Infoworld covers 10 data capabilities that should never be done using a RDBMS  includes Product Cataloguing – more suited to graph databases.

Product cataloguing: This isn’t the exciting stuff you hear about, but one of the first nightmare SQL queries I ever wrote was for mapping product data. When I worked for a mobile telephone manufacturer, this was for cellphones — except “Model XYZ” could mean several different actual phones, and any one of those went under different names in different markets. The same model could have completely different components. Managing these “classes” of devices didn’t flatten very well. This was very much the kind of thing for which I could have used a graph database like Neo4j.

I had a very similar problem when I worked for a chemical company. We did some very dumb string mapping that was pretty laborious. Had we kept the product information in a graph database, it would have been simple to map.

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