September 24, 2019

Lessons from Expedia Group’s journey to a data graph

Robert Fenstermacher

Robert Fenstermacher

Managing customer experiences across all the products in a single brand is hard enough. Now imagine doing that for 25 brands and more than 200 websites. Expedia Group has managed to sustain incredible growth over the years, but growing that large that quickly was bound to create a fair amount of technical debt. Development teams found themselves spending more and more time duplicating work across platforms and managing service APIs — and less time innovating on new travel offerings.

As it goes with technical debt, every new experience and every new platform made matters exponentially worse. In particular, it was the rise of native mobile clients that really ramped up the complexity.

Dan Boerner, Distinguished Product Manager at Expedia Group explained:

“Much of the mobile app team’s work had nothing to do with creating experiences for customers because they were constantly figuring out what API to call, on-boarding those APIs, and dealing with version and endpoint changes.”

To resolve their technical debt, they made a strategic decision to build a GraphQL-based data graph with Apollo.

We were honored to work with the team at Expedia Group that’s making it happen. In their new customer story, you’ll get a comprehensive look at their unique technical and organizational challenges, early experimentation with Backend-For-Frontend, and where they landed with an agile approach to building out a single organization-wide data graph for GraphQL.

The results have been nothing short of transformational, both in accelerating development and in freeing up resources to experiment more.

As Tyler Fleck, Director of User Experience, explains it:

“Trying out new ideas across all our clients without the need to make any client-specific changes speeds up the design and learning process, and ultimately leads to better customer experiences.”

There are tons of learnings and practical tips to take away, whether you’re a small team starting out in your GraphQL journey or far along and looking to scale a data graph across teams.

Grab a cup of coffee and head over to read the full Expedia Group story. If you’d like to chat about how to bring the awesome benefits of a federated graph to your organization, we’d love to get in touch!

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Robert Fenstermacher

Robert Fenstermacher

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