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Apollo GraphQL Intros Federation 2

November 4, 2021

With the introduction of Federation 2, now in alpha, more organizations, small and large, can use Federation to unify their services into a single graph to deliver apps faster and streamline multi-team collaboration.

Powered by a unified graph, Federation enables companies to gain competitive advantage by delivering new application experiences at a cadence that meets increasing customer demand. Federation 2 is simpler to use for small teams and more powerful for large teams. Organizations that tap into Federation early in their graph journey set themselves up for greater graph success--and strategic growth--by enabling modularization of the unified graph. These subgraphs can be owned and delivered independently, in parallel across multiple teams.

“Federation is the key to rapidly scaling your graph and your business,” said Matt DeBergalis, co-founder and CTO of Apollo GraphQL. “With these new capabilities, Apollo improves Federation’s ability to scale and evolve the graph fluidly as an organization’s apps, graph, and teams grow. With more than 1 million downloads each week, Apollo Federation is both the most popular solution for managing a distributed graph and the only true enterprise-grade solution for creating a unified graph.”

The Graph has become an essential new layer in the tech stack, serving as a single representation of an organization’s services, data, and digital capabilities. The Graph empowers developers to deliver better experiences, faster, isolates service complexity, and serves as a single place for application development collaboration, without tight coupling that slows things down.

The new capabilities in Federation allow enterprise customers and users to:

Get started more easily. For teams that have already invested in complex graphs, Federation 2 simplifies the transition to Federation by making it possible to write natural GraphQL schemas that are “federation-ready” from the start with support for popular GraphQL features like interfaces and enums.

Iterate rapidly and streamline collaboration. Federation 2 introduces a better shared ownership model that empowers teams to evolve unified graphs with less cross-team overhead work. Teams of any size can change and adapt their federated graph as needs evolve. For example, large enterprises can rapidly scale from a single team to 10s or 100s of teams with polyglot services, to provide a strategic graph that powers an organization’s business.

Assert a single source of truth with stronger governance. Federation 2 offers support for new directives that provide greater precision and control, and allow organizations to apply varying levels of review and approval to each part of the graph. The new generalized composition model ties in seamlessly with Apollo Studio to provide higher-level governance, with guardrails and policy that define how your graph can evolve.

In addition to the new enterprise features, Apollo GraphQL is following the consensus approach of open technology leaders like Elastic, Confluent, MongoDB, and others in changing its licensing model for Federation and its Workbench solution. Federation will now be licensed under the Elastic License 2.0 (ELv2), a change that ensures Apollo’s community and customers receive the same current benefits of open technology while preserving the company’s business model that continues to fuel innovation in the GraphQL space or the benefit of both Apollo customers and users everywhere.

With over 30% of Fortune 500 companies already using Apollo, the company continues to be the platform-of-choice for enterprise GraphQL. This includes several industry leaders that already use Federation such as Netflix, PayPal, Zillow, Walmart, Peloton, Priceline, and many others that will be speaking at the annual GraphQL Summit taking place virtually November 10-11, 2021.

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