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What is Apollo?

Build a universal GraphQL API on top of your existing REST APIs, so you can ship new application features fast without waiting on backend changes.
Apollo is a tool in the Platform as a Service category of a tech stack.
Apollo is an open source tool with 8.6K GitHub stars and 1.1K GitHub forks. Here’s a link to Apollo's open source repository on GitHub

Who uses Apollo?

Companies
219 companies reportedly use Apollo in their tech stacks, including CircleCI, impraise, and Swat.io.

Developers
593 developers on StackShare have stated that they use Apollo.

Apollo Integrations

Google Code Prettify, GraphQL, PostGraphile, Gatsby, and Prisma Cloud are some of the popular tools that integrate with Apollo. Here's a list of all 10 tools that integrate with Apollo.

Why developers like Apollo?

Here’s a list of reasons why companies and developers use Apollo
Apollo Reviews

Here are some stack decisions, common use cases and reviews by companies and developers who chose Apollo in their tech stack.

Nick Rockwell
Nick Rockwell
CTO at NY Times · | 27 upvotes · 381.4K views
atThe New York TimesThe New York Times
MySQL
MySQL
PHP
PHP
React
React
Apollo
Apollo
GraphQL
GraphQL
Node.js
Node.js
Kafka
Kafka
Apache HTTP Server
Apache HTTP Server

When I joined NYT there was already broad dissatisfaction with the LAMP (Linux Apache HTTP Server MySQL PHP) Stack and the front end framework, in particular. So, I wasn't passing judgment on it. I mean, LAMP's fine, you can do good work in LAMP. It's a little dated at this point, but it's not ... I didn't want to rip it out for its own sake, but everyone else was like, "We don't like this, it's really inflexible." And I remember from being outside the company when that was called MIT FIVE when it had launched. And been observing it from the outside, and I was like, you guys took so long to do that and you did it so carefully, and yet you're not happy with your decisions. Why is that? That was more the impetus. If we're going to do this again, how are we going to do it in a way that we're gonna get a better result?

So we're moving quickly away from LAMP, I would say. So, right now, the new front end is React based and using Apollo. And we've been in a long, protracted, gradual rollout of the core experiences.

React is now talking to GraphQL as a primary API. There's a Node.js back end, to the front end, which is mainly for server-side rendering, as well.

Behind there, the main repository for the GraphQL server is a big table repository, that we call Bodega because it's a convenience store. And that reads off of a Kafka pipeline.

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Adam Neary
Adam Neary
Engineer at Airbnb · | 26 upvotes · 377.5K views
atAirbnbAirbnb
GraphQL
GraphQL
GraphQL Playground
GraphQL Playground
Apollo
Apollo
#BackendDrivenUI
#Prisma

At Airbnb we use GraphQL Unions for a "Backend-Driven UI." We have built a system where a very dynamic page is constructed based on a query that will return an array of some set of possible “sections.” These sections are responsive and define the UI completely.

The central file that manages this would be a generated file. Since the list of possible sections is quite large (~50 sections today for Search), it also presumes we have a sane mechanism for lazy-loading components with server rendering, which is a topic for another post. Suffice it to say, we do not need to package all possible sections in a massive bundle to account for everything up front.

Each section component defines its own query fragment, colocated with the section’s component code. This is the general idea of Backend-Driven UI at Airbnb. It’s used in a number of places, including Search, Trip Planner, Host tools, and various landing pages. We use this as our starting point, and then in the demo show how to (1) make and update to an existing section, and (2) add a new section.

While building your product, you want to be able to explore your schema, discovering field names and testing out potential queries on live development data. We achieve that today with GraphQL Playground, the work of our friends at #Prisma. The tools come standard with Apollo Server.

#BackendDrivenUI

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Zach Holman
Zach Holman
at Zach Holman · | 24 upvotes · 214.2K views
React
React
Apollo
Apollo
Rails
Rails
JavaScript
JavaScript

Oof. I have truly hated JavaScript for a long time. Like, for over twenty years now. Like, since the Clinton administration. It's always been a nightmare to deal with all of the aspects of that silly language.

But wowza, things have changed. Tooling is just way, way better. I'm primarily web-oriented, and using React and Apollo together the past few years really opened my eyes to building rich apps. And I deeply apologize for using the phrase rich apps; I don't think I've ever said such Enterprisey words before.

But yeah, things are different now. I still love Rails, and still use it for a lot of apps I build. But it's that silly rich apps phrase that's the problem. Users have way more comprehensive expectations than they did even five years ago, and the JS community does a good job at building tools and tech that tackle the problems of making heavy, complicated UI and frontend work.

Obviously there's a lot of things happening here, so just saying "JavaScript isn't terrible" might encompass a huge amount of libraries and frameworks. But if you're like me, yeah, give things another shot- I'm somehow not hating on JavaScript anymore and... gulp... I kinda love it.

