Publication date: Jul 14, 2023
Graph databases are emerging as the leading data management technology for storing large knowledge graphs; significant efforts are ongoing to produce new standards (such as the Graph Query Language, GQL), as well as enrich them with properties, types, schemas, and keys. In this article, we propose PG-Triggers, a complete proposal for adding triggers to Property Graphs, along the direction marked by the SQL3 Standard. We define the syntax and semantics of PG-Triggers and then illustrate how they can be implemented on top of Neo4j, one of the most popular graph databases. In particular, we introduce a syntax-directed translation from PG-Triggers into Neo4j, which makes use of the so-called APOC triggers; APOC is a community-contributed library for augmenting the Cypher query language supported by Neo4j. We also illustrate the use of PG-Triggers through a life science application inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic. The main result of this article is proposing reactive aspects within graph databases as first-class citizens, so as to turn them into an ideal infrastructure for supporting reactive knowledge management.