Benefits of using GraphQL over RESTful API
GraphQL and RESTful APIs are both widely used for building web APIs, but they have different architectures and design philosophies. Here are some of the benefits of GraphQL over RESTful API:
More efficient data retrieval
With RESTful APIs, the client typically retrieves a fixed set of data from the server, which may include unnecessary data or require multiple API requests to retrieve related data. GraphQL allows the client to specify exactly what data it needs and how it should be structured, reducing the amount of data transferred and the number of API requests needed.
RESTful APIs have a fixed URL structure and resource hierarchy, which can make it difficult to add or change API endpoints without affecting existing clients. In contrast, GraphQL allows clients to specify the data they need in a flexible, declarative way, making it easier to evolve the API over time without breaking existing clients.
GraphQL has a strongly-typed schema that describes the available data and operations, making it easier to understand and document the API. This allows clients to discover and explore the API in a self-documenting way, and enables tools to generate code and provide autocomplete suggestions.
Reduced over-fetching and under-fetching
RESTful APIs often suffer from over-fetching (retrieving more data than needed) or under-fetching (requiring multiple requests to retrieve related data). GraphQL allows clients to request only the data they need, reducing over-fetching, and allows clients to retrieve related data in a single request, reducing under-fetching.
Because GraphQL allows clients to request only the data they need and to retrieve related data in a single request, it can result in faster and more efficient data retrieval compared to RESTful APIs. This can be especially important for mobile and low-bandwidth applications.
Easier to integrate with front-end frameworks
GraphQL is often easier to integrate with front-end frameworks like React and Vue because it allows the client to specify exactly what data it needs and how it should be structured, which aligns well with the component-based architecture of these frameworks.
In conclusion, while both GraphQL and RESTful APIs have their strengths and weaknesses, GraphQL provides several benefits over RESTful APIs, including more efficient data retrieval, better flexibility, a strongly-typed schema, reduced over-fetching and under-fetching, improved performance, and easier integration with front-end frameworks.