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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

Monolith

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?

Alex Lim is a certified IT Technical Support Architect with over 15 years of experience in designing, implementing, and troubleshooting complex IT systems and networks. He has worked for leading IT companies, such as Microsoft, IBM, and Cisco, providing technical support and solutions to clients across various industries and sectors. Alex has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the National University of Singapore and a master’s degree in information security from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also the author of several best-selling books on IT technical support, such as The IT Technical Support Handbook and Troubleshooting IT Systems and Networks. Alex lives in Bandar, Johore, Malaysia with his wife and two chilrdren. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him on Website | Twitter | Facebook

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