Differences Between GraphQL and REST

Differences Between GraphQL and REST

30 September, 2020 by img Rahul Panchal in Web Services
Differences Between GraphQL and REST

When it is about API designing, REST is undoubtedly the standard. Lots of developers have used it given that it provided the connection to the stateless servers as well as structured accessibility to resources. Nevertheless, it can prove to be inflexible in the long run. It has to keep up with the demand since there is a rapid modification in requirements.

GraphQL has been developed for overcoming the inflexibility provided by REST APIs. It helps to solve many shortcomings experienced by the developers out there.


What exactly is GraphQL?

GraphQL happens to be a query language which is primarily employed in APIs and for fulfilling queries with any existing information. It offers a comprehensive description of the information in the API.

Apart from this, this particular architecture provides the power to the clients for requesting what exactly is required by them. Put simply, it helps to make it much simpler for evolving with time. Apart from this, it likewise enables lots of robust developer tools to be created.


What exactly is the REST API?

REST is Representational State Transfer. It is one of the architectural styles for hypermedia systems. Apart from this, it was presented for the first time in the year 2000 by Roy Fielding.

REST is primarily a resource. It makes use of a resource identifier for identifying the specific resource which is engaged in communication between the components. By the term resource representation, we refer to the state of the resource at any specific time. A representation contains data. There are also hypermedia links, as well as metadata links along with that. All these links, as well as metadata, assist the customers in transit to the subsequent preferred state.

A RESTful API appears like a hypertext. Resource methods which are employed for performing the desired transition is another essential thing linked to REST. Nevertheless, there is some difference between HTTP and REST.


Also Read: JavaScript Vs TypeScript


REST API limitations

  • The round trips happen to be amongst the most significant limitations. The required information will never be processed in a single go. As a result, it is significant to perform more than one trip for accessing the data.
  • Under and Over fetching – This implies that fixed data structures will be returned by requested data at any particular point. Over-fetching will be when the customer receives more than the required information. Under-fetching is when the necessary information is not given back at a go.


GraphQL Approach

It is important to send just 1 query to the server in GraphQL which consists of the concrete data requirements. The server will be responding with the satisfied requirements.

This is because it has been designed to become a much more flexible solution in terms of API architecture. Also, customizing requests to meet the necessary specifications are also possible.


Benefits of GraphQL

  • Can fetch information with one single API call
  • A superior solution for micro-services and complicated systems
  • Customized requests according to the requirement
  • No under- and over-fetching issues
  • Fast application prototyping
  • API evolution sans versioning
  • Validation as well as type checking
  • Automatically generating API documentation

Although GraphQL comes with more advantages, there are certain limitations. Performance issue in terms of complicated queries happens to be one of the most significant problems out there.

Apart from the performance issues, it is not able to manage the uploading of files. Moreover, one more issue can be web caching. It is possible to optimize it by making use of libraries. It happens to be overkill for small applications.



REST and GraphQL are a couple of approaches to the API architecture. Although GraphQL comes with many more advantages as compared to REST, it is significant to take into consideration your project size before usage. API architecture cannot be simply implemented since it comes with more benefits. It is imperative to consider lots of factors and comprehend the limitation in advance.


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Rahul Panchal

Rahul Panchal is the Founder & Managing Director at Rlogical Techsoft Pvt. Ltd. He is a pioneer tech enthusiast who has assisted diverse enterprise solutions with a fresh perspective over the years. From integrating technologies like Full-Stack, .NET, Flutter & PHP, he has harnessed custom web or hybrid mobile app development projects. His creative outlook on the latest models of AI, ML, blockchain, and IoT, has made various businesses attain leading-edge success.

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