Basics of GraphQL
What is GraphQL?
GraphQL is a query language for developing APIs. Unlike REST, which predetermines which data is outputted at the endpoints, GraphQL allows client applications to request exactly the data they need. This is achieved using a flexible and efficient syntax, enabling developers to make specific requests to retrieve only the desired information.
What makes GraphQL stand out?
GraphQL is distinguished by its ability to facilitate tailor-made queries, allowing granular control over returned data. The previously defined GraphQL schemas specify what data and relationships are available and clients can send queries to get exactly the information they need.
What are the benefits of GraphQL?
The advantages of GraphQL include:
Efficient data transmission: Clients only receive the data they request, preventing the transmission of unused information and reducing network latency.
Self-description: GraphQL schemas provide clear documentation of available data, facilitating easier development and integration.
Single-Endpoint: Unlike REST, which requires multiple endpoints, GraphQL typically uses a single endpoint, simplifying API management and access.
What are the drawbacks of GraphQL?
Although GraphQL offers many benefits, it has some disadvantages compared to REST or other technologies:
Overfetching and Underfetching: Without careful schema design, overfetching (unnecessary data transfers) or underfetching (missing information) can occur.
Lack of standardization: Unlike REST, which has certain conventions for endpoint URLs and HTTP methods, GraphQL can be less standardized in terms of query and schema structure, which may affect development consistency.
Potentially higher resource consumption: If queries are not properly limited, there is a risk that clients claim too many resources on the server, which can lead to poor performance.
How does GraphQL stand in the market?
Since its introduction in 2015, GraphQL has gained significant popularity. It is used by an increasing number of companies and organizations, and is becoming a popular alternative to REST. The community and ecosystem around GraphQL are thriving, further promoting its development and deployment.
What other companies use GraphQL?
Many well-known companies use GraphQL in their technology stacks, including Facebook (the originator of GraphQL), Twitter, GitHub, Shopify, and many others. The use of GraphQL spans industries, and applies to web applications, mobile apps, and APIs.
Why do WE use GraphQL?
The efficient data transmission and the ability to specify tailor-made data queries allows us to further improve the quality of our apps in development.
What do we use it for?
We use GraphQL in the development of web applications, mobile apps, and microservices. It is particularly useful when it comes to considering complex data relationships, and creating flexible, data-driven application scenarios.