The big comeback of Sibiu Web Meetup with its first edition for 2023 on 25 May brought to the attention of the attendees an Introduction to GraphQL presented by an old speaker-friend of the meetup, Ben Bruda.
What is GraphQL
GraphQL is a query language for APIs and a runtime for fulfilling those queries with your existing data. GraphQL provides a complete and understandable description of the data in your API, gives clients the power to ask for exactly what they need and nothing more, makes it easier to evolve APIs over time, and enables powerful developer tools.
It is just what Ben proves with its presentation using an easy-to-understand real-life example, namely a book e-shop. He showcases in simple facts how web developers can use GraphQL to respond to specific client requirements and deliver applause-worthy results.
He reveals the advantages of GraphQL as being the following:
- It uses POST only
- It uses single endpoint
- It only gets the needed fields
- It gets nested fields
- It sorts the nested list fields
- It defines input types
- It is well documented
In the frontend, productivity improves and there are no incongruities in the communication with the backend. Here, in the backend, the development philosophy is to invest effort in something robust and future-proof so that you enjoy the peace and quiet of seeing it work smoothly. So, while there is a higher upfront cost owing to more work for a complex implementation, more work required to get it started, you have less patches, clean and reliable code.
A presentation with a history
For more curious minds, there is also a back-in-time look on GraphQL in the presentation, about under-fetching, over-fetching as the pains that led to the creation of GraphQL, as a tool that brings out only the targeted data, nothing more, nothing less. And this is where GraphQL makes the difference. How they did it? We only leave the founders’ saying Let’s build an ideal API for the front-end then work backwards to the backend. And we will let you find out the rest of the story in the presentation.
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