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Apollo GraphQL Supergraph Debuts

May 23, 2022

Apollo GraphQL introduced the supergraph, a network of a company’s data, microservices and digital capabilities, that empowers product and engineering teams to quickly create incredible experiences for their customers. A supergraph acts as a composition layer facilitating collaboration between backend data and services, and front-end apps and devices.

Though composability exists in other layers of a modern tech stack, the way companies make new products and app experiences is still rigid and highly dependent on the tools, technologies and processes they have in place. Because of this, front-end teams bear the burden of sourcing and orchestrating data, fine-grained APIs, microservices and different client applications whenever they build new products and app experiences.

The supergraph eliminates that complexity by enabling and automating organization-wide composability that delivers better performance and near infinite ways to rapidly orchestrate and recombine business domain models to meet future needs at any scale.

“The supergraph is a new way to think about GraphQL,” said Matt DeBergalis, CTO and co-founder of Apollo GraphQL. “It’s more than a way to connect front-end applications to the data and services they need to run – it’s a composition layer that can span an entire organization. We’ve already seen supergraphs become the standard GraphQL implementation powering some of the world’s most complex digital experiences. It’s a declarative and modular architecture that anyone can use and standardize around.”

Apollo is releasing major updates to the core components of its supergraph stack.

Apollo Router, a free and open Rust-based supergraph runtime, is now available for anyone to download. Apollo Router processes individual GraphQL queries, plans and executes those requests across federated subgraphs, and returns responses back to the client. Apollo Router processes requests 10x faster with 10x higher throughput and 12x less variance compared to Apollo Gateway.

Apollo is adding two key features to Apollo Studio’s free tier, making them available to anyone. Apollo Studio is a cloud-based delivery pipeline that provides the automation, validation, and observability needed to deliver changes to a supergraph rapidly and safely. The two features, Schema Checks, which helps ensure that newly composed schema won’t break client applications, and Launches, which provides visibility into the schema-checking and launch processes, had previously only been available to enterprise customers.

In April, Apollo updated Federation, its architecture for building a modular supergraph. The updates to the Apollo Router and Apollo Studio, along with Apollo Federation, make the supergraph easy to use, more powerful, and completely free.

Apollo has been privately developing the supergraph with its customers, and it now powers important strategic initiatives at some of the world’s brightest companies, including Expedia, Walmart, Zillow, Netflix, PayPal, Expedia, The New York Times, Major League Baseball and others. Today, it’s available to anyone.

“With a supergraph businesses can become composable, which opens up a new world of possibilities,” said Geoff Schmidt, CEO and co-founder of Apollo GraphQL. “It frees product and engineering teams to build applications and digital experiences their customers want, instead of being constrained by rigid processes, redundant integration work, and a complex tangle of microservices.”

“Many companies are drowning in a sea of complexity and looking to streamline a modern-day technology stack,” said Mike Leone, Senior Analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group. “The Apollo supergraph does just that in a novel way. The platform empowers teams to quickly integrate modular data, services, and business logic into a unified, relevant, and timely customer experience. With the supergraph, Apollo has also anticipated and addressed issues relating to federation, security, validation, and scalability as organizations’ graphs grow over time.”

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