on Versioning Scheme

The version number has two parts. The first four numbers indicate compatibility with Neo4j GraphAware Framework. The last number is the version of the UUID library. For example, version is version 1 of the UUID library compatible with GraphAware Neo4j Framework

Setup and Configuration

Server Mode

Edit conf/neo4j.conf to register the UUID module:


#UIDM becomes the module ID:

#optional, default is uuid:

#optional, default is false:

#optional, default is all nodes:
com.graphaware.module.UIDM.node=hasLabel('Label1') || hasLabel('Label2')

#optional, default is no relationships:

#optional, default is uuidIndex

#optional, default is uuidRelIndex

Note that "UIDM" becomes the module ID.

com.graphaware.module.UIDM.uuidProperty is the property name that will be used to store the assigned UUID on nodes and relationships. The default is "uuid".

com.graphaware.module.UIDM.stripHyphens is the property name that controls hyphen existence. If its true created UUID will be free from hyphens.

com.graphaware.module.UIDM.node specifies either a fully qualified class name of NodeInclusionPolicy implementation, or a Spring Expression Language expression determining, which nodes to assign a UUID to. The default is to assign the UUID property to every node which isn't internal to the framework.

com.graphaware.module.UIDM.relationship specifies either a fully qualified class name of RelationshipInclusionPolicy implementation, or a Spring Expression Language expression determining, which relationships to assign a UUID to. The default is not to assign the UUID property to any relationship. If you want to assign UUID to all relationship, please use com.graphaware.module.UIDM.relationship=com.graphaware.runtime.policy.all.IncludeAllBusinessRelationships

com.graphaware.module.UIDM.uuidIndex is the legacy index name that will be used to index nodes based on their UUID. The default is "uuidIndex".

com.graphaware.module.UIDM.uuidRelationshipIndex is the legacy index name that will be used to index relationships based on their UUID. The default is "uuidRelIndex".

Note legacy indexes (which differ from schema indexes) are used as they are label agnostic. You can check the existence of these legacy indexes via the neo4j-shell:

> neo4j-shell
neo4j-sh (?)$ index --indexes
Node indexes:
Relationship indexes:

Embedded Mode / Java Development

To use the UUID module programmatically, register the module like this

 GraphAwareRuntime runtime = GraphAwareRuntimeFactory.createRuntime(database);  //where database is an instance of GraphDatabaseService
 UuidModule module = new UuidModule("UUIDM", UuidConfiguration.defaultConfiguration());


 GraphDatabaseService database = new GraphDatabaseFactory().newEmbeddedDatabaseBuilder(pathToDb)
 //make sure contain the lines mentioned in previous section

Using GraphAware UUID

Apart from the configuration described above, the GraphAware UUID module requires nothing else to function. It will assign a UUID to nodes and relationships configured, and will prevent modifications to the UUID or deletion of the UUID property from these nodes/relationships by not allowing the transaction to commit. You can also retrieve a node/relationship by UUID.


Once deployed, you can use the following Cypher functions:

  • ga.uuid.findNode('<your UUID>') (then do something with the result, e.g. RETURN id(ga.uuid.findNode('<your UUID>')) as nodeId
  • ga.uuid.findRelationship('<your UUID>')
  • ga.uuid.findNodes(['<UUID1>,<UUID2>,...'])
  • ga.uuid.findRelationships(['<UUID1>,<UUID2>,...'])

In case you did not use UIDM (the default) as the module ID in your configuration, or if you registered multiple UUID modules, you will have to use slightly different syntax that allows you to pass in the module ID. 'nd' stands for "non-default":

  • ga.uuid.nd.findNode('<module ID>','<your UUID>')
  • ga.uuid.nd.findRelationship('<module ID>','<your UUID>')
  • ga.uuid.nd.findNodes('<module ID>',['<UUID1>,<UUID2>,...'])
  • ga.uuid.nd.findRelationships('<module ID>',['<UUID1>,<UUID2>,...'])


In Server Mode, a node/relationship can be retrieved by its UUID via the REST API.

You can issue GET requests to http://your-server-address:7474/graphaware/uuid/{moduleId}/node/{uuid} to get the node ID for a given uuid.

GET requests to http://your-server-address:7474/graphaware/uuid/{moduleId}/relationship/{uuid} will get the relationship ID for a given uuid.

{moduleId} is the module ID the UUID Module was registered with. You can omit this part of the URL, in which case "UIDM" is assumed as the default value. If no node exists with the given UUID, a 404 status code will be returned.

Java API

To use the Java API to find a node by its UUID, please instantiate UuidReader and use the method getNodeIdByUuid or getRelationshipByUuid

 UuidConfiguration configuration = getStartedRuntime(database).getModule(moduleId, UuidModule.class).getConfiguration();
 UuidReader reader = UuidReader(configuration, database);
 Node node = getNodeIdByUuid(uuid);
 Relationship rel = getRelationshipByUuid(uuid);

Please refer to Javadoc for more detail.

Specifying the Generator Through Configuration

By default, the com.graphaware.common.uuid.EaioUuidGenerator is used to generate the underlying UUID. Any generator implementation can be used, be it out of the box or your own custom code, by modifying the conf/neo4j.conf. The following example configures the UUID module to make use of the JavaUtilUUIDGenerator:



The following example configures the UUID module to make use of the SequenceIdGenerator:



Please see the com.graphaware.common.uuid.UuidGenerator interface and the com.graphaware.module.uuid.generator package for more information and examples of how to implement your own generator.


Copyright (c) 2017 GraphAware

GraphAware is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version. This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details. You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see

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GraphAware Runtime Module that assigns a UUID to all nodes (and relationships) in the graph transparently


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