Advantages and Disadvantages of GraphQL
Before going deep in learning GraphQL, we must understand why we are learning this topic, and what are its advantages, and disadvantages. In previous topics, we have covered the installation part, how to write the query in GraphQL, and how we can execute them in our system with the help of the GraphQL API server. Before proceeding further, we will first look at the advantages and disadvantages of GraphQL.
Similar to other technologies, GraphQL has its advantages over pre-existing technologies, and it also has its limitation. This section will look at every advantage and disadvantages of GraphQL one by one.
Advantages of GraphQL
As we know, GraphQL is a specification not an implementation. So, when we discuss the advantages of GraphQL, it means we are discussing the benefits of using this specification in our system. Let’s look at them one by one.
Following are the advantages of using GraphQL specification in our system or server:
1. Speed of GraphQL: – Here, speed means how fast GraphQL will fetch our request from the server. GraphQL APIs are way faster than any other API protocols, and the reason behind it is that we can specify our query in GraphQL that we are looking for from the server in your query. The GraphQL will return the result in a faster time as compared to any other API protocols. Hence speed of API specifies that how faster our request is completed and how quickly data has been returned to us.
2. Complexity handling in GraphQL: – As we have already learned that we can get as much as precise data that we want in return for our query from the GraphQL. Sometimes, we have a very complex query to get the exact data that we want. Therefore, it becomes a basic need of GraphQL to understand what we have requested in our query, and then only we will get the precise, accurate data that we wanted.
GraphQL handles the complexity of different kinds of query very smoothly, and this is one of the most significant advantages of implementing GraphQL in our system.
3. Data return by GraphQL is precise, efficient and accurate: – The data return by GraphQL while executing our query is very precise and accurate, and it depends on what we have requested for.
4. Free from any over-fetching or under-fetching problem: – When GraphQL executes our queries and returns data for it, the data is free from any over-fetching or under-fetching problems that we usually face during using any other kind of API protocols. We don’t have to look for the essential data in the result returned by GraphQL, and that’s how GraphQL can save some of our essential time.
5. GraphQL with microservices: – Microservices are a kind of architectural style that provides structure to an application as a collection of services, which they are. They are mostly used with some commercial platforms, business tools etc. GraphQL API can work along with the multiple kinds of the system (in detail we will learn in a later section), so does the microservices principal based on. GraphQL APIs will help us to communicate between multiple services and the commercial platform by merging all services into one GraphQL schema.
6. GraphQL follows Hierarchical structure: – Among other benefits, one of the significant benefits of using GraphQL APIs is that the GraphQL also follows relationships between the objects, which are defined in the graphical design according to its hierarchical structure.
7. Predictable data in GraphQL results: – When we specify GraphQL APIs in our query that what kind or type of data we want in our results, and we know what GraphQL is going to return after executing our query. This property of GraphQL makes it very predictable that what data will be retrieving in the results.
8. Human-readable query: – An average person can easily read and understand what is written in the query and what the client is asking for. GraphQL queries are easily readable and understandable by the average person.
9. No need for updated versions: – Unlike many software, it is not compulsory to update the GraphQL version to implement and use it with system. As mentioned earlier, GraphQL was first developed by Facebook. To the current date, Facebook is using the same version in its system, and still, it is working very smoothly without creating any problem for them.
Till now, we have acknowledged all the advantages of GraphQL API’s implementation in our system. Above are the reasons why nowadays people are loving GraphQL APIs. Now, it’s time to look at some disadvantages of implementing GraphQL APIs.
Disadvantages of GraphQL
GraphQL has some disadvantages for implementing GraphQL APIs in our system or server. Although GraphQL does not crash or hang the system, it also has some setbacks. Following are some of the significant disadvantages of implementing GraphQL APIs in system: –
1. Complexity in GraphQL Query: – Sometimes the query becomes so complex that even on the client-side the user cannot understand that the data they have received is actually what they asked for. GraphQL will surely return any data for our Complex query, but sometimes we can get confused with that precise amount of data.
2. GraphQL Always returns HTTP 200: – Every query that is executed and launched in GraphQL, whether the query is successful or not, will always return an HTTP status code of 200. With this limitation, Error handling becomes so difficult in case of GraphQL. It also leads to more complexity in the program, like monitoring the program.
3. GraphQL lacks Caching Support: – Another major setback of using GraphQL is that GraphQL does not have built-in caching support. While implementing GraphQL in our system, we should remember that GraphQL does not develop any kind of cache support mechanism, so GraphQL will not have any cache supports over networks. But we can add cache support while implementing GraphQL in our system or server.
4. GraphQL schemas can be a problem: – The schema of GraphQL (which we are going to learn later in this tutorial) sometimes become a problem in itself. The schemas of GraphQL are static, and for the responses from them, client needs to depend on the definitions of the schema purely, and the type of query which schema makes.
5. Rate limitation GraphQL: In GraphQL APIs, you cannot define how many queries can be executed in a day. And, it isn’t very easy to specify this kind of statement in GraphQL.