I am trying to create unit tests for a python project that will interface with a Neo4j Graph database.
Currently, I am implementing the embedded graph database, but will likely migrate to a REST interface if I choose to deploy this to a web application.
I have intstalled v1.9rc2 of the embedded neo4j project, installed via
>>> import neo4j
>>> print neo4j.__version__
The best practice is to create and shutdown the database individually for each test using setUp/tearDown - exactly as you've mentioned.
side note: 1.9rc2 is rather outdated, consider upgrading to latest stable since couple of bugs have been fixed since then.