How to Implement a GraphQL API on Top of an Existing REST API

How to Implement a GraphQL API on Top of an Existing REST API

In this article, we’ll explore what it takes to implement a GraphQL API on top of an existing REST API. This strategy allows you to start using GraphQL in legacy portions of your app without breaking any existing contracts with functionality that may still rely on the original REST API.

Where do you keep your dad jokes? In a dadabase of course! Let’s imagine that you are a site maintainer for the world’s best dad joke database. Your app communicates with the database using a REST API that allows you to retrieve jokes and post ratings for those jokes. Visitors to your site can rate each joke they see via a simple user interface.

Recently you heard of a fancy new technology called GraphQL that provides the flexibility to request only the data that you need using a single API endpoint. It sounds neat, and you’d like to start using it in your app. But, you’d really prefer not to make any breaking changes to the existing REST API. Is it possible to support both the REST API and the GraphQL API in your app? You’re about to find out!

In this article, we’ll explore what it takes to implement a GraphQL API on top of an existing REST API. This strategy allows you to start using GraphQL in legacy portions of your app without breaking any existing contracts with functionality that may still rely on the original REST API.

If you’d like to see the end result, you can find the code for the REST API here and the code for the frontend and GraphQL API here. Don’t forget to visit the app as well to groan at some jokes.

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