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GraphQL Vs REST | Will GraphQL Replace REST?

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Today, we are going to compare GraphQL – a newly introduced tool for API management with the classical REST. Which of them is overrated? Read this article till the end to find out!

What is the Purpose of a Web Development API?

APIs permit developers to build complex features by abstracting complicated syntax instead of typing multiple code lines that describe a particular operation. You can just insert the operation’s name just like on this example of connecting to spotify. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

The purpose of REST and GraphQL is to communicate between the client and the server.

What Is REST?

Its Characteristics (also known as the REST constraints)

#1 Uniform Interface

All operations in REST are based on the same interface. Regardless of the operation, the client and the server use the same patterns to communicate.

#2 Client Server

All systems that REST works with have to be built with a client server architecture.

#3 Statelessness

The state of the front end is only understood by the back end but not saved there. If there’s an error in one process it doesn’t impact the REST of the functionality.

#4 Isolated Layers

REST respects isolation on all levels of the web architecture.

Advantages

  • Obviously Scalability
  • Popularity REST became one of the most popular API infrastructures on the market.
  • Flexibility An aspect that initially set REST apart from multiple competitors was its format agnostic approach.

Advantages

  • Obviously Scalability
  • Popularity REST became one of the most popular API infrastructures on the market.
  • Flexibility An aspect that initially set REST apart from multiple competitors was its format agnostic approach.

Disadvantages

  • It requires multiple round trips
    If you need a lot of additional information in your main request, REST won’t be able to deliver this data in one go.
  • Over-Fetching
    Even if an app needs only a few fields from an API endpoint, it gets all the data. Thus, we will get the full information on each player when we are just interested in the name.

So, maybe GraphQL is your best choice. Wait, let us share our experience of API development with GraphQL.

What is GraphQL?

It’s a query language for API integration that executes data requirements.

Advantages

  • It connects Frontend and Backend
    GraphQL allows you to adjust the client side automatically.
  • Each client specifies exactly what data is used on the back end.
    GraphQL allows the software to be more specific in its requests.
  • A strong type system

GraphQL is stricter about API types. They are stated clearly in the schema definition language. You have to learn these types before building an architecture.

Disadvantages

  • No HTTP specification for data caching
    Technically, this should make things easier and faster. However in reality, our team notices that this system requires a lot of metadata.
  • Complex syntax
    A learning curve for GraphQL is obviously steeper than for REST.
  • Increased code base size
    The scamma has a lot of repetitive code and in many cases we hate that we need to write a nearly identical code, one for a database, another one for GraphQL.

Differences between REST and GraphQL

#1 Schema Definition Language

  • REST is described as a list of final destinations where the data will be used or stored.
  • GraphQL on the other hand, uses its custom schema to describe the requests.

#2 Resources

  • REST assigns a URL to each data resource to send a request and retrieve a piece of information, APIs send requests to that address, REST processes a request and returns a JSON document.
  • In GraphQL, you need to create two separate types, one that defines the object and the other one is query, that refers to the ways of retrieving it.

#3 Route Processing

Both REST and GraphQL use similar approaches to move data and start functions.

However, GraphQL allows repeating a query several times and requesting details – in the long run, this is what prevents over-fetching.

#3 Route Processing

Both REST and GraphQL use similar approaches to move data and start functions.

However, GraphQL allows repeating a query several times and requesting details – in the long run, this is what prevents over-fetching.
Also, they both rely on communicating with the server via functions. In REST, one function can communicate only with a single request. In GraphQL on the other hand, one request can activate many functions.

It's time to Sum up? Here's our team's Advice

If the final software works with general data, the REST API will work well. However, If the app needs to retrieve specific insights on a regular basis, GraphQL solves the under and over-fetching issues. Though REST API is a tried and proven approach to building APIs, GraphQL is more sustainable in the long run.

Thank you for reading this article. We are EZtek – a Software development, UI/ UX design, an IT consulting company working with top brands worldwide. Make sure you follow us closely to understand what’s better for you.
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