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Evolution of the Netflix API architecture

The Netflix API architecture went through 4 main stages.

Evolution of the Netflix API architecture


The application is packaged and deployed as a monolith, such as a single Java WAR file, Rails app, etc. Most startups begin with a monolith architecture.

Netflix API architecture - Monolith

Direct access

In this architecture, a client app can make requests directly to the microservices. With hundreds or even thousands of microservices, exposing all of them to clients is not ideal.

Netflix API architecture - Direct Access

Gateway aggregation layer

Some use cases may span multiple services, we need a gateway aggregation layer. Imagine the Netflix app needs 3 APIs (movie, production, talent) to render the frontend. The gateway aggregation layer makes it possible.

Netflix API architecture - Gateway Aggregation Layer

Federated gateway

As the number of developers grew and domain complexity increased, developing the API aggregation layer became increasingly harder. GraphQL federation allows Netflix to set up a single GraphQL gateway that fetches data from all the other APIs.

Netflix API architecture - Federated Gateway

Over to you – why do you think Netflix uses GraphQL instead of RESTful?

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