Introduction to Notebooks

Interactive notebooks in Polypheny bring a dynamic and interactive dimension to your data management tasks. Leveraging the advanced multi-model capabilities of Polypheny, these notebooks are designed to be much more than just a static interface for data retrieval. They serve as a real-time platform that allows for intricate data querying, manipulation, analysis, and visualization, enhancing your overall interaction with data.

What Are Notebooks?

In the simplest terms, notebooks are a tool that combine executable code, rich text, and visualizations into a single, interactive document. They’re particularly useful for a wide array of applications ranging from data analysis, scientific research, machine learning, and educational purposes, among others. Within Polypheny, notebooks offer you a flexible and powerful environment to work with your data in an interactive fashion.

Notebooks in Polypheny are inspired by Jupyter Notebooks, a well-established tool in the realms of data science and computational research. They incorporate the strengths of Jupyter-style notebooks and amplify them with the robust capabilities of PolyDBMS. This fusion creates a versatile and powerful environment tailored for various data-intensive tasks. Behind the scenes, Polypheny utilizes a Jupyter Server, ensuring robust operation.

Being full compatibile with the Jupyter file format, existing Jupyter notebooks can easily be imported as notebooks in Polypheny. This allows to effortlessly continue working on existing projects while utilizing the powerful and versatile data management capabilities provided by Polypheny.

Why Use Notebooks in Polypheny?

By leveraging the capabilities of Polypheny’s robust DBMS, notebooks become more than just a simple tool for data analysis. They become a powerful platform for real-time, interactive data manipulation and visualization across various domains and applications.

Power of a PolyDBMS

The integration with Polypheny-DB offers users the unique advantage of performing complex queries, transformations, and analyses in real-time. The robust architecture of Polypheny-DB ensures that you can handle large datasets efficiently, making it ideal for applications like big data analytics, real-time monitoring systems, or even complex simulation scenarios.

Seamless Experience

You can run SQL queries, visualize data, and annotate your work with rich text, all without leaving the Polypheny interface. This seamless experience makes it easier to transition between database management tasks and analytical or descriptive tasks within the notebook.

Ease of Use

Designed to be intuitive and user-friendly, our notebook interface supports rich text and executable code cells. This enables you to document your workflow in a comprehensive manner and share it with colleagues, thereby promoting collaboration.

Advanced Features

Our notebooks are inspired by Jupyter, featuring changeable kernels, rich output formats, and robust file management options. Polypheny’s unique Query Cells feature allows you to run SQL queries directly within the notebook interface and visualize the results, further enhancing the integration with Polypheny-DB.

Applications and Domains

Having the power of a PolyDBMS at the back opens up numerous possibilities across various domains:

  • Data Science: Perform real-time analytics and model training on large datasets.
  • Retail: Analyze customer behavior, stock levels, and sales trends.
  • Finance: Conduct real-time risk assessments and portfolio evaluations.
  • Healthcare: Analyze complex medical data for research or diagnostic purposes.
  • Education: Create interactive tutorials that involve real-time data manipulation and visualization.

Getting Started

Getting started is simple. Navigate to the Notebooks tab in the Polypheny-UI and choose to either create a new notebook or upload an existing one. You can then start executing code, writing SQL queries, and annotating your notebook with rich Markdown text.


The Notebooks feature in Polypheny requires Docker to be installed and configured. This is essential not just for performance but also for isolating and sandboxing your work environment. Please follow this guide on how to setup Docker with Polypheny.

For users who are running Docker Desktop, it’s important to allocate sufficient resources to the containers, especially memory. Inadequate resources may cause the installation of larger packages, like TensorFlow, to fail. To adjust these settings, you can follow the guidelines outlined here. Note that these considerations are primarily for Docker Desktop users and may not be applicable for other Docker installations.

Feature Highlights

  • Executable Code Cells: Write and execute code within the notebook.
  • Markdown Cells: Annotate your work with rich text, LaTeX equations, and images.
  • File Management: Easily store, manage, and share your notebooks.
  • Query Cells: A Polypheny-specific feature that allows you to run SQL queries and visualize the results.
  • Dynamic Kernel Management: Currently supporting IPython, with more to come in future updates.


  • No support for interactive widgets yet.
  • Currently limited to IPython kernels.
  • Retrieval of entire query results can be performance-intensive for large data sets.

Integrating Polypheny Into Your Existing Jupyter Setups

If you’re already using a separate Jupyter Server and wish to integrate it with Polypheny, it’s possible using our IPython extension. This allows for the execution of Polypheny queries in your existing Jupyter notebooks. While the extension supports Polypheny-specific line and cell magics, it’s worth noting that the native notebooks feature in Polypheny offers a more seamless experience for database access due to its built-in support for these custom cell magics. For further instructions on linking an external Jupyter setups with Polypheny, consult the Jupyter integration guide.


The initial version of the Notebooks feature has been developed by Tobias Weber as part of his Bachelor’s thesis.

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