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Understanding graphs

The heart of Apollo GraphOS


As its name suggests, GraphOS is a platform for building and managing graphs. Each corresponds to a service in your organization.

A service usually runs in more than one environment (such as staging or production), so every graph in has one or more variants that each correspond to one environment:

A graph in GraphOS
Staging
variant
Production
variant

Each of a keeps track of its own separate and metrics.

Graph types

Every in is one of these graph types:

Graph typeDescription

Cloud supergraph

A consisting of:

  • A -hosted router
  • One or more subgraphs hosted in your infrastructure

Recommended for all organizations getting started with .

Self-hosted supergraph

(Enterprise only)

A consisting of:

  • A router hosted in your infrastructure
  • One or more subgraphs hosted in your infrastructure

Recommended for enterprise organizations that require full customization of their , usually for advanced performance or data compliance reasons.

Monograph

(Enterprise only)

Not recommended. A single service hosted in your infrastructure with no .

Cloud supergraphs

NOTE

Cloud require an Apollo organization on the Serverless (free or paid) or Dedicated plan. Learn more about plans.

Cloud supergraphs are recommended for every organization that's getting started with . For every of a cloud , GraphOS provisions and manages a router that acts as the 's public endpoint. Application clients communicate with this endpoint instead of communicating directly with your (s):

Your infrastructure
GraphOS
Your GraphQL
server
Router
Clients

The automatically reports certain metrics to , so you don't need to configure this reporting in your .

Cloud use an architecture called Apollo Federation. With federation, you can distribute your 's capabilities across multiple services, which are known as subgraphs. The executes client across multiple as needed:

Your infrastructure
GraphOS
Products subgraph
Reviews subgraph
Router
Clients

Even if your API currently uses only one , a cloud helps you add more later as your organization grows.

Self-hosted supergraphs

Self-hosted supergraphs are an Enterprise feature for organizations with advanced performance or compliance requirements. If your organization doesn't currently have an , you can test out this functionality by signing up for a free Enterprise trial.

With a self-hosted , does not provision a for your supergraph. Instead, you host your supergraph's router in your own infrastructure:

Your infrastructure
Router
Products subgraph
Reviews subgraph
Clients

Your is an instance of the Apollo Router (cloud use the under the hood).

Self-hosted provide full control over your , but they also require handling its deployment and management. Before you adopt this graph type, make sure you have the necessary team structure to properly manage an additional service in your infrastructure.

Monographs

require an Apollo organization on the Enterprise plan. Learn more about plans.

A monograph is a that consists of a single with no :

Your infrastructure
GraphQL server
Clients

Creating graphs

You can create a cloud or a non-cloud (self-hosted or ).



To create a cloud , see the GraphOS quickstart.

Next, you need to publish your 's schema(s) to Apollo using the . For details, see Publishing schemas to GraphOS.

Variants

To distinguish between instances of the same running in different environments (such as staging and production), you define multiple variants of your . Each has its own schemas, along with its own change history and metrics.

Each of your 's is shown in GraphOS Studio:

Schema Changelog tab

Creating a variant

See this section.

Publishing schemas

See Publishing schemas to GraphOS.

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