Launch Apollo Studio

Graphs and variants

A graph in Apollo Studio represents a graph in your organization. Each graph has one or more variants, which correspond to the different environments where that graph runs (such as staging and production). Each variant has its own GraphQL schema, which means schemas can differ between environments.

Creating a graph

To create a graph in Apollo Studio, first select the Studio organization that the graph will belong to. Then click New Graph in the upper right and proceed through the creation flow:

There are two types of graphs in Studio:

  • Deployed graphs are shared with other members of your organization. Create a deployed graph for every use case except local development.
  • Development graphs (dev graphs for short) are only visible to you. Use them to help you iterate on your graph in your development environment.

Registering a schema

You can register your schema to a Studio graph with one of the following methods:

Viewing graph information

After selecting an organization in Studio, click on a particular graph to view its editable README, schema, data, and settings. All of a Studio organization's members can access the data and settings for every graph that belongs to that organization.

Enterprise accounts can set member roles to configure access for individual members of their organization.

The README page

When a user opens one of your graph's variants in Apollo Studio, its README page is shown:

GraphQL codeblock in README

Like the typical homepage for a Git repository, this page displays a Markdown-based README that you can edit with any content you like.

Note: Only organization members with the Org Admin, Graph Admin, or Contributor role can edit a variant's README. If a variant is protected, Contributors cannot edit its README.

Each variant has its own README. If you edit one variant's README, those edits are not applied to other variants. Among other uses, this enables you to provide different information to external consumers in a public variant.

Supported Markdown

The README supports all basic Markdown syntax and most extended syntax (including tables, code blocks, and footnotes).

You can define a GraphQL code block with the following syntax:

query MyQuery {
  users {

This renders the code block with buttons you can use to copy an operation or open it in the Explorer:

GraphQL codeblock in README

README shortcodes

The README supports a set of shortcodes you can use to populate it with data that's specific to your variant, such as the graph's name and the variant's graph ref:

# Overview of {{ }}

Graph ref: {{ graph.ref }}

For a list of all supported shortcodes, click Graph shortcodes in the bottom-left corner of the README editor.

Exploring your schema

Apollo Studio provides a powerful Explorer IDE that helps you visualize your graph and run queries against it. It's available from your graph's Explorer tab in Studio.

Learn about the Apollo Studio Explorer

Tracking schema changes

The Schema > Changelog tab in Apollo Studio displays a timeline of changes made to your graph's schema:

Schema Changelog tab

Only schema changes that you publish to Studio are included in this timeline, which is one of the most important reasons to include schema registration in your continuous delivery pipeline.

Managing variants

To distinguish between instances of the same graph running in different environments (such as staging and production), you can define variants for a deployed graph. Each variant has its own schema, along with its own change history, metrics, and operation registry:

Schema Changelog tab

Development graphs do not support variants.

Adding a variant

To add a variant to your graph, you register a schema to the graph and include a variant name in the registration. If a variant with the specified name doesn't exist yet, Studio creates it.

Associating metrics with a variant

You can configure Apollo Server to associate the metrics it sends to Apollo Studio with a particular variant. To do so, set the APOLLO_GRAPH_VARIANT environment variable (ENGINE_SCHEMA_TAG in apollo-server pre-2.13.0) to the appropriate variant before initializing Apollo Server.

Make sure you associate metrics with the correct variant! Otherwise, metrics from your staging and test environments might be included in reports for your production graph.

Public variants

You can enable public access for individual variants of your graph. If you do, anyone with that variant's public link can view the following pages for that variant in Studio:

This enables consumers of your graph to learn about your graph's schema and any special usage information (such as authentication details) that you've documented in the public variant's README. They can also run properly authenticated operations against your graph with the Explorer.

People outside your organization can't view any other pages for a public variant (Fields, Operations, etc.), and they can never view any pages for private variants. New variants always start as private.

Making a variant public

Only organization members with the Org Admin or Graph Admin role can toggle a variant's public visibility.

  1. Go to your graph's Settings page and open the Access tab.

  2. Under the Variants section, toggle the switch for the variant you want to make public:

    Toggle public variant in Studio
  3. Confirm your selection.

You can toggle the switch back to make the variant private again.

After you make a variant public, you can click the variant's PUBLIC label at the top of Apollo Studio to get its public link:

Public variant label in Studio

Protected variants (Enterprise only)

If you have an Enterprise plan, you can designate particular variants of a graph as protected variants. Making a variant protected specifically affects the ability of users with the Contributor role to make certain changes to the variant:

  • Contributors cannot push schema updates to a protected variant.
  • Contributors cannot manage Explorer-related settings for a protected variant, like setting its URL.
  • Graph API Keys with the Contributor permission will not be able to report usage metrics to your graph.

These are the only operations (other than creating new protected variants and creating new graphs) that can be performed by Contributors and not by Observers, so one way of thinking of protected variants are that they are variants where Contributors are treated as Observers.

Graph Admins and Org Admins can configure whether a variant is protected from the Access tab of the graph's Settings page.

Internal graph visibility (Enterprise only)

For external graph visibility, see Public variants.

By default, deployed graphs are visible to all members of your organization. If you have an Enterprise plan, you can set a deployed graph to instead be visible only to members you invite.

You can configure visibility and grant your organization's members explicit access to your graph from the Access tab of your graph's Settings page.

Note that Organization Admins can always see all graphs in your organization.

Transferring graph ownership

You can transfer a graph to a different Studio organization you belong to by visiting the graph's Settings page and changing the graph owner.

Deleting a graph

Deleting a graph cannot be undone!

You can delete a graph from Studio by visiting its Settings page and clicking Delete Graph.

Edit on GitHub