GraphQL is a query-oriented programming language that makes it much easier to program web applications. It’s similar to REST in that it provides an API called a GraphQL service or GraphiQL for short. It differs from REST in that it focuses on providing end-to-end transparency instead of just making requests from point A to point B.
This has several benefits including allowing developers to focus on developing applications rather than implementing complicated load balancers and other complex solutions. In this article, you’ll learn what GraphQL is, how it differs from REST, its three main use cases, and its recommendations for consuming GraphQL services.
You’ll also learn why you should consider using GraphQL instead of another API and which libraries are the best for interacting with GraphQL services.
How GraphQL Works?
All requests to a GraphQL service go through a “gateway” where the server returns data corresponding to the request. This gateway is the crux of the service — there are lots of them and they all respond to specific types of requests. Different types of requests can have different types of data returned, and the gateway is responsible for mapping from request to response.
To use this gateway, all you have to do is issue a simple GET request to the IP address corresponding to the gateway. The server response will contain all the data you requested, and you can store this data in your application using a data storage service likeascularized to handle scalability.
Why Use GraphQL?
There are several benefits to using GraphQL over other API approaches: It’s more developer-friendly, especially for new developers who may not be familiar with API design. It’s more flexible in that it allows developers to create hybrid apps that are more or less API apps and less web apps. It’s easier to scale since you can use any data storage service.
3 main use cases for GraphQL
There are many use cases for GraphQL besides the ones mentioned above, but these three are the most common. GraphQL as a query language for APIs In this case, you create a API that uses GraphQL as its query language. The API provides data and you issue requests to get data from the API. When developers use your API, they issue GraphQL queries to get data from the API.
Your API takes the results and returns a single object or JSON response. GraphQL as a data access tool In this scenario, you have data that’s private to one or a few users but you want it accessible to everyone. In this case, you can use GraphQL to make that data available to the public. You create a query that asks for data and returns a single object or JSON response.
This is a great solution if you want to make certain types of data (like taxonomies) publicly accessible.
Going from REST to GraphQL
Like most emerging technologies, GraphQL isn’t for everyone. There are a few benefits to using it over other API approaches: More developer friendliness. GraphQL is a query-oriented API design with easy-to-use query languages for all types of data. This makes it much easier for new developers to get involved with API development.
Flexibility to create hybrid apps. One of the main benefits of GraphQL is that it allows you to create hybrid apps that are more or less API apps and less web apps. This gives you the flexibility to choose which development techniques are best for your project while retaining backward compatibility with the web APIs you already use. easier scalability. It doesn’t require you to write server-side code to handle heavy load.
In this article, you’ve learned what GraphQL is, how it differs from REST, its three main use cases, and its recommendations for consuming GraphQL services. You’ve also discovered why you should consider using GraphQL instead of another API and which libraries are the best for interacting with GraphQL services.
Now it’s time to get started building real-world apps with GraphQL. If you’d like more information on building a basic application, check out our free guide to get started with building a simple web app using the Google Cloud Platform. If you want more in-depth information on a specific topic, check out our books, videos, and blogs.