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Apollo Federation on the JVM

Apollo Federation is a powerful, open architecture that helps you create a unified supergraph that combines multiple GraphQL APIs. graphql-java-support provides Apollo Federation support for building subgraphs in the graphql-java ecosystem. Individual subgraphs can be run independently of each other but can also specify relationships to the other subgraphs by using Federated directives. See Apollo Federation documentation for details.

graph BT;
  gateway --- serviceA & serviceB & serviceC;

graphql-java-support is built on top of graphql-java and provides transformation logic to make your GraphQL schemas Federation compatible. SchemaTransformer adds common Federation type definitions (e.g. _Any scalar, _Entity union, Federation directives, etc) and allows you to easily specify your Federated entity resolvers.

This project also provides a set of Federation aware instrumentations:

  • CacheControlInstrumentation - instrumentation that computes a max age for an operation based on @cacheControl directives
  • FederatedTracingInstrumentation - instrumentation that generates trace information for federated operations


Federation JVM libraries are published to Maven Central. Using a JVM dependency manager, link graphql-java-support to your project.

With Maven:


With Gradle (Groovy):

implementation 'com.apollographql.federation:federation-graphql-java-support:$latestVersion'


Additional documentation on the Apollo Federation and JVM usage can be found on the Apollo Documentation Portal.

Federation JVM example integrations

Creating Federated Schemas

Using graphql-java (or your framework of choice) we first need to create a GraphQL schema.

Assuming there is already a subgraph that defines a base Product type

# product subgraph
type Query {
  product(id: ID!): Product

type Product @key(fields: "id") {
  id: ID!,
  description: String

We can create another subgraph that extends Product type and adds the reviews field.

# reviews subgraph
type Product @extends @key(fields: "id") {
    id: ID! @external
    reviews: [Review!]!

type Review {
    id: ID!
    text: String
    rating: Int!

NOTE: This subgraph does not specify any top level queries.

Using the above schema file, we first need to generate the TypeDefinitionRegistry and RuntimeWiring objects.

SchemaParser parser = new SchemaParser();
TypeDefinitionRegistry typeDefinitionRegistry = parser.parse(Paths.get("schema.graphqls").toFile());
RuntimeWiring runtimeWiring = RuntimeWiring.newRuntimeWiring().build();

We can then generate Federation compatible schema using schema transformer. In order to be able to resolve the federated Product type, we need to provide TypeResolver to resolve _Entity union type and a DataFetcher to resolve _entities query.

DataFetcher entityDataFetcher = env -> {
    List<Map<String, Object>> representations = env.getArgument(_Entity.argumentName);
        .map(representation -> {
            if ("Product".equals(representation.get("__typename"))) {
                return new Product((String)representation.get("id"));
            return null;
TypeResolver entityTypeResolver = env -> {
    final Object src = env.getObject();
    if (src instanceof Product) {
        return env.getSchema()
    return null;

GraphQLSchema federatedSchema = Federation.transform(typeDefinitionRegistry, runtimeWiring)

This will generate a schema with additional federated info.

union _Entity = Product

type Product @extends @key(fields : "id") {
  id: ID! @external
  reviews: [Review!]!

type Query {
  _entities(representations: [_Any!]!): [_Entity]!
  _service: _Service

type Review {
  id: ID!
  rating: Int!
  text: String

type _Service {
  sdl: String!

scalar _Any

scalar _FieldSet


Federated Tracing

Tracing your GraphQL queries can provide you detailed insights into your GraphQL layer's performance and usage. Single federated query may be executed against multiple GraphQL servers. Apollo Gateway provides ability to aggregate trace data generated by the subgraphs calls and then send them to Apollo Studio

To make your server generate performance traces and return them along with responses to the Apollo Gateway, install the FederatedTracingInstrumentation into your GraphQL object:

GraphQL graphql = GraphQL.newGraphQL(graphQLSchema)
        .instrumentation(new FederatedTracingInstrumentation())

By default, all requests will be traced. In order to skip dev requests and only trace requests that come from the Apollo Gateway, you should populate tracing information in the GraphQLContext map. This will ensure that only requests with apollo-federation-include-trace=ftv1 header value will be traced.

String federatedTracingHeaderValue = httpRequest.getHeader(FEDERATED_TRACING_HEADER_NAME);

Map<Object, Object> contextMap = new HashMap<>();
contextMap.put(FEDERATED_TRACING_HEADER_NAME, federatedTracingHeaderValue);

ExecutionInput executionInput = ExecutionInput.newExecutionInput()


If you have a specific question about the library or code, please start a discussion in the Apollo community forums.


To get started, please fork the repo and checkout a new branch. You can then build the library locally with Gradle

./gradlew clean build

See more info in

After you have your local branch set up, take a look at our open issues to see where you can contribute.


For more info on how to contact the team for security issues, see our Security Policy.


This library is licensed under The MIT License (MIT).