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Features
Schema Registry

Schema Registry

Hive as a schema registry serves the main purpose of preventing breaking changes. This ensures that your GraphQL API stays up-to-date and running smoothly. This allows you to plan ahead and make the necessary modifications to your schema in a timely manner.

However, it is important to note that determining what constitutes a breaking change can be a complex task. It requires a thorough understanding of your GraphQL API, consumers and real-world traffic patterns. Hive provides a set of tools to help you with this task.

What is a breaking change?

A breaking change in the API ecosysten, is a change that will break the existing consumers of the API, and will cause a distruption.

Since the GraphQL language (called SDL) is fully static and strongly typed, it is possible to determine if a change could be a breaking change.

Here's an example for a chage in a GraphQL schema that could be considered a breaking change:

type Query {
  posts: [Post]
}
 
type Post {
  id: ID!
  title: String!
  content: String!
-  description: String!
}

In this example, we removed the description field from the Post type. This is a breaking change because consumers who depend on the description field in their GraphQL operations (queries, mutations, subscriptions) will now fail to execute.

This is one example of many supported kinds of possible breaking changes. Hive is using GraphQL-Inspector (opens in a new tab) under the hood.

Breaking changes in practice

In practice, breaking changes are not always breaking. This is because consumers of your GraphQL API might not be using the field that was removed.

For example, let's assume we have the following GraphQL operation:

query Feed_AllPosts {
  posts {
    id
    title
    content
    # Note: Field "description" is not requested in this query
  }
}

In this case, the removal of the description field is not a breaking change, because the consumer of the API is not using this field.

Hive is smart enough to understand this, and will not consider this change as a breaking change. Please, follow the Conditional Breaking Changes guide to enable this feature in your target.

From now on, when a new schema of your GraphQL schema is published to the registry, Hive uses the data collected from your API gateway to identify whether the change in your schema actually affects consumers.

Supported Schema Models

Hive supports the following project types:

If you wish to learn more about how to use Hive with each of these project types, please refer to the following guides:

Actions on schemas

This section covers the actions that can be performed on GraphQL schemas in Hive. Action of schemas can be performed using the Hive CLI or through the Hive Client.

Publish a schema

Publishing a schema is the form of registering a new schema in Hive.

Every schema published to Hive consists of the following data (depends on project type):

Single SchemaSchema StitchingApollo Federation
Version Identifier
Author
Schema SDL
Hive Metadata
Service Name
Service URL

Here's an overview of what each of these steps means:

  • Version Identifier: usually a unique identifier for the schema version. This can a git commit hash, or any other unique identifier that you wish to use.
  • Author: the author of the change. This can be a name, an email, or any other identifier. You can use Git author information for this field.
  • Schema SDL: the GraphQL schema in SDL format.
  • Hive Metadata: Hive metadata is an optional JSON object you can attach to every published schema. You can include any information you wish to include in this JSON object (see Publishing Hive metadata).
  • Service Name: the name of the service. This is used for Schema-Stitching and Apollo Federation only.
  • Service URL: the URL of the service. This is used for Schema-Stitching and Apollo Federation only.

Every schema published to Hive is going through a process of validation, the following steps are performed to ensure a schema is fully valid:

  1. SDL Parse - the schema is parsed and validated against the GraphQL SDL specification.
  2. SDL Validate - the schema is validated against the GraphQL specification.
  3. Metadata validation - if a metadata was published, a JSON schema validation is performed to ensure the metadata is a fully valid JSON object.
  4. Composition Checks - if the project type is Schema-Stitching or Apollo Federation, the schema is validated against the composition rules of the project type.
  5. Schema Changes - A schema diff is calculated and compared against the previous schema version. If Conditional Breaking Changes is activated, an additional phase of check against collected operations is performed.

For additional reading:

Check a schema

Checking a GraphQL schema is the form of checking the compatbility of an upcoming schema, compared to the latest published version.

This process of checking a schema needs to be done before publishing a new schema version. This is usually done as part of a CI/CD pipeline, and as part of Pull Request flow.

Every schema checked to Hive is going through a process of validation, the following steps are performed to ensure a schema is valid:

  1. SDL Parse - the schema is parsed and validated against the GraphQL SDL specification.
  2. SDL Validate - the schema is validated against the GraphQL specification.
  3. Composition Checks - if the project type is Schema-Stitching or Apollo Federation, the schema is validated against the composition rules of the project type.
  4. Schema Changes - A schema diff is calculated and compared against the previous schema version. If Conditional Breaking Changes is activated, an additional phase of check against collected operations is performed. If a non-safe change has been introduced in the schema check, it will be rejected by Hive.

For additional reading:

Approve breaking schema changes

Sometimes, you want to allow a breaking change to be published to the registry. This can be done by manually approving a failed schema check on the Hive App.

By approving a schema check. You confirm that you are aware of the breaking changes within the schema check, and want to retain that approval within the context of a pull/merge request or branch lifecycle.

In order to retain the approval of the breaking changes, additional configuration is required. See Checking a schema using Hive CLI.

Fetch a schema

Sometimes it is useful to fetch a schema (SDL or Supergraph) from Hive, for example, to use it in a local development. This can be done using the schema:fetch command.

Don't confuse this with the high-availability CDN. This command is used to fetch a schema from the API where the CDN always represents the latest valid schema.

Delete a service

This action is only available for Schema-Stitching and Apollo Federation projects.

Deleting a service is the form of removing a service from the multi-schema project.

For additional reading:

Schema History and Changelog

The Hive Schema History consists of a list of all published schemas, and their respective changes.

In the list of schema versions of changes, you'll be able to see the following information:

  • Version Identifier: the version identifier of the schema.
  • Author: the author of the change.
  • Date: the date of the change.
  • Status: the status of the change and the validity of the schema.
  • Associated Git Commit: the Git commit associated with the change, when GitHub Integration is enabled for your organization, and a GitHub repository is linked to the Hive project.

Changelog View

You can inspect a change in your GraphQL schema using the Changelog view. This view provides you an overview of the changes, and their respective impact on your GraphQL schema:

Schema History Changelog

Diff View

If you wish to have a more technical view of the changes, you can use the diff view:

Schema History Diff

Schema Explorer

The Hive Schema Explorer is a useful tool that can provide you with a comprehensive understanding of your GraphQL schema. Not only does it allow you to explore the different types and fields of your schema, but it also enables you to gain a deeper understanding of the arguments and their respective input types.

Schema Explorer

Schema Usage and Coverage

With Usage Reporting feature enabled, you'll be able to see an overview of the schema usage and coverage (for types, fields and input types), based on the GraphQL operations you report to Hive.

This feature is useful if you wish to understand how your GraphQL schema is being used and queried, and understand the impact of changes you make to your schema.

The maximum duration is defined by the retention of your Hive plan, and depends on the data you already sent before to Hive.