Tracing with AWS X-Ray - AWS AppSync

Tracing with AWS X-Ray

You can use AWS X-Ray to trace requests as they are executed in AWS AppSync. You can use X-Ray with AWS AppSync in all AWS Regions where X-Ray is available. X-Ray gives you a detailed overview of an entire GraphQL request. This enables you to analyze latencies in your APIs and their underlying resolvers and data sources. You can use an X-Ray service map to view the latency of a request, including any AWS services that are integrated with X-Ray. You can also configure sampling rules to tell X-Ray which requests to record, and at what sampling rates, according to criteria that you specify.

For more information about sampling in X-Ray, see Configuring Sampling Rules in the AWS X-Ray Console.

Setup and Configuration

You can enable X-Ray tracing for a GraphQL API through the AWS AppSync console.

  1. Sign in to the AWS AppSync console.

  2. Choose Settings from the navigation panel.

  3. Under X-Ray, turn on Enable X-Ray.

  4. Choose Save. X-Ray tracing is now enabled for your API.

If you’re using the AWS CLI or AWS CloudFormation, you can also enable X-Ray tracing when you create a new AWS AppSync API, or update an existing AWS AppSync API, by setting the xrayEnabled property to true.

When X-Ray tracing is enabled for an AWS AppSync API, an AWS Identity and Access Management service-linked role is automatically created in your account with the appropriate permissions. This allows AWS AppSync to send traces to X-Ray in a secure way.

Tracing Your API with X-Ray


By using sampling rules, you can control the amount of data that you record in AWS AppSync, and can modify sampling behavior on the fly without modifying or redeploying your code. For example, this rule samples requests to the GraphQL API with the API ID 3n572shhcpfokwhdnq1ogu59v6.

  • Rule nametest-sample

  • Priority10

  • Reservoir size10

  • Fixed rate10

  • Service name*

  • Service typeAWS::AppSync::GraphQLAPI

  • HTTP method*

  • Resource ARNarn:aws:appsync:us-west-2:123456789012:apis/3n572shhcpfokwhdnq1ogu59v6

  • Host*

Understanding Traces

When you enable X-Ray tracing for your GraphQL API, you can use the X-Ray trace detail page to examine detailed latency information about requests made to your API. The following example shows the trace view along with the service map for this specific request. The request was made to an API called postAPI with a Post type, whose data is contained in an Amazon DynamoDB table called PostTable-Example.

The following trace image corresponds to the following GraphQL query:

query getPost { getPost(id: "1") { id title } }

The resolver for the getPost query uses the underlying DynamoDB data source. The following trace view shows the call to DynamoDB, as well as the latencies of various parts of the query’s execution:

  • In the preceding image, /getPost represents the complete path to the element that is being resolved. In this case, because getPost is a field on the root Query type, it appears directly after the root of the path.

  • requestMappingTemplateEvaluation represents the time spent by AWS AppSync evaluating the request mapping template for this element in the query.

  • Query.getPost represents a type and field (in Type.field format). It can contain multiple subsegments, depending on the structure of the API and the request being traced.

    • DynamoDB represents the data source that is attached to this resolver. It contains the latency for the network call to DynamoDB to resolve the field.

    • responseMappingTemplateEvaluation represents the time spent by AWS AppSync evaluating the response mapping template for this element in the query.

When you view traces in X-Ray, you can get additional contextual and metadata information about the subsegments in the AWS AppSync segment by choosing the subsegments and exploring the detailed view.

For certain deeply nested or complex queries, note that the segment delivered to X-Ray by AWS AppSync can be larger than the maximum size allowed for segment documents, as defined in AWS X-Ray Segment Documents. X-Ray doesn’t display segments that exceed the limit.