GraphQL: The Future of Front-End Development
GraphQL is a query language that was created by Facebook in 2012 for building web and mobile apps. It has become the new standard for front-end development because of its advantages over REST, which was previously the most popular API architecture. GraphQL also helps developers get started quickly with their projects without having to write complex data fetching code or build multiple endpoints, which saves time and money! This blog post will explore why GraphQL is taking over as the future of front-end development.
REST is not a silver bullet
RESTful APIs are not a silver bullet for all types of applications. REST is an architectural style that provides highly decoupled systems. The indirection allows teams to work independently on different pieces without worrying about the implications on other parts of the application. There is also no standardization around RESTful APIs and there was room for further improvements in terms of:
- Data overload - With so many devices connected at any given time it’s hard for clients to keep up with retrieving every bit of information they need from multiple sources
- Latency issue - Since data has to be retrieved separately from several endpoints, this also means more waiting time for the user to see new content on their screen
- Difficult API testing - With so many endpoints, it’s harder to test APIs since they are isolated from one another. This raised a need for an improved solution that would allow clients and servers to reduce latency by reducing round trips between each other while also allowing them both to specify exactly what data is needed in the response
GraphQL - a new player in the API Game
GraphQL was created as a better alternative with several benefits & quickly became a major player in the API space, allowing developers to build efficient applications without over-fetching or under-fetching data while also giving them more control over how they structure their queries. GraphQL provides many exciting features such as strongly typed schema with the introspection of types, concise syntax (nested objects are serialized into one single graph) and abstracted away from backend infrastructure:
- Language Agnostic - GraphQL can be used with any backend technology because of its language agnosticism. It works well with different frontend technologies such as ReactJS or AngularJS.
- Data Fetching Control - The graph-based graph API allows both the client and server to specify exactly what data is needed in response.
- Strongly Typed Schema - The strongly typed schema includes introspection of types, which enables better documentation for frontend developers than RESTful APIs that do not provide such information on its own.
- Serverless applications - GraphQL can be used with AWS Lambda allowing you to build your application without running servers at all times while also providing faster responses because they are cached by default; this makes it easier and more cost-efficient to scale up your app when necessary (e.g., during user peak hours)
- Control over mutating endpoints - GraphQL provides a way to control when your client wants to send mutations or not providing you with fine-tuned security options that are difficult in RESTful APIs.
The future is now
GraphQL is a solution to the problems of REST, and can be used with any programming language. If you're looking for a way to build your next application in a scalable manner that will work well with all types of devices and networks, then learn about how graphql works today!