Back to Blog

Software Development with GraphQL

GraphQL Software Development

GraphQL often comes to mind when discussing programming languages. It's a query and data management language for APIs. Also, it's in a runtime environment to perform queries with existing data. Thus, it's no surprise it takes part in many critical software development edges. The query language allows for reading, interpreting, and updating data. But do you want to know other points that converge and define this tool? It's time to start!

What is GraphQL?

When writing a GraphQL, the developer handles the data type definition. This type of determination can be type definition, typedef, or simple definition. Let's say we tell the server how to read that something is a car.

Then, GraphQL goes into a state of interpretation. In this context, it creates a series of orders or steps. For instance, to handle data extraction and storage. Later, it tells the server the different types of data and their relation to each other. These commands receive the name resolvers. The purpose of this language is to tell the server the connection between different types of data.

Although it sounds very simple, this is its basic definition. Following the previous example, it's not only about telling the server that an element is a car. Other features make this language unique and necessary. Through this language, you can tell the server to read a car belonging to a particular user in a specific way. In this context, both car and user data are nodes. In a nutshell, it determines how you will relate the data you find.

What are GraphQL APIs?

Defining the GraphQL API is simple, considering they are quite related. Also, they're in endless combinations. In the short term, an API is an interface that allows communications between two services. Its name comes from Application Programming Interface.

Moreover, it reunites all protocols and functions necessary for development processes. These processes include databases, online platforms, social networks, and operating systems.

Now it's essential to address the use of GraphQL to develop APIs. With simple requests, GraphQL gets responses with all the required fields. This collation also allows for improving network usage by reducing HTTP loads. Yet, the uses of this language depend on the final goal. Front-end developers use GraphQL to build queries and fetch specific data. But, back-end developers apply it to model data.

What are the Types of GraphQL?

GraphQL is a typed language. Currently, system types get sorted by different data types. These types act like a contract between the user and the server. Let's review some popular GraphQL data types

1. Scalar GraphQL. This type of GraphQL stores single values' primitive data. The scalar data offers int, float, string, and boolean classifications. The main element to determine a scalar type is the datatype_ field. Consequently, the snippet that returns string values is :greeting:

2. Object GraphQL. It's the most common and represents a group of fields. Each field within an object type is assigned to another type. As a result, this allows nested typologies. Its composition has scalar and object types.

3. Query GraphQL. This type of GraphQL is often used to get data. Within it, a query sent from a client application passes to GraphQL. Then, the latter uses the SDL to determine a query.

4. List GraphQL. This branch represents arrays of values ​​for a specific type. Here, the lists' definitions include modifiers. Also, these modifiers include scalar, object, and enumeration GraphQL.

5. Mutation GraphQL. These are mutations moved to the server to develop, update or delete data. It handles identifying the entry points for the different data manipulation operations.

6. Enumeration GraphQL. It has significant similarities with the scalar type. It’s a valuable option when dealing with the value of a field that needs to have a list of options.

7. Non-Nullable GraphQL. Scalar types can be set to null. In a nutshell, this type has two options: to return a specific value or to have no value at all. It’s possible to add an exclamation mark to a particular type to override a default value and specify a field. This type of mechanism ensures a value response in the returned results.

Each type handles the definition of type sets. In all cases, these types deal with possible queried data. Once GraphQL accesses the queries, it validates and executes them.

What are the Uses of GraphQL?

One of the most asked questions is how GraphQL works. To this, the answer is quite simple. GraphQL allows the definition of a data structure. Moreover, it considers the return of said structure from the same server.

The functional cycle provides for regulating the amount of data returned. What's more, this feature has great relevance to the effectiveness of the web cache. Further, it can add a level of complexity that is not worth it with simple APIs. That's why flexibility and richness are often-used concepts to define this language.

GraphQL offers a type system and a type of introspection. Also, it has static validation, query language, and execution semantics. It can also support writing, reading, and data changes with real-time updates. This is often applied when using WebHooks.

Servers powered by GraphQL are available for a large count of languages. Among the most known, there are Java, JavaScript, Python, PHP, C#, and C++. What's more, it's compatible with Haskel, Pearl, Go, Scale, and Clover, to name a few. Furthermore, various projects are available to ease the adoption of GraphQL, like Apollo, Graphback, Offix, and OpenAPI-to-GraphQL.

Is GraphQL a Database Management Software (DBMS)?

This is one of the most requested questions. Also, it's confusing within the development field. Yet, the answer is no, GraphQL is not a Database Management Software. The confusion comes as a misconception of the term. While GraphQL is a query language for API, it's not for a database. In a nutshell, it's a database-independent language. Furthermore, devs can use GraphQL with any database or even without a database.

What are the Benefits of Using GraphQL?

Devs can build a GraphQL back.end server without acknowledging the front-end side. With this tool, front-end devs can request info at any time. An example could be a list of users with their cars, profile pictures, and license plates.

During dev commands, it's possible to read databases on other platforms, like Rest APIs. Yet, GraphQL has a predominant relevance and speed over Rest API. That's because it makes it easier to choose the query fields. Thus, it consolidates a better learning curve. Also, GraphQL allows data collection from various sources with one API call.

What is an Example of GraphQL Development?

The best way to learn about this language is by looking at a series of sample queries and responses. We'll be showing this below as an example of a GraphQL project.

1. In the first step, GraphQL requests an API to give specific fields:
 me {
2. Next, a GraphQL API will return the result in a JSON format:
 "me": {
  "name": "Dorothy"
3. The user can also apply the use of arguments and be part of the query:
 human (id: "1000") {
4. Finally, the result looks like:
 "data": {
  "human": {
  "name": "Dorothy",
  "location": "Kansas"

GraphQL allows users to define reusable elements and determine various variables. Suppose a dev team wants to request a series of identifications and records. Using GraphQL, creating a single query with one API call is possible. If you're a GitHub user, a faster way to get a more convenient experience is to use GraphQL Explorer from GitHub.


This language has a series of tools that interfere with API development. It channels fast, has natural operations, and is independent of database access. Also, it's capable of supporting a large number of clients and languages. While GraphQL has many uses, it seeks to optimize data requesting and receiving. We hope you liked this article! Also, we expect it to clarify any doubts. As we know, with software products, success and agile minds go hand in hand. So, we can start asking ourselves: is GraphQL the future?