Hasura Inc., a startup that sells a commercial version of the open-source GraphQL data management language, announced new capabilities today that let developers instantly join data across different GraphQL services.
Through the new features, developers can create a unified GraphQL application programming interface to join data instantly across different GraphQL services. Expanding on Hasura’s existing data federation capabilities, the new capability will enable developers to easily fetch data from multiple databases and other GraphQL services.
San Francisco-based Hasura offers a software platform that makes it easier to use GraphQL, a popular open-source tool for making applications operate more efficiently. The tool provides many benefits for enterprise applications, but it has a major disadvantage: It’s difficult to use. Hasura says its platform, the Hasura GraphQL Engine, automates up to 80% of the work involved in using GraphQL.
GraphQL is essentially a tool for building APIs, which are used by applications to retrieve the information they process from databases. Usually, when an application requests records from a database, the database determines how the records are delivered and not the application. That can create technical issues. The database might, for example, send more information than the application requested, or it may provide the information in a format that the application can’t process efficiently.
With GraphQL, that process is optimized, so developers can build an API that ensures a database doesn’t send more information than an application requested. Avoiding unnecessary data transfers saves bandwidth, which can translate to significant cost savings in large-scale enterprise software environments. Another benefit is increased application performance.
With the launch of GraphQL Joins today, developers can now instantly join data from across different GraphQL services to create a unified API that works with multiple databases.
Hasura said it has done this using GraphQL standards, meaning it eliminates the need for custom code or upstream service charges for each data source. Previously, Hasura said, developers would have to create significant custom code with multiple APIs to access data from multiple stores. Now, though, they can get away with creating a single GraphQL schema that works with multiple data sources, transforming data access into a self-serve process.
Developers will therefore enjoy some obvious benefits, Hasura said. By implementing configuration at the Hasura layer, the company said, developers get the unique ability to mix and match their application data sources freely. That leads to reduced development time, fewer security risks and less ongoing maintenance, according to Hasura.
The company said the new GraphQL Joins capability will be of interest to any developer who uses more than one GraphQL API, plus those who have existing investments in GraphQL servers and would like to add new data sources easily. It will also be useful to developers running databases that do not currently have an API for access.
Chief Executive Tanmai Gopal (pictured, left, with co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Rajoshi Ghosh) said he’s looking to offer developers a way to access all of the data their applications will ever need from a single API. “These new data federation innovations build on our commitment to make GraphQL available to all, and significantly advance both unification of data in development and proliferation of open standards,” he said.
Holger Mueller of Constellation Research Inc. said Hasura is onto a good thing because developer velocity is a key consideration for enterprises in today’s digital economy.
“Hasura and its new GraphQL Joins capability will enable developers to be much more productive when using GraphQL,” Mueller said. “The idea of a single API to address all supported data sources is especially interesting as it substantially reduces complexity for developers.”