January 24, 2024

The Apollo Supergraph Architecture Framework

Lucas Leadbetter

Lucas Leadbetter

Building a scalable and effective enterprise supergraph is challenging, and often feels like there are countless numbers of ways to approach the challenges that arise without evidence of efficacy. Companies searching the GraphQL community for recommendations leads to  a lack of consistency across the industry and doing things that may prove to be ineffective, thus requiring changes later down the line. These challenges can often be exacerbated by the lack of consensus both internally and externally, making it difficult to know what works best.

Apollo aims to simplify this process for both existing and new GraphQL practitioners and today we’re excited to share the Supergraph Architecture Framework (SAF), which is the culmination of years of learning by Apollo’s Solutions Architecture team after working with some of the largest enterprise organizations in the world as a way to answer questions about how to best enable your organization to scale GraphQL effectively.

What is the SAF?

The SAF explains key concepts, design principles, and architectural best practices for running a supergraph in production. The five SAF pillars provide an ideal foundation for a supergraph, ensuring your team can get up and running successfully in less time. 

The SAF is a short assessment to help you and your organization better understand how to improve your supergraph, grouped into five pillars. These questions are based on best practices we’ve seen at other companies who have deployed a supergraph at enterprise scale.

The pillars are: 

  • Operational Excellence: How you efficiently operate, maintain, and manage your supergraph. This pillar primarily focuses on the interpersonal skills and processes that are paramount to running a successful supergraph.
  • Security: How you secure your organization’s supergraph to prevent misuse. 
  • Reliability: How you build and maintain a scalable supergraph with high availability in mind.
  • Performance: How you can create a performant supergraph and ensure performance is monitored at your organization.
  • Developer Efficiency: This discusses ways to increase your developer velocity through process improvements. 

Once completed, you’ll be able to get a report of how your organization is performing, alongside a list of action items and their associated impact and level of effort.

The SAF is intended to be run multiple times as your journey progresses, and can be helpful at any stage of the process; whether that be the beginning or midway through implementation, or reviewing an existing implementation to make changes.

How do I get started?

To get started with the SAF, visit https://saf.apollographql.com, log in with your Apollo Studio organization, and begin your assessment. Once you’ve started, you’ll be shown a list of questions and multiple choices to fill out, such as the questions below. 

Once finished, you’ll get a report, which can be exported as a PDF, that you can share with members of your organization:

The SAF provides free guidelines to immediately improve your organization’s supergraph. Leverage Apollo’s experience, and ensure your work is backed by other companies’ learnings. 

Visit the Supergraph Architecture Framework site to get started. If you’re an enterprise customer, please reach out to your Apollo account team to review your results.

Written by

Lucas Leadbetter

Lucas Leadbetter

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