GraphQL

GraphQL, a universal query language and runtime system for APIs, empowers clients to obtain precise data from servers, streamlining interactions and minimizing data over- or under-fetching, offering a distinct advantage over traditional REST APIs.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

GraphQL is a query language for APIs developed by Facebook in 2012 and later released as an open-source project in 2015. GraphQL provides more efficient network communication and flexibility than traditional RESTful APIs. With GraphQL, clients can request the data they need in a single request.

GraphQL allows clients to interact with servers more efficiently and flexibly than traditional RESTful APIs. With a RESTful API, the client must make multiple requests for a particular view or page. Each request typically returns a fixed set of data; if the client needs additional data, it must make another request. This chatter results in excessive data transfers and leads to performance issues. GraphQL solves this problem by allowing the client to specify the data it needs in a single request. The client sends a GraphQL query to the server, which responds with the requested data. 

Imagine you have a recipe book with many recipes but only want to know how to make one specific dish. Instead of reading through the whole book, you can quickly find the recipe you need and gather the ingredients.

GraphQL is a way for computers to share information similarly. When a computer or device, like your phone or tablet, needs specific information to show you something (like a game, a website, or an app), it can ask another computer for exactly what it needs using GraphQL. This makes everything work more efficiently and quickly because the computers only share the exact information needed instead of a lot of extra details that aren't required.

So, GraphQL is a helpful way for computers to communicate with each other and share the right information, just like you finding the perfect recipe to make your favorite dish!

GraphQL is flexible. With RESTful APIs, the server defines the structure of the responses, and the client has to conform to that structure. In contrast, GraphQL allows the client to get the data in the format it needs. The client can specify the exact form of the response, including which fields to include, relationships to traverse, and how to structure the data. 

The advantages of GraphQL over traditional RESTful API

1. Data Fetching Efficiency

In REST, you must make separate requests to different endpoints to fetch related resources. This could result in over-fetching (getting data that you don't use) or under-fetching (not getting enough data in a single request) of data. GraphQL allows you to get exactly what you need in a single request by letting the client specify exactly what data it needs, which can reduce the amount of data that needs to be transferred over the network and improve performance.

2. Type System

GraphQL is strongly typed. Every piece of data is associated with a specific type, and all types are defined in the GraphQL schema. This ensures the data conforms to a specified format and reduces the likelihood of receiving unexpected data types, leading to fewer errors.

3. Real-time Data with Subscriptions 

GraphQL offers subscriptions, allowing real-time functionality by maintaining a steady connection to the server. When a change occurs on the server, the client gets updated data without needing a new request. While there are ways to implement real-time functionality in REST (like WebSockets), they are not part of the core REST architecture like they are with GraphQL.

4. Self-documenting 

GraphQL's type system and schema introspection make it self-documenting. It's easy to explore the schema and see what data is available, what types of queries are possible, and what fields can be included in those queries.

5. Performance Enhancements on Slow Networks 

Since GraphQL allows clients to select only the data they need, it can significantly enhance performance, especially on slow mobile network connections.

6. Evolvability 

GraphQL makes it easier to evolve APIs over time. Fields can be deprecated and new fields can be added to types, enabling APIs to be adapted as requirements change without causing breaking changes for existing clients.

7. Batching and Caching

With a library like Facebook's DataLoader, GraphQL can batch multiple requests into a single request and cache requests to prevent redundant data loads, which can lead to performance improvements.

GraphQL Security

The OWASP GraphQL Security Cheat Sheet provides guidance on the areas that need attention when working with GraphQL. These  include input validation, query limiting, access control, and secure configurations.

Why customers choose Aptori

Searching for an automated API security solution? Aptori is your top choice. It effortlessly discovers and secures your applications and can be implemented in minutes.

Setting up and performing application security scans using Aptori is a breeze. Whether it's you or your security team, it's operational in no time. Benefit from in-depth security insights and expedite the remediation process by integrating security checks seamlessly into your SDLC.

Experience the full potential of Aptori with a free trial before making your final decision.


Interested in a live demo to witness the capabilities of Aptori with your APIs? We'd be delighted to connect and show you firsthand.

Insights

Featured Posts

Did You Know?

Get started with Aptori today!

AI-Driven Testing for Application & API Security

Reduce Risk With Proactive Application Security

Need more info? Contact Sales