Application Programming Interface (API) is a widely used term for the past few years. In simple words, API is an interface that allows developers, users, and even consumers to interact with the data. Among these groups, developers are the ones who widely use APIs. If the API is well-designed, it can be used effortlessly.
Earlier, REST was used to build APIs. But using REST was hard for developers as they felt it was difficult to understand the APIs. This is where GraphQL comes into the plot. Meta (Facebook) introduced GraphQL as the best method to build APIs.
Meta faced trouble in solving technical problems using its mobile applications. The creation of GraphQL helped in solving both technical as well as communication issues. GraphQL changed the way the front end and the backend of software communicate with each other. This became the reason for the wide popularity of GraphQL. Today, GraphQL is used by several people as well as companies. GraphQL also has a huge community as it is open-sourced. Most of the applications of Meta, including the mobile applications make use of GraphQL. Pinterest, GitHub, Shopify. The New York Times, Twitter, etc, are some of the popular companies that use GraphQL.
Basics of GraphQL
In layman’s terms, GraphQL is a simple and effective open-source query language that was created by Meta. It can be used to create, design, and consume APIs. It was created as an alternative to the REST.
GraphQL will provide you the exact data as you write while REST requires over-fetching of data. GraphQL offers a single end-point without any confusing versions. As it is typed strongly, you can check for the validation of a query before the execution using the GraphQL type system. This helps in the creation of more robust APIs.
Benefits of GraphQL
The demonstrative model of GraphQL helps to create predictive and consistent APIs that can be used for all your clients. The developer experience GraphQL provides is the greatest benefit of GraphQL even though it has many other benefits too.
Let us have a look at the other advantages of GraphQL.
Efficient and declarative data fetching
The performance and quality of GraphQL over REST highly depend on its declarative data-fetching methods.
The built-in backing for introspection and strong typing of GraphQL makes its developer tools highly powerful.
GraphQL has the power to scale to the different requirements of organizations, small or large. It is compatible with federated architecture and also supported with powerful tooling to satisfy the growing needs of different organizations.
GraphQL is a relatively novel technology that is very efficient and powerful. Better, perfectly-built APIs are no more a dream with GraphQL. It has already started to replace REST and the coming years will witness the rule of GraphQL in the world of APIs. The number of companies using GraphQL is increasing with each passing day. Therefore, it has become a basic necessity to learn and understand GraphQL.