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Why GraphQL Over REST API | Tanmai Gopal, Hasura 


Guest: Tanmai Gopal (LinkedIn, Twitter)
Company: Hasura (Twitter)
Show: Let’s Talk

Hasura is an open-source cloud infrastructure solution aiming to make data access simpler for modern application developers. According to Tanmai Gopal, CEO of Hasura, “The idea is that you have one or more data sources and the amount of data is increasing. You want to make sure that the data is accessible to developers who are building applications, or maybe developers in other teams or organizations, and they need access to this data.”

Instead of having to hire a team for this, with Hasura you spin up a container, point it to your data source, do a bit of configuration, set up some metadata, and you’ll have a secure, flexible, GraphQL API that your developers or data consumers can use to interact with the data.

Hasura recently announced a new Data Hub. Commenting on this new service, Gopal says, “Increasingly what’s happening is that some parts of your data, some systems of record, some sources of truth, some business objects are in different SaaS services.” Gopal continues, “What we’ve done is put together a declarative transformation engine that makes it possible to map really easily.” This transformation engine makes it so that you don’t have to write code to map that REST endpoint or that REST resource into something that is kind of native and feels like GraphQL. Gopal explains, “And now all of these REST APIs can be brought into the Hasura ecosystem to your Hasura-powered API through these kinds of transformations. We’re calling that the data hub.”

One reason Hasura chose to go the GraphQL route over REST, according to Gopal was, “Because now, instead of making five different API calls, 10 different API calls, I make one API call and I send the payload.” It also helps that GraphQL offers “faster integration, faster browsing, faster API exploration, built-in metadata.”

As to the trends in the GraphQL/REST space, Gopal indicates, “Unstructured data, structured data, JSON data is exploding.” Gopal adds, “You’re seeing, with serverless functions and with mobile web applications that are closer to the edge that are closer to the user, that experience is becoming really, really good from a developer’s point of view.”

The summary of the show is written by Jack Wallen

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