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Shariq Ahmed
Shariq Ahmed

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What Actually is GraphQL?

If you are into programming languages then I’m sure you may know what APIs are. But the thing is when we talk about making complex web and mobile apps, there are lots of things that become too complicated. One among them is the interaction between client and server within an app. Fortunately, whopping work has been going on in this and now interactions have improved. All thanks to Facebook.

That’s because in 2012, they released GraphQL — a query language that can be used to serve as a runtime for manipulating APIs.

But what’s the difference between GraphQL and other query languages?

Well, GraphQL can’t interact with databases directly. Instead, it creates a contract using which client can communicate with the API server. Further, GraphQL specification which defines SDL not only describes rules, and characteristics of any language but also provides instructions for executing queries in GraphQL.

Further, due to the fact that GraphQL is open standard, its implementation can be done using any language and database. The only rule? Everything must follow the rules of GraphQL.

Some big companies including NASA, use GraphQL. Now, can you guess where NASA use GraphQL? Well, it use GraphQL to manage their data for Mars mission!

Let’s see what are the benefits of GraphQL that compelled NASA to use it.

1. GraphQL is Fast — Frankly speaking, GraphQL is fast because it reduces your query time by giving you fields that you would query with.
2. Excellent for Complex Systems — Best part about GraphQL is that by using it you can integrate varying systems in GraphQL’s API. This query language actually hides the complexity. Due to this very feature, GraphQL is best to use for third-party APIs that are both large and complex to manage.
3. Goodbye to Over Fetching and Under Fetching Issues — Another benefit of GraphQL is that it fetches only the required and specific data. The problem with REST is that REST responses have whopping amount of data. At times, this compels the need for creating another request.
4. Give Shape to Data — When queries are requested to the server, the response that server returns is in secure and predictable shape. This helps user pen query as per the requirement. And that’s what makes GraphQL easy to use and learn.
5. Strongly Typed — GraphQL is a strongly typed language. In other words, in GraphQL every query responds to a certain type. Because of this, GraphQL is somewhat similar to SQL and gives a long error message before running a query.

Cons of GraphQL

But again, all this doesn’t mean that there aren’t any cons of GraphQL. Disadvantage of using GraphQL is that it’s complex. Just the catching with GraphQL is complicated. At times, GraphQL is also rate-limiting. In other query languages there are other solutions to solve this problem, but in GraphQL this problem still persists.


GraphQL is considered one of the best query language nowadays. In fact, as per one resource, over 27804 businesses are using GraphQL in 2024. But is GraphQL easy to learn? Yes. GraphQL is both easy to learn and use — provided that you have little bit knowledge of APIs. And believe me. If you know nothing about APIs, then that’s also not a problem. Just spend two hours daily on GraphQL and boom. You’ll become adept at it within seven weeks.

For your ease, I’m mentioning some YouTube links that will help you start your GraphQL journey today.

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