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Launch Graph Manager

Get started with Graph Manager


Hello! This article gets you up and running with Apollo Graph Manager. None of this setup requires a paid plan.

You can use Graph Manager with any GraphQL server. Certain features (e.g., trace reporting) are currently best supported by Apollo Server.

If you're using Apollo Federation, get started with Setting up managed federation instead of this article.

Step 1: Create your account

  1. Go to engine.apollographql.com and click Create an account.

    You can sign up with either your GitHub identity or a username and password.

  2. Complete the signup flow, which includes:

    • Creating an organization that you can invite your teammates to

    • Selecting a plan for your organization (the Free plan is always free, and the Team plan provides a free trial of advanced features)

Step 2: Create your first graph

In Graph Manager, each graph corresponds to the entirety of a GraphQL schema. Your first graph will correspond to your GraphQL server's schema.

  1. Visit engine.apollographql.com again. Now that you're logged in, this opens the Graph Manager UI.

    The list of organizations you belong to appears in the left column:

    Schema history page in the Graph Manager UI
  2. Select the organization that you want to add your graph to. Then, click New Graph in the upper right.

  3. Specify a name for your graph and click Next. Graph Manager displays a list of instructions, which are also described in the next section.

Step 3: Configure your project

  1. Install the Apollo CLI if you haven't yet.

  2. Add a .env file to your project's root directory if there isn't one yet. Do not add this file to version control. It contains secrets that differ both per user and per environment.

  3. Add the .env file to your project's .gitignore file.

  4. Obtain a personal API key from Graph Manager and set it as the value of APOLLO_KEY (previously ENGINE_API_KEY) in your .env file:

    .env
    # Don't worry, the author invalidated this API key before sharing it 😉
    APOLLO_KEY=user:gh.StephenBarlow:Rc6D_7mLxY74okHRCL2HMg
  5. Add an apollo.config.js file to your project's root directory if there isn't one yet. Unlike .env, you do add this file to version control.

  6. Add your newly created graph's name to apollo.config.js in the service.name field, like so:

    apollo.config.js
    module.exports = {
      service: {
        name: "acephei"  }
    }

Step 4: Register your schema

The schema registry sits at the heart of Graph Manager. It allows you to inspect your graph's schema and track changes to it over time:

Graph Manager explorer view

You register your schema with the apollo service:push command. You need to provide your schema to this command, in one of the following ways:

Provide your schema via introspection

The Apollo CLI can obtain your schema from your locally running GraphQL server via an introspection query. This is a special query supported by most GraphQL servers that returns the server's full schema.

To provide your schema via introspection, first run your GraphQL server locally. Then, execute the apollo service:push command from your project's root directory and provide your GraphQL server's localhost URL, like so:

apollo service:push --endpoint=http://localhost:4000/

Provide your schema via a local file

If your schema is defined in a .gql or .graphql file, you can provide that file to Graph Manager.

To do so, run the apollo service:push command from your project's root directory and provide a path to the schema file, like so:

apollo service:push --localSchemaFile=./schema.gql

The --localSchemaFile option also supports a comma-separated list of paths if your schema is defined across multiple files.

Step 5: Connect to Slack

Graph Manager can connect to your Slack workspace to send you daily metrics reports, along with notifications whenever changes are made to your registered schema.

Set up Slack notifications

Step 6: Set up trace reporting

Graph Manager can ingest operation traces from your GraphQL server to provide performance metrics for your data graph.

To begin pushing these traces to Graph Manager, read Pushing trace data to Graph Manager.

Step 7: Set up continuous delivery

Your schema is now registered with Graph Manager, and your server is pushing operation traces!

However, to get the most out of Graph Manager, you need to re-register your server's schema every time it changes. The easiest way to do this is to make schema registration part of every deployment in your application's continuous delivery flow. See an example.

Step 8: Explore

The best way to familiarize yourself with Graph Manager's capabilities is to explore it! Visit engine.apollographql.com and check out the various views and what they provide.

You can also learn more about the features provided with Team and Enterprise plans, including:

If you'd like to have a conversation about Graph Manager and how it can help your organization, please contact us.

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