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Hasura Cloud launches GraphQL-as-a-service platform

Hasura made its GraphQL platform available as a managed service, enabling organizations to connect and query different data sources using the open source GraphQL language.

Hasura on Thursday made its Hasura Cloud GraphQL service generally available, with federation and security capabilities to enable organizations connect and query different data sources.

GraphQL is an open source query language that has been growing in popularity in recent years. Facebook started GraphQL as an internal development in 2012 and made the technology open source in 2015.

Since 2019, the open source GraphQL project has been led by the GraphQL Foundation, of which Hasura is a founding member. With GraphQL, organizations can connect and query different APIs and data stores, which can be useful for different use cases including data analytics, application development and even basic search queries.

The open source data management vendor, based in San Francisco, was founded in 2017 and started out by offering an on-premises version of its platform, which enables users to create and use GraphQL APIs. The new Hasura Cloud platform takes the on-premises approach to the cloud and integrates capabilities designed to make it easier for users to connect to different sources both in the cloud and on premises.

"Hasura provides access to multiple types of data sources via a JSON interface that supports GraphQL queries," said Jason Bloomberg, president at analyst and advisory firm Intellyx. "Given the ease of use of GraphQL and the flexibility, power and maturity of JSON, Hasura’s data access layer dramatically simplifies data access for multiple front-end scenarios."

The new Hasura Cloud provides a useful option for organizations providing a fully managed, serverless data access layer, Bloomberg said. Given the diversity and complexity of the types of data sources available today, Hasura provides a useful and well-differentiated capability, he said.

Hasura Cloud
Hasura Cloud provides users with a real-time operational status of all GraphQL API services that have been enabled.

How Hasura Cloud creates a GraphQL data access layer

Organizations already have different databases and sources of information, and the challenge is often how to connect them all in an approach that provides enough performance so the data can be queried quickly, said Tanmai Gopal, co-founder and CEO of Hasura.

Given the ease of use of GraphQL and the flexibility, power and maturity of JSON, Hasura’s data access layer dramatically simplifies data access for multiple front-end scenarios.
Jason BloombergPresident, Intellyx

With Hasura, a developer or user can just point the Hasura service at a given data source; it could be a database, or an API embedded with an application or online service. Hasura then provides a metadata configuration engine in which the different data models can be joined together. The GraphQL API that Hasura presents can then be used by developers building an application, or for just simple data queries for information.

"So you connect the models together, you set up security rules for them, you set up relationship between the models, and then Hasura becomes the GraphQL server for all that data," Gopal said. "Hasura then presents a GraphQL API automatically without you having to work at the graphical schema level or having to write code to connect things together."

Hasura Cloud adds security to GraphQL access

When connecting to different data sources, security is a primary concern, to make sure that unauthorized access or data leakage does not occur.

Hasura Cloud provides multiple features to ensure that the connections with different data sources are properly secured. Among the features is an integrated virtual private network (VPN) agent that can be used to securely connect to databases. 

"We set up a tunnel between Hasura Cloud and your data sources so that the connection is encrypted and not over the public internet," he said.

Hasura Cloud has integrated rate-limiting capabilities that can help to manage traffic to an API. Gopal said Hasura Cloud also enforces an allow-list of operations, to restrict what types of queries can be made in a production environment. In addition, Hasura Cloud provides some protection against the risk of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against a given GraphQL API.

GraphQL and data democracy

Gopal said Hasura, fundamentally, is trying to help organizations connect data and make the most use of it. It's a concept that is sometimes associated with the buzzword data democratization, the opening of access to more data and to more users of data.

"Essentially, this is the ability to access federated data sources that already exist; that's the core problem that we're solving," Gopal said.

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