Sergey Nivens - Fotolia
As developer demand for GraphQL continues to heat up, more and more vendors are heeding the call and providing support for the API query language in their product lines.
GraphQL lets users query an API endpoint and get only the fields they want, rather than receiving the full payload of that endpoint, which is what you get with an HTTP request. This can boost application performance, said Nicolas Raboy, a senior developer advocate at MongoDB, in a blog post.
"Until now, being able to use GraphQL in your applications required a dedicated web service that contained schema information, resolve functions with database logic, and other middleware logic to sit between the database and the client facing application," Raboy said.
It's an advancement that developers should welcome, according to one observer.
Randy HeffnerAnalyst, Forrester
"Of late, the industry has focused too much on REST APIs as the main thing," said Randy Heffner, an analyst at Forrester. "The request/reply model that is primary to REST APIs is a critical foundation but not enough; there are numerous other interaction styles in the landscape of business -- such as events, data view, data sync, process, remote views and file transfer. So, instead of an API strategy, enterprises should think about a 'digital bonding' strategy."
GraphQL is an important tool in the broad toolbox for digital bonding, Forrester's term for extending API strategies beyond just REST-only APIs to encompass GraphQL and possibly other models.
RapidAPI aims for speed with GraphQL support
Meanwhile, with the addition of GraphQL APIs, developers can choose between GraphQL and REST APIs on the RapidAPI marketplace and then find and manage both types of APIs using a single SDK, API key and dashboard, said Iddo Gino, RapidAPI's CEO and founder.
"I think that the biggest benefit of GraphQL is in areas where you have a lot of data and a lot of very structured data, being able to pull and query that data more easily in a single request versus having to do a lot of back and forth requests," Gino said.
The RapidAPI Marketplace is used by more than a million developers, according to Gino. For API creators, the platform provides onboarding for publishing APIs, as well as interactive documents that enable users to test an API from a browser and begin using it. The platform also provides API management so users can monitor performance metrics.
"To have the option of using GraphQL is an important bit of industry movement," he said. "GraphQL is a great tool in the toolbox, but only one among many, not a killer be-all/end-all -- the way some talk about it."