Getting Started

What is the difference between Mesh, Federation, Hasura, and GraphQL Tools?

As stated in the introduction page, many approaches exist to build a GraphQL Gateway:

  • creating an Apollo Server with Apollo DataSource to query sub-services
  • creating a GraphQL Gateway from scratch using GraphQL tools (ex: stitchSchemas())
  • use Apollo Federation
  • use Hasura on top of a Postgres with custom Actions

The comparison table below evaluates all those solutions based on 3 criteria:

  1. How is the solution helping you build Unified Schema Gateway in a productive and maintainable way?
  2. Is the solution provides all the features to build a well-designed Unified GraphQL Schema? (comprehensive, simplified abstraction of a set of sub-services)
  3. Which sub services types the solution supports?
Productivity / MaintainabilityUnified Schema designSub-services support
GraphQL Mesh🟢
Packages with a server, caching, Envelop plugins, and large sub-service types support.
Configuration-based with custom resolvers.
Flexible Schema design with Transforms and custom resolvers support.
Support for a large range of types of sub-service and databases.
GraphQL Tools🟠
Programmatic approach at the Gateway level.
Type merging makes it easier to deal with sub-services conflicts.
Access to all GraphQL Schema building libraries.
Only supports GraphQL sub-services out of the box. Other sub-service types can be supported with Schema extensions at the Gateway level.
Apollo Server with DataSources🔴
Requires a lot of coding and maintenance work at the DataSources level.
Access to all GraphQL Schema building libraries.
Integrating with some type of sub-services might require some extra work.
Apollo Federation🟢
Rover CLI and Apollo Studio. Only the Apollo Gateway needs maintenance.
Access to all GraphQL Schema building libraries.
Only supports “Federation compliant” GraphQL sub-services.
Plug and play solution. Configuration-based with custom resolvers.
The Unified Schema is directly linked to the underlying database schema or sub-services design.
Only supports GraphQL and REST sub-services and, a set of databases.