Top 5 Advantages Of GraphQL

Top 5 Advantages Of GraphQL

Introduction:

  • GraphQL is a query language for your API, and a server-side runtime for executing queries by using a type system you define for your data.
  • GraphQL is not tied to any specific database or storage engine and is instead backed by your existing code and data.
  • A GraphQL query asks only for the data that it needs. Whenever a query is executed against a GraphQL server, it is validated against a type system.
  • Every GraphQL service defines types in a GraphQL schema.

Design Principles of GraphQL

Even though GraphQL does not control the way API is built, it does offer some guidelines.

  1. Hierarchical – A GraphQL query is hierarchical. Fields are nested within other fields and the query is shaped like data that it returns.
  2. Product-Centric – GraphQL is driven by the data needs of the client and the language and runtime that support the client.
  3. Strong Typing – A GraphQL server backed by the GraphQL type system. In the schema, each data point has a specific type against which it will be validated.
  4. Client-specified Queries – A GraphQL server provides the capabilities that the clients are allowed to consume.
  5. Introspective – The GraphQL language can query the GraphQL server’s type system.

The Query and Mutation Types:

Most types in your schema will just be normal object types, but there are two types that are special within a schema:

schema {

  query: Query

  mutation: Mutation

}

Every GraphQL service has a query type and may or may not have a mutation type. These types are the same as a regular object type, but they are special because they define the entry point of every GraphQL query. The query will look like,

Input:

query {

  hero {

    name

  }

  droid (id: “2000”) {

    name

  }

}

Output:

{

  “data”: {

    “hero”: {

      “name”: “R2-D2”

    },

    “droid”: {

      “name”: “C-3PO”

    }

  }

}

GraphQL Clients:

  • GraphQL clients have emerged to speed the workflow for developer teams and improve the efficiency and performance of applications.
  • They handle tasks like network requests, data caching, and injecting data into the user interface.
  • There are many GraphQL clients, but the leaders in the space are Relay and Apollo.
  • Relay aims to be the connective between React Components and the data that is fetched from the GraphQL server.
  • Apollo Client is a community-driven effort to build more comprehensive tooling around GraphQL.

Advantages of GraphQL

1.Declarative Data Fetching:

  • GraphQL embraces declarative data fetching with its queries. The client selects data along with its entities with fields across relationships in one query request.
  • GraphQL decides which fields are needed for its UI, and it almost acts as UI-driven data fetching.
  • It offers a great separation of concerns: a client knows about the data requirements; the server knows about the data structure and how to resolve the data from a data source (e.g., database, Microservice, third party API).

2.No Over Fetching with GraphQL

  • There is no over-fetching in GraphQL. A mobile client usually over-fetches data when there is an identical API as the web client with a RESTful API.
  • With GraphQL, the mobile client can choose a different set of fields, so it can fetch only the information needed for onscreen.

3.Single Source of Truth

  • The GraphQL schema is the single source of truth in GraphQL applications. It provides a central location, where all available data is described.
  • The GraphQL schema is usually defined on the server-side, but clients can read (query) and write (mutation) data based on the schema.

4.GraphQL Embraces Modern Trends

  • GraphQL embraces modern trends on how applications are built. You may only have one backend application, but multiple clients on the web, phones, and smartwatches depending on its data.
  • GraphQL can be used to connect both worlds, but also to fulfill the requirements of each client application–network usage requirements, nested relationships of data, fetching only the required data–without a dedicated API for each client.

5.Strongly-Typed GraphQL

  • GraphQL is a strongly typed query language because it is written in the expressive GraphQL Schema Definition Language (SDL).
  • Being strongly typed makes GraphQL less error-prone, can be validated during compile-time, and can be used for supportive IDE/editor integrations such as auto-completion and validation.
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