What is GraphQL? GraphQL, a query language for API and runtime uses existing data to fulfill queries. GraphQL enables declarative data fetching i.e. the shape of the received data exactly as requested. GraphQL supports multiple transport protocols like, HTTP, MQTT, and WebSockets. What is the difference between GraphQL and REST?
That nagging question, that doesn’t allow you to rest till you put pen to paper – or in this case – keys to MS Word. I have been asked this very question multiple number of times, and I thought it was best to put it out there for all to know.
Let me start by saying that to the first word in your GraphQL vocabulary notebook should be API. Application Programming Interface (API) is a software interface that exposes backend data and application functionality to various client applications and hence APIs are treated more like product than code. Modern APIs adhere to standards like HTTP and REST. When it comes to API development, we are more likely to implement REST APIs which is proven or in practice a very viable option. However, what I have seen and many will concur, GraphQL seems to be changing this very notion.
GraphQL, a query language for API and runtime uses existing data to fulfill queries. It provides a specific type system that can help you define data, make queries, change or subscribe to data updates by using a very specific query format. GraphQL enables declarative data fetching i.e. the shape of the received data exactly as requested. So yes, if you know how to ask, then you shall receive data which is tailored to match your exact requirements
GraphQL provides an understandable description of data and flexibility to clients to ask for what they want, which makes it easier for GraphQL APIs to evolve overtime and make efficient use of the network bandwidth. GraphQL supports multiple transport protocols like, HTTP, MQTT, and WebSockets.
REST (Representational State Transfer) is a software architectural style that defines a set of constraints (viz. stateless, cache-ability, layered system, and uniform interface). These make a web service – a true RESTful API. REST is not an optimal solution for low powered devices and networks that are slow or unreliable. Developing a single REST API that could fit the requirement of each and every client poses to be a huge challenge. Also, modern applications and mobile apps are shaped in the form of graphs and hence GraphQL is a better option to interact with servers, and is replacing REST API.
APIs can be as simple as 1 endpoint for use by 100s of users or as complex as the AWS APIs with 1000s of endpoints and 100s of thousands of users. Building them can mean spending a couple of hours using a low-code platform or months of work using a multitude of tools. Hosting them can be as simple as using one platform that does everything we need or as complex as setting up and managing ingress control, security, caching, failover, metrics, scaling.
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