GraphQL

Better alternative for Restful apis

jaro@uber.com     |     @chompomonim    |    +JaroSatkevic

  • About GraphQL with full stack in mind
  • Basics and short history of GraphQL
  • My experience with Apollo stack 
  • GraphQL server - where to start, what to avoid

AGENDA

REST is cool, but...

Let's get:

  • SW Hero
  • His home planet
  • His starship
GET /hero/1
GET /hero/1/homeworld
GET /hero/1/starships

Let's get:

  • SW Hero
  • His home planet
  • His starship
GET /hero/1
GET /hero/1/homeworld
GET /hero/1/starships
GET /hero/1?include=starships,homeworld

OR

Let's get:

  • SW Hero
  • His home planet
  • His starship
GET /hero/1
GET /hero/1/homeworld
GET /hero/1/starships
GET /hero/1?include=starships,homeworld

OR

OR

GET /hero/1
GET /starship/10?heroId=1
GET /planet/6?heroId=1

Over-fetching

Hard to design "proper" api

Documentation hell

How many queries do we need to render this view? 

What is GraphQL?

A query language for your API

Short facts:

  • Invented at Facebook 4 years ago
  • OpenSourced in summer 2015
  • Already used at Github, Pinterest, Coursera, Shopify, Intuit, WIX and many more ...
{
  person(personID: "1") {
    name
    birthYear
    eyeColor
    gender
    homeworld {
      name
      population
    }
    starships (first: 2) {
      name
      model
    }
  }  
}
GET /hero/1?include=name,birthYear,gender
GET /hero/1/homeworld
GET /starships?heroId=1&include=name,model
{
  person(personID: "1") {
    name
    birthYear
    eyeColor
    gender
    homeworld {
      name
      population
    }
    starships (first: 1) {
      name
      model
    }
  }  
}
{"data": {
  person: {
    "name": "Luke Skywalker",
    "birthYear": "19BBY",
    "eyeColor": "blue",
    "gender": "male",
    "homeworld": {
        "name": "Tatooine",
        "population": 200000
    },
    "starships": [
        {
            "name": "X-wing",
            "model": "T-65 X-wing"
        }
    ]
  }
}
type Person {
     name: String!
     gender: String
     eyeColor: String
     birthYear: String
     homeplanet: Homeplanet
     starships: [Starships]
}

type Starship {
     name
     model
     speed
}

Anyway, why GraphQL?

Features I wanted as UI developer

  • Fast data queries with all&only needed data
  • Data caching, to avoid refetching
  • Allow to work offline
  • Specify queries, parses data
  • Easy to paginate
  • Execute mutations, with cache and pagination

GraphQL clients

Relay

GraphQL on server

A lot of libraries

http://graphql.org/code/

  • graphql-php: A PHP port of GraphQL reference implementation
  • graphql-relay-php: A library to help construct a graphql-php server supporting react-relay.

How many queries into database?

{
  person(personID: "1") {
    name
    birthYear
    eyeColor
    gender
    homeworld {
      name
      population
    }
    starships (first: 10) {
      name
      model
    }
  }  
}

How bis is response for this request?

{
  persons {
    name
    birthYear
    eyeColor
    gender
    homeworld {
      name
      population
    }
    starships (first: 10) {
      name
      model
      passangers {
        name
        gender
        homeworld {
          name
        }
      }
    }
  }  
}

Tips & tricks

  • Use limits on bigger amount of data
  • Define schema first
  • Read carefully full specification, it may help
  • Prepare for cache your most advanced queries

Questions

jaro@uber.com     |     @chompomonim    |    +JaroSatkevic

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