1.0.0-rc.2 • Public • Published

    MarkLogic Grove React Visjs Graph

    This library provides React components providing an interactive graph visualization of nodes and edges. It is a wrapper for the vanilla JS ml-visjs-graph.js library, which itself is based on the VisJS Network library.

    The library is part of the MarkLogic Grove project, but could work in any React application.


    First, add the grove-react-visjs-graph dependency via npm. (In a Grove Project, you will want to do this inside the ui directory.)

    npm install --save @marklogic-community/grove-react-visjs-graph

    Then, in your application, import the GraphContainer and start to use it.

    // ... other imports ...
    import { GraphContainer } from 'grove-react-visjs-graph';
    // ...
    // ... other stuff in the parent component
      <GraphContainer startingUris={['/sample-data/data-268.json']} />
    // ...

    The startingUris refers to RDF URIs (see the "Data Source" section below for details.)

    The GraphContainer is a convenience container, which attempts to fetch graph data and pass it down to the more generic Graph component. The follow section describes the default behavior of the GraphContainer and how to customize it.

    However, you may also choose not to use the GraphContainer at all, but instead to use your own container together with the more generic Graph component. There is a section on using the Graph component further below.


    GraphContainer Defaults

    Data Source

    The provided GraphContainer calls a backend service, providing subject IRIs as a parameter. By default, it expects to access a MarkLogic REST endpoint at /v1/resources/visjs. It provides an rs:subjects array parameter to this endpoint, and expects to receive back the Visjs-style serialization of nodes and edges.

    A usable example of such an endpoint is available in the mlpm-visjs-graph repository. You will need to install visjs.xqy as a REST resource and visjs-lib.xqy as a server-side javascript module. You can customize the behavior by editing these files directly, particularly the SPARQL queries in visjs-lib.xqy.

    See the README in the mlpm-visjs-graph library on how to install it on MarkLogic.

    You will then either have to setup an endpoint in your Grove middle-tier that calls this REST extension, or add a legacy proxy (not recommended in general). (Eventually, we hope to spec out and ship a middle-tier endpoint.)

    To add a proxy in an out-of-the-box Grove middle-tier, open routes/index.js and inside the whitelist, add:

      endpoint: '/resources/visjs,
      methods: ['get'],
      authed: true

    NOTE: Eventually, we would like to replace this library with a default Grove middle-tier endpoint.


    The provided GraphContainer also sets up a single doubleClick event, which fetches nodes and edges for the node that was double-clicked and adds them to the graph.

    The underlying ml-visjs-graph.ng library also sets up an afterDrawing event, which draws a custom orb in the top-left of each node, which contains a number specifying how many relationships that node has (or whatever else you wish to interpret the linkCount property on each node to mean).

    GraphContainer Customization

    Data Source

    To change the basic behavior pass in a fetchData() function, which takes an array of URIs as its only argument and returns a Visjs-style serialization of nodes and edges.

    const myFetchData = uris => {
      // Inspect the source of visjs examples to see what properties nodes and
      // edges can have. Note that you can use arrays and do not need to 
      // instantiate a visjs DataSet.
      // http://visjs.org/network_examples.html
      // Normally, of course, you will call out to a data service in MarkLogic,
      // a MarkLogic Grove middle-tier, or some other backend API.
      // Note that you need to return a Promise.
      return Promise.resolve({
        nodes: [
            id: '1',
            label: 'The Number 1!',
            group: 'number', // optional
            linkCount: 8 // we look for this to add an small orb to the icon
            id: '2',
            label: 'The Only Even Prime!',
            group: 'number', // optional
            linkCount: 16 // we look for this to add an small orb to the icon
        edges: [
            id: 'more-2-1',
            label: 'moreThan',
            from: '2',
            to: '1'
    // ...
    // ...

    See the VisJS nodes and edges documentation for additional VisJS properties you can add. You may also add additional, non-VisJS properties if you wish (for example, to provide content to a summary pane when a node is clicked).


    VisJS provides many event hooks for you to add behavior or draw on the canvas. See above for the events added by default. You can override these or add additional event hooks by passing an object as an events option to the <GraphContainer />. (If you want to remove one of the event hooks defined in this library, you will have to specify an empty, 'no-op' function.)

    For example, here is an 'oncontext' event handler (fired when you right-click on a node):

        oncontext: params => {
          console.log('Visjs right-click action called with params: ', params);

    Display options

    TODO: add physics on-off, physics solver and layout as props to Graph

    VisJS provides a robust set of options to change how your graph is displayed. We have specified a default set of options in the underlying ml-visjs-graph.js library. You can override these by passing a VisJS options object as an options prop to your <GraphContainer />. (Only the specific options you name will be changed. If you want to return to the VisJS default for an option that we have set in the visjsGraphCtrl, you will have to specify that explicitly.)

    For example:

        edges: {
          color: {
            color: 'red'
        nodes: {
          color: {
            background: 'orange'

    Specify Layout

    The underlying ml-visjs-graph.js library provides a few different layout options. Those include:

    • "standard" (force-directed)
    • "hierarchyTop"
    • "hierarchyBottom"
    • "hierarchyLeft"
    • "hierarchyRight"

    You can specify which layout you want, by passing in, for example, layout="'hierarchyTop'". The default is 'standard'.


    Specify Physics

    You can also specify a different physics for the 'standard' (default) layout: physics={ 'barnesHut' }

    Or turn off physics initially with physics={false}.

    Graph Component

    Instead of using the provided GraphContainer, you can use the lower-level Graph component instead, which gives you more control on how to fetch data to initialize the graph and to update it. See the GraphContainer itself for an example of how to use it.

    It takes props similar to the GraphContainer for events and display options.

    In addition, it takes a data prop, which is additive. Any new data gets added to the existing visjs graph.

    More Information

    I recommend becoming familiar with the documentation for a VisJS network.


    npm i @marklogic-community/grove-react-visjs-graph

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