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Schema reporting protocol reference

Add automatic schema registration to your GraphQL server

This document specifies the protocol that any GraphQL server can implement to enable automatic schema registration with the Apollo schema registry.

A reference implementation of this protocol is included in Apollo Server.

Schema reporting endpoint

Servers that implement the schema reporting protocol communicate with the following GraphQL endpoint:

All requests to this endpoint require a graph API key as authentication.

Protocol sequence

The following sections illustrate the communication sequence between a GraphQL server (hereafter referred to as the edge server) and the schema reporting endpoint (Apollo):


Edge ServerApolloreportServerInfo(EdgeServerInfo(…) executableSchema = false)Response(withExecutableSchema = false, inSeconds = 57s)Wait 57 secondsGo to topResponse(withExecutableSchema = true, inSeconds = 0s)Wait 0 secondsreportServerInfo(EdgeServerInfo(…) executableSchema = '…')Persist schemaResponse(withExecutableSchema = false, inSeconds = 62s)Wait 62 secondsGo to topError(code, message)Stop until error is fixedWait 20 secondsGo to topalt[The specified schema ID is already registered][The specified schema ID is NOT already registered][reportServerInfo request is malformed or otherwise invalid][reportServerInfo request failed with non-2xx HTTP response]Edge ServerApollo

Step-by-step description

  1. On startup, the edge server executes the service.reportServerInfo mutation, providing an EdgeServerInfo object with the server's details as input.

    • This initial call does not include an executableSchema string.
    • If this or any other reportServerInfo request fails with a non-2xx response, the edge server should retry after 20 seconds.
  2. If the mutation succeeds, Apollo responds with a ReportServerInfoResponse object. This response tells the edge server:

    • How many seconds to wait before sending the next reportServerInfo request
    • Whether the next reportServerInfo request should include the executableSchema that corresponds to the executableSchemaId provided in the previous request.

    If the mutation fails, Apollo responds with a ReportServerInfoError object. In this case, the edge server should stop reporting its schema.

    • The message field of ReportServerInfoError provides a human-readable message describing the error.
    • Correct the error and deploy a new version of your edge server to resume schema reporting.
  3. Assuming success in step 2, the edge server waits the specified number of seconds, then executes the reportServerInfo mutation again.

  4. Go to step 2.

Pseudocode example

val info = EdgeServerInfo(..)
val schema = normalize("type Query { .. }")
var withSchema = false

function sendReport() {
  val executableSchema = if (withSchema) null else schema
  val response = reportServerInfo(info, executableSchema)

  if (response.code) {
    throw exception

  withSchema = response.withExecutableSchema

  setTimeout(sendReport, response.inSeconds)


Type definitions

The schema reporting protocol uses the following GraphQL types, referred to in Protocol sequence above:

# This type's fields are documented below.
input EdgeServerInfo {
  bootId: String!
  executableSchemaId: String!
  graphVariant: String! = "current"
  libraryVersion: String
  platform: String
  runtimeVersion: String
  serverId: String
  userVersion: String

interface ReportServerInfoResult {
  inSeconds: Int!
  withExecutableSchema: Boolean!

type ReportServerInfoResponse implements ReportServerInfoResult {
  inSeconds: Int!
  withExecutableSchema: Boolean!

type ReportServerInfoError implements ReportServerInfoResult {
  code: ReportServerInfoErrorCode!
  inSeconds: Int!
  message: String!
  withExecutableSchema: Boolean!

type Mutation {
  service(id: ID!): ServiceMutation!

type ServiceMutation {
    "Only sent if previously requested i.e. received ReportServerInfoResponse with withExecutableSchema = true"
    executableSchema: String,
    info: EdgeServerInfo!
  ): ReportServerInfoResult

EdgeServerInfo fields

Required fields

bootIdString!A randomly generated UUID that's unique for each instance of your edge server. Set this value on server startup (a given value should not persist across restarts).
executableSchemaIdString!A unique identifier for the edge server's schema. Should be the hexadecimal string representation of the schema document's SHA-256 hash.
graphVariantString!The name of the graph variant to register the schema to. The default value is current.
serverIdStringAn ID that's unique for each instance of your edge server. Unlike bootId, this value should persist across an instance's restarts. In a Kubernetes cluster, this might be the pod name, whereas the container can restart.
userVersionStringAn arbitrary string you can set to distinguish data sent by different versions of your edge server. For example, this can be the SHA of the Git commit for your deployed server code. We plan to make this value visible in Apollo Studio.

Appreciated fields 🙂

By providing these values in your requests, you'll help Apollo improve its service. For example, they'll help us identify whether a certain environment, platform, or version is causing a particular issue.

runtimeVersionStringThe runtime that your edge server is running, such as node 12.03.
libraryVersionStringThe name and version of the server and/or reporting agent your edge server is using, such as apollo-server-2.8 or graphql-java-3.1.
platformStringThe infrastructure environment that your edge server is running in (localhost, kubernetes/deployment, aws lambda, google cloud run, google cloud function, AWS ECS, etc.)

Schema normalization

Two semantically identical schemas can appear different to the schema registry, such as when those schemas list the same set of object fields in a different order. To avoid this scenario, every edge server should normalize its schema before sending it to the registry.

To normalize your schema, do all of the following:

  • Apply stable sorting (such as alphabetical) to the order of all type, field, and argument definitions.
  • Remove all redundant whitespace.
  • Remove all comments (but not docstrings).

Note that runtime dependencies on your schema document might result in poor user experience in tracking your schema changes, or even throttling of service availability.

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