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What is GraphQL?

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GraphQL is a query language for implementing web service architectures based on graph-structured data. It is used as a query language for an API, it retrieves only desired information from an API, no more no less. It was developed by engineers at Facebook as a solution to several problems faced by them when using standard architectural styles, such as REST.

The language started to gain popularity when Facebook declared it as a completely open-sourced project in 2015 and it is now supported by major Web APIs, including the ones provided by GitHub, Airbnb, Netflix, and Twitter.

Finally, in 2018 it was shifted to The GraphQL foundation “as a neutral, non-profit home for the GraphQL assets and ongoing collaboration, and hosted by The Linux Foundation”.

How does GraphQL work?

GraphQL allows the user to send a request to an API endpoint and get data in a single run. This eliminates the need for multiple round trips to the server and allows for more efficient data retrieval.

What is the difference between REST vs GraphQL?

In many cases, GraphQL is a great alternative to REST which is a traditional server-driven architecture due to no over or under-fetching of data and less complexity.

A study concluded that as the number of parameters in the query increases, REST becomes more complicated, hence GraphQL requires less effort.

Workday Technology preferred GraphQL because of the client-driven API which allowed client development to “move faster and more independently“ 

Another study showed that for IoT (Internet of Things) applications involving sensor networks, GraphQL integrated framework yielded at least 52% reduction in data delivery delay and increased energy efficiency by 53% against REST frameworks.

Closing thoughts

GraphQL is a client-driven query language API that extracts only the data requested by the query. It has a simple syntax and support tools which boosts productivity and hence, can be an alternative to REST API in many applications.

Macrometa delivers instant database results via GraphQL for a wide range of applications such as eCommerce, IoT, and gaming apps, - explore ready-to-go solutions today, or chat with a solutions expert.

Related reading:

The Secret to Fast APIs: Unlocking Business Acceleration


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