Managed federation overview

Apollo Graph Manager provides free managed federation features for data graphs that use Apollo Federation.

With managed federation, your gateway is no longer responsible for fetching schemas from your implementing services on startup. Instead, your implementing services push their schemas to Graph Manager, which verifies that they successfully compose into a federated schema.

On composition success, Graph Manager updates a dedicated configuration file that's stored in Google Cloud Services, which your gateway regularly polls for updates:

apollo graphql: managed federation overview image

Managed federation helps your organization safely validate, coordinate, deploy, and monitor changes to your graph. It provides:

Gateway stability

You can modify service schemas (and even add or remove entire services from your graph) without needing to modify or redeploy your gateway. As the point of entry to your entire data graph, your gateway should maximize its uptime.

Composition stability

Whenever your gateway obtains an updated configuration from Graph Manager, it knows that the updated set of schemas will compose, because Graph Manager has already successfully composed them.

The gateway also knows that your implementing services are prepared to handle operations against the updated set of schemas. This is because your services should register their updated schemas as part of their deployment, meaning they're definitely running by the time the gateway is aware of the configuration change.

And whenever an implementing service accidentally pushes a schema change that doesn't compose, Graph Manager continues to provide the most recent valid configuration to your gateway.

Schema flexibility

By using a configuration manager that's external to your gateway, you help ensure the safety of certain schema changes. For example, if you want to migrate a type or field from one implementing service's schema to another, you can perform this migration safely only if you externalize your configuration.

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Next: Setting up managed federation

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