The jooik “core”
If you have already started browsing our jooik activities, you may have noticed that jooik connects similar activities. If you open up an activity, you will see a couple of similar activities on the left side of the page. You may also have noticed that if you start collecting favorites, jooik will use those to detect your preferences. This means that if you have some favorites in your list and switch to a different city, jooik will come up with some recommendations matching your profile. This is a very simple mode of what we call “smart recommendations”.
In one of our previous posts, we started to introduce our partners. When we started developing the jooik engine, we knew that we didn’t want to create a flat search engine, but rather a smart recommendation engine. We checked out several technologies, and finally came across Neo4j. We liked the Neo technology from the first line of code we created, since anything we wanted to achieve could be done based on plain Java, which is our favorite programming language.
But programming languages/technologies can’t usually be judged based on the technology core alone. Even though you can get up to speed with a technology pretty fast, your requirements will grow the same way your application keeps growing, and finally you will end up with some reasonable questions which need to be answered. Having a great technology in place does not answer these questions, but having an active community behind a technology does. With Neo4j we found this “great technology + active community” combination, and became well known members of the Neo forum. We populated our Skype list with some Neo contacts, and finally setup a solid network, enabling us to get quick answers to our questions, so we’ve never been “blocked”.
We would like to thank Neo for this great partnership (special thanks go to Peter and Michael from the Neo crew)! Peter knows Neo by heart, and helped us a lot in setting up so called “Cypher querries”, but also just with basic Neo topics. Michael is responsible for the Neo4J Spring integration. With the Neo4J Spring integration, we were saved of writing thousands lines of code. Instead, we have a nice configuration tool set, enabling us to adjust rather than code everything which has already been coded by Michael.
Btw.: in the beginning we thought Peter and Michael to be some Google bots. Whenever we asked a question, day or night, it was answered immediately by these guys. Only after having had some phone calls with the guys, we discovered that they are smart human beings, helping us in any situation – so thank you Peter, thank you Michael, and thank you Neo!
The jooik team!
P.S.: of course we continue our developing, and have great features on our road map…so please prepare for further forum postings from Switzerland! ;-)