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Hasura enables GraphQL joins for data federation

Connecting multiple GraphQL services is a new feature in the Hasura 2.6 update that helps organizations unify multiple data sources in a data federation.

Connecting multiple GraphQL services is about to get easier with new capabilities from Hasura that are generally available on Thursday with the vendor's 2.6 release.

Enterprise GraphQL vendor Hasura has developed its own platform to enable organizations to tie different data sources together using the open source GraphQL API standard.

A key challenge that users often face is the need to use multiple GraphQL services. Querying across multiple GraphQL sources in an integrated, efficient approach can be complicated.

The new GraphQL joins feature in the Hasura 2.6 update aims to help users address that challenge, providing a degree of data federation for GraphQL data sources.

Hasura's approach to data federation with GraphQL is a way to simplify software development, said Paul Nashawaty, analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group.

Businesses have increasing demands to build new data applications, and the skill gap or lack of resources slows down the process, he noted.

I see this offering as an optimized data bridge in the data ecosystem. With this bridge, producers and consumers of data can work with new and heritage sources.
Paul NashawatyAnalyst, Enterprise Strategy Group

Hasura accelerates the delivery process, but also acts to eliminate custom coding that can require extra time and skill to unify data sources, he said.

"As for the general direction that Hasura is headed, I see this offering as an optimized data bridge in the data ecosystem," Nashawaty said. "With this bridge, producers and consumers of data can work with new and heritage sources."

Hasura bridges data silos with GraphQL joins

The vendor has been incrementally adding capabilities over the past year to help join different data sources together, said Tanmai Gopal, co-founder and CEO of Hasura.

In 2021, the vendor added the ability to enable Hasura as a GraphQL layer to connect multiple databases and execute what is known as a SQL join across them. With databases, the ability to use SQL to join rows from two or more tables is a common feature.

With the update, Hasura is adding the ability to execute GraphQL joins. Users will now be able to combine data from across multiple GraphQL data sources, enabling a form of data federation.

The GraphQL joins capability is part of the Hasura metadata engine that powers the vendor's platform. Gopal noted that Hasura is still using the open source GraphQL specification that is overseen by the GraphQL Foundation, of which Hasura is a founding member.

GraphQL joins are analogous to database joins

Traditional database joins have been available for decades and are a common and often-used feature. As to why Hasura is adding support for GraphQL joins only now, Gopal said it is a capability that has been on his roadmap for several years, but rising user demand for it and GraphQL market maturity have led Hasura to now release support for GraphQL joins.

Gopal said organizations are now often using multiple GraphQL services beyond just connecting databases, as multiple common platforms including GitHub and Shopify now provide GraphQL API support.

"As the consumption of GraphQL services is increasing, the use case of being able to join across multiple GraphQL services becomes very useful," he said.

Enterprise Strategy Group is a division of TechTarget.

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