In the world of Application Programming Index (API) GraphQL is quite a newcomer in respect to other major pillars like Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and Representational State Transfer (REST) which came in the market in 1998 and 2000 respectively. GraphQL was introduced by Facebook in 2015 as the advanced language for data query and also as the forerunner among SOAP and REST. While GraphQL is query language that retrieves data from server and queries mutations behind data change, REST is architectural style that changes corresponding source state by making request to Uniform Resource Identifier (URI). SOAP on the other hand is protocol operating with GET for retrieving data from server and POST for adding and modifying data. So, basically SOAP operates with logic while the rest two operates with data.
While REST was prone to over-fetching or under-fetching of data from API Protocols, GraphQL addresses this problem by letting you make data query specifically and get results by shifting data definition features to client side. To put it simple, GraphQL API lets you specify the data from what is available on the server and what is more, data can be fetched by single query from various databases.
In comparison with SOAP, GraphQL is quite lightweight so as to reduce network payload. Besides, it also utilizes the strong suites from REST and SOAP while using single endpoint URLs for modifying or fetching data.
So, What Makes GraphQL Advantageous As Api Architecture Tools?
- Although it does not have any versioning, thereby, users find it hard to know about application update, the data typing is relatively stronger than other sources
- Data retrieving is done through single endpoint
- Data definition is client-side, which allows the client to fetch the data exactly as requested. Application performance is increased as network payload is reduced.
- With single query, you can search multiple databases.