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Russel Werner
Russel Werner
Lead Engineer at StackShare · | 19 upvotes · 237.1K views
atStackShareStackShare
React
React
Glamorous
Glamorous
Apollo
Apollo
Node.js
Node.js
Rails
Rails
Heroku
Heroku
GitHub
GitHub
Amazon S3
Amazon S3
Amazon CloudFront
Amazon CloudFront
Webpack
Webpack
CircleCI
CircleCI
Redis
Redis
#StackDecisionsLaunch
#SSR
#Microservices
#FrontEndRepoSplit

StackShare Feed is built entirely with React, Glamorous, and Apollo. One of our objectives with the public launch of the Feed was to enable a Server-side rendered (SSR) experience for our organic search traffic. When you visit the StackShare Feed, and you aren't logged in, you are delivered the Trending feed experience. We use an in-house Node.js rendering microservice to generate this HTML. This microservice needs to run and serve requests independent of our Rails web app. Up until recently, we had a mono-repo with our Rails and React code living happily together and all served from the same web process. In order to deploy our SSR app into a Heroku environment, we needed to split out our front-end application into a separate repo in GitHub. The driving factor in this decision was mostly due to limitations imposed by Heroku specifically with how processes can't communicate with each other. A new SSR app was created in Heroku and linked directly to the frontend repo so it stays in-sync with changes.

Related to this, we need a way to "deploy" our frontend changes to various server environments without building & releasing the entire Ruby application. We built a hybrid Amazon S3 Amazon CloudFront solution to host our Webpack bundles. A new CircleCI script builds the bundles and uploads them to S3. The final step in our rollout is to update some keys in Redis so our Rails app knows which bundles to serve. The result of these efforts were significant. Our frontend team now moves independently of our backend team, our build & release process takes only a few minutes, we are now using an edge CDN to serve JS assets, and we have pre-rendered React pages!

#StackDecisionsLaunch #SSR #Microservices #FrontEndRepoSplit

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Robert Zuber
Robert Zuber
CTO at CircleCI · | 16 upvotes · 299.1K views
atCircleCICircleCI
Next.js
Next.js
React
React
Storybook
Storybook
TypeScript
TypeScript
Emotion
Emotion
GraphQL
GraphQL
Apollo
Apollo
Jest
Jest
Percy
Percy
Cypress
Cypress

We are in the process of adopting Next.js as our React framework and using Storybook to help build our React components in isolation. This new part of our frontend is written in TypeScript, and we use Emotion for CSS/styling. For delivering data, we use GraphQL and Apollo. Jest, Percy, and Cypress are used for testing.

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Russel Werner
Russel Werner
Lead Engineer at StackShare · | 15 upvotes · 205K views
atStackShareStackShare
GraphQL
GraphQL
React
React
Apollo
Apollo
Redux
Redux
#FrontEndFrameworks

Earlier this year we decided to go "all-in" on GraphQL to provide our front-end API. We needed a stable client library to power our React app. We decided to use Apollo Client for a few reasons:

1) Stability 2) Maturity 3) Heaps of features 4) Great documentation (with use cases) 5) Support for server-side rendering 6) Allowed us to stop using Redux and Mobx

Overall we've had great success with this library, along with a few minor hiccups and work arounds, but no show stoppers. If you are coming from Redux.js land, it takes a bit of time to settle into a new way of thinking about how your data is fetched and flows through your React app. This part has been the biggest learning curve of anything to do with GraphQL.

One of the downsides to Apollo Client, once you build a larger application, (past the size of most of the documented use cases and sample apps) the state management tends to get distributed through various places; and not just components. Apollo Client has a state management feature that relies on a normalised local cache. Mastering the knowledge of how this works is key to getting the most out of the library and to architecting your component hierarchy properly.

#FrontEndFrameworks

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Apollo Alternatives & Comparisons

What are some alternatives to Apollo?
Helios
Helios is a Docker orchestration platform for deploying and managing containers across an entire fleet of servers. Helios provides a HTTP API as well as a command-line client to interact with servers running your containers.
GraphQL
GraphQL is a data query language and runtime designed and used at Facebook to request and deliver data to mobile and web apps since 2012.
Python
Python is a general purpose programming language created by Guido Van Rossum. Python is most praised for its elegant syntax and readable code, if you are just beginning your programming career python suits you best.
Heroku
Heroku is a cloud application platform – a new way of building and deploying web apps. Heroku lets app developers spend 100% of their time on their application code, not managing servers, deployment, ongoing operations, or scaling.
Google App Engine
Google has a reputation for highly reliable, high performance infrastructure. With App Engine you can take advantage of the 10 years of knowledge Google has in running massively scalable, performance driven systems. App Engine applications are easy to build, easy to maintain, and easy to scale as your traffic and data storage needs grow.
See all alternatives

Apollo's Followers
600 developers follow Apollo to keep up with related blogs and decisions.
Gian Sairitupac
Thor Anderson
Paul Dandurand
snoculars1232297
Kam Kasravi
Tom Bazarnik
kompanycoder
ReevMich
Ram Krish
huangang