What is Graphql and what are the pros and cons of it?
GraphQL is a query language for APIs. It’s designed to be a complete alternative to REST, and it’s quickly gaining traction with developers and organizations looking for something new.
It’s easier to use because you don’t have to parse XML or JSON files; instead, you can directly query the API from the client application. This means that the underlying data structure is less complex, so it’s easier for developers to process it.
GraphQL also has built-in support for pagination, which means you don’t have to worry about writing your code for pagination when using GraphQL.
GraphQLObjectType was created by Facebook and has been adopted by many other companies because it allows them to innovate around how they store data on their servers.
Here are some advantages:
Pros of Graphql
Because it’s not simple JSON or XML, GraphQL queries are more efficient than their REST counterparts. For example, a request to fetch data from your API could take as long as an entire page load in your browser with GraphQL, that request can be done in a single line of code.
Because it’s so complex and new, GraphQL documentation is still not as extensive as that of many other technologies (like Swagger). However, there are plenty of resources available online that can help guide you through some of the more advanced concepts.
Plugins & tools
There are quite a few plugins available for helping you build your GraphQL APIs with ease, some even allow you to write your queries in any programming language you want!
It’s simpler to use
Because GraphQL specifies exactly what fields and values are expected, you don’t need to worry about how your application will handle those fields or values — it knows how to handle them automatically. This means less code for developers and easier maintenance for them too!
GraphQL types constrain what you can say about your data, so there are no ambiguity errors like in SQL databases. This means you don’t have to choose between working with multiple types of data in one query or writing complex joins in SQL queries (which is often a nightmare), because everything is always clearly defined by type constraints.
You can easily query multiple resources in one request
Since GraphQL doesn’t require an endpoint (public URL), it lets you query multiple resources in one request without having to make multiple requests. This means less latency between requests and faster response times overall!
Data Fetching as Declarative
The data fetching process undertaken by GraphQL when any queries are raised is declarative. In any query request, the client needs to opt for data objects with fields then GraphQL selects which field is needed because of its UI. It is the same as the UI-driven data fetching process.
Finest for difficult systems and microservices
No matter how many systems we add to GraphQL, it joins them all easily and erases their complications. The GraphQL server is capable of data fetching from all the integrated systems. This fetched data is then represented in the reply format of GraphQL. Such a system can come in handy for third-party APIs and legacy infrastructures as they are hard to uphold and manage as well as huge in size.
The GraphQL APIs can also enable you to manage communication between various microservices if they are already integrated into the GraphQL schema beforehand. This is helpful when you have to migrate to microservice architecture from a monolithic backend app.
No over and under-fetching problems
The problem with other API requests is that they are unable to generate enough data in a single request so the user has to make requests over and over again until they get what they need. But that’s not the case with GraphQL APIs, they can fetch the exact data in a single request.
GraphQL is of hierarchical structure where every association between objects is represented graphically.
GraphQL allows you to share its fields among multiple queries at the higher component level and the best thing? You can reuse all of them. The way of fragments is used to determine this feature. Using this feature, we can keep the schema field equal and still can gather diverse data
No need for the latest version
The fetched data or the result in GraphQL is always exactly what clients asked in their queries. Even if you add extra fields for new product features, it won’t affect the client’s great user experience. The fetched data or the result in GraphQL is always exactly what clients asked in their queries. Even if you add extra fields for new product features, it won’t affect the client’s great user experience. It’s an extraordinary process that doesn’t need any updated version. At least, not in the near future, it’s advanced enough for present times.
Cons of Graphql
GraphQL has many benefits, but there are some drawbacks, too.
GraphQL isn’t just any extra server-side database that you can possess. It is one of the easiest query languages, it accesses the server whenever a user requests the query. So it is quite logical to believe that like other query languages and APIs, GraphQL must also consist of some mechanism with maximum query depths. This makes it difficult for GraphQL to weigh the query when the number of queries exceeds its limitations.
You might find it hard to believe but applying a basic cache with GraphQL is very difficult in comparison to its counterpart REST. There you get the resource URL to access the resources and store cached data. But no such arrangements are offered in GraphQL.
Rate Limiting is another problem that is seen the most while using GraphQL. Almost every other request API has a limit set on their daily usage. A user cannot access the server for data more than what they are permitted. But in GraphQL there aren’t any limitations so it becomes highly vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
Some other disadvantages are mentioned below –
- The biggest con of GraphQL is that it’s not an easy language to learn. It’s quite different from REST APIs in terms of structure, meaning and operation.
- There are also a lot of mobile app testing tools that help developers maintain their applications using GraphQL but most of them require you to learn a whole new programming language.
- GraphQL is still new and its adoption rate is slow. The best way to learn about it is by reading articles, talking with people who use it or trying out the tools yourself.
- Authorization is not yet supported.
By this point, you should have a good understanding of what GraphQL is and how it can help your company move forward in a meaningful way. As more companies begin to adopt GraphQL in the coming years, you’ll have more opportunities to learn about it and apply its principles. With enough knowledge, you can ensure that your business stays relevant as GraphQL continues to evolve as an industry standard for managing data.
I hope this helps. Thanks for reading!