Welcome to the Universal Data Graph

Solving the middleware problem without code

TLDR: making systems communicate is important and one of the primary things engineers spend their time on. It’s also really hard. That’s where our Universal Data Graph comes to the rescue. In the latest update to our Tyk Open Source API Gateway we make it quick and simple to unify and control access to every data-source in your organisation. All without code.

I can guarantee you that there was a time in almost every developer’s life where you needed to take data from service A, data from service B, and put it together to create service C. Think back… you probably did this just the other day.

This pattern is everywhere, we use it in our interface and server code to create new views on products, content, and raw data. More importantly, if I say the words “API Economy” and “Mashup” to you, the first thing you think of will be kludging multiple APIs together, usually badly designed ones from an under-funded government resource.

So much for the trip down memory lane…

The promise of being able to quickly and easily create composite views on data has been around since forever, from SQL to NoSQL to XSLT, to SOAP to REST to that dreaded and nebulous term: The API Economy.

What is always missed out, and what is always ignored is how much actual effort goes into the ugly data work of cleaning the sources, managing exceptions, downtime, failures and just badly formatted data, or worse yet – changing data structures and sources! How much time and money has been spent on making two bits of data being a single structure, all so that little Timmy can watch his favourite episode of Paw Patrol while being served highly relevant car ads to nag his mother about?

Ok, enough with the rant, soon we’re launching a new bit of kit that we have termed “The Universal Data Graph”, it’s a bold vision and a long-reaching one. If you have ever had to make multiple systems talk to each other, deal with the vagaries of a service bus, or create composite views on data from disparate sources, then this is for you…

The Tyk Universal Data Graph is designed to provide you and your team with a quick, code-free way to create GraphQL endpoints that intelligently combine multiple data sources, from other GraphQL endpoints, REST services, Databases, a Message Bus or even a spreadsheet. 

What’s more, all of this is wrapped up in what you would expect from your favourite enterprise-grade API management Platform: our Open Source API Gateway will not only secure your Graph, but also enable you to apply complex, granular access policies to queries, including rate limiting, quotas, field-level permissions, query-depth guarantees and detailed analytics. 

Of course, all of this is available out of the box in our free Open Source Gateway, that’s right – our Open Source Gateway has a full-featured GraphQL resolver built in – no need to run a separate server elsewhere. 

For our Dashboard users, we go the extra mile and provide an intuitive visual designer, full schema editor with auto-completion, and a self-documenting GraphQL sandbox for your services. Now you can connect, design, mashup and secure your data with just a few clicks.

Not your average GraphQL Server

The Tyk Universal Data Graph goes far beyond what your standard GraphQL server does, yes it will secure your existing GraphQL services and provide our powerful security policy capabilities, but it also provides the unique capability of stitching schemas and services from disparate data sources together into a single universal graph.

That means you can plug in your whole REST portfolio, your exciting new GraphQL estate, any supported database schemas, lambda functions, and even your ESB into a single universal graph, and then use Tyk’s fine-grained security policy editor to enable field-level permissions for access to your API consumers, be they internal, service-to-service, or external.

In our initial release of the Universal Data Graph we are focussing on adding more data source types, and will work closely with our community and customers to shape your requirements – so if you want to get involved, please let us know, because we’re keen to listen. 

And we won’t stop there, in the medium term we will also provide tools and services to ensure that your universal data graph remains consistent and that your engineering teams can’t cause breaking changes for subsets of your users through backwards-incompatible code commits. We’ll do this through the unique fusion of our API analytics and our powerful GraphQL query engine. 

At Tyk, we aim to connect every system in the world, and our Universal Data Graph is our next step in making that claim a reality. If you want more details on the Universal Data Graph, head over to our docs to read more about it

Before we end, if you want to try Tyk’s Universal Data Graph (UDG), you’re in luck because we’re offering a free two-week trial! Tyk’s UDG is available in the open-source gateway, so you can get instant access via Tyk Cloud, or you install our open source gateway in your own infrastructure.