Facebook’s GraphQL Project gets New Open Source Foundation

GraphQL, which was developed internally by Facebook in 2012 before being publicly released in 2015, will now get its own open source foundation — the GraphQL Foundation.

The new foundation, created by a coalition of companies like Airbnb, Apollo, Coursera, Elementl, Facebook, GitHub, Hasura, Prisma, Shopify, and Twitter, will be hosted under the Linux Foundation and is tasked with enabling widespread adoption and accelerated development of GraphQL and the surrounding ecosystem.

The GraphQL Foundation will have an open governance model that encourages participation and technical contribution and will provide a framework for long-term stewardship by an ecosystem invested in GraphQL’s success,” read a communiqué from the Linux Foundation.

At Facebook, our mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. We believe open source projects and the communities built around them help accelerate the pace of innovation and bring many minds to bear to solve large-scale challenges. GraphQL is one such project and community and the GraphQL Foundation will help ensure GraphQL continues to solve the real data fetching challenges that developers will face in building the products of tomorrow,” said Killian Murphy, Director, Facebook Open Source.

GraphQL has redefined how developers work with APIs and client-server interactions. We look forward to working with the GraphQL community to become an independent foundation, draft their governance and continue to foster the growth and adoption of GraphQL,” said Chris Aniszczyk, Vice President of Developer Relations, the Linux Foundation.

What is GraphQL?

GraphQL is an open source data query and manipulation language, and a runtime for fulfilling queries with existing data. GraphQL is being used in production by Airbnb, Atlassian, Audi, CNBC, GitHub, Major League Soccer, Netflix, Shopify, The New York Times, Twitter, Pinterest and Yelp. GraphQL also powers hundreds of billions of API calls a day at Facebook.

As application development shifts towards microservices architectures with an emphasis on flexibility and speed to market, tools like GraphQL are redefining API design and client-server interaction to improve the developer experience, increasing developer productivity and minimizing amounts of data transferred. GraphQL makes cross-platform and mobile development simpler with availability in multiple programming languages, allowing developers to create seamless user experiences for their customers.

Unlike REST-based APIs, which take advantage of HTTP and existing protocols, GraphQL APIs provide developers with the flexibility to query the exact data they need from a diverse set of cloud data sources, with less code, greater performance and security, and a faster development cycle. Not only does this enable developers to rapidly build apps, it also helps them achieve consistency and feature parity across multiple platforms such as web, iOS, Android, and embedded and IoT applications.

As one of GraphQL’s co-creators, I’ve been amazed and proud to see it grow in adoption since its open sourcing. Through the formation of the GraphQL Foundation, I hope to see GraphQL become industry standard by encouraging contributions from a broader group and creating a shared investment in vendor-neutral events, documentation, tools, and support,” said Lee Byron, co-creator of GraphQL.

We are thrilled to welcome the GraphQL Foundation into the Linux Foundation. This advancement is important because it allows for long-term support and accelerated growth of this essential and groundbreaking technology that is changing the approach to API design for cloud-connected applications in any language,” said Jim Zemlin, Executive Director, the Linux Foundation.

Airbnb is making a massive investment in GraphQL, putting it at the center of our API strategy across both our product and internal tools,” said Adam Neary, Tech Lead, Airbnb.

At Coursera, GraphQL assists us in understanding the massive breadth of our APIs and helps us create transformative educational experiences for everyone, everywhere,” said Jon Wong, Staff Software Engineer, Coursera.

GraphQL is gaining tremendous adoption as one of the best protocols for remote retrieval of large object graphs. At Twitter, we are looking forward to what’s to come in the GraphQL ecosystem and are very excited to support the GraphQL Foundation,” said Anna Sulkina Sr. Engineering Manager, Core Services Group, Twitter.

This new governance model is a major milestone in that maturation process that will ensure a neutral venue and structure for the entire community to drive the technology forward,” said Nick Schrock, Founder, Elementl, GraphQL Co-Creator.