re: What are the cons of GraphQL? VIEW POST


I've worked with GraphQL quite a bit in both personal and professional settings. In my experience working with several teams in both new and existing GraphQL APIs, the biggest challenge has been schema design and management.

Maintaining a large schema can be really hard, especially when working across multiple teams with varying levels of experience with GraphQL. With REST, each endpoint is mostly isolated, which makes it easy to either make changes to or move endpoints to a new api version. In GraphQL, the schema is supposed to stay version-less by evolving over time. This means you need to think carefully about what you include in your GraphQL types, and how you structure your type relationships. If you create complex relationships that your clients begin to rely on, it can really hurt you later on.

The advice typically is to make small incremental changes to your schema as needed, but for many teams inexperienced with GraphQL, they don't take the time to focus on really understanding how their data graph should be structured.

Not to say that it isn't easy to mess up the design of a REST API, but I think in a lot of cases it is harder to fix a poorly designed GraphQL API due to the lack of versioning.


Yes, where with REST you risk having small differences between different endpoints causing errors. We work api first with REST, but there are at least 3 ways of doing pagination, and that's with about 50 developers.


Absolutely true, although I would mention that if you are running a Federated schema for multiple services managed by multiple teams, you can do the same thing in GraphQL unless you enforce a strict pagination standard like Relay.

BTW, just wanted to say thanks for your great talk on using Kafka to back subscriptions at Summit. We've been looking into doing something similar to back our first subscription service so it was great to hear some of your insights :).

code of conduct - report abuse