GraphQL has become a key technology in the API space, with many organizations adopting it into their ecosystems. Compared to REST APIs, GraphQL provides more flexibility and benefits, along with new challenges.
I recently attended GraphQLConf 2023, where experts and users came together to discuss the future of GraphQL. Here are seven key insights on GraphQL trends for the coming years:
1. GraphQL at scale
Enterprise adoption of GraphQL is growing rapidly. It is predicted that by 2025, more than 50% of enterprises will use GraphQL in production. Companies like Pinterest, AWS, Meta, Salesforce, Netflix, Coinbase, and Atlassian were represented at the conference.
2. API management for GraphQL
API management software should be used with GraphQL to maximize its benefits. Optimizing GraphQL API performance requires query cost analysis and rate limiting based on connected data sources. Observability and rate limiting were discussed as important aspects of API management for GraphQL.
3. GraphQL security
Security for GraphQL APIs is crucial as adoption increases. Specific vulnerabilities like complexity issues and schema leaks were highlighted at the conference. Standard security threats also apply to GraphQL APIs and can be managed with API management solutions.
4. Declarative, SDL-first GraphQL API development
There are two approaches to building GraphQL APIs: “code-first” and “schema-first.” A new emerging approach called “SDL-first” combines the schema and business logic directly inside the GraphQL schema.
5. Incremental delivery of streaming data
Streaming data in GraphQL is becoming more relevant. New built-in directives called “@stream” and “@defer” will be introduced to handle incremental delivery of data and make GraphQL compatible with asynchronous or event-driven data sources.
6. Open specification for GraphQL federation
GraphQL federation brings multiple APIs together to consume all their data from a single API. An open specification for GraphQL federation is being developed under the GraphQL Foundation, with IBM joining efforts with other leading companies.
7. GraphQL and AI
AI poses challenges and opportunities for GraphQL. It raises questions about building GraphQL APIs in an AI-dominated world and how AI can help with security vulnerabilities. IBM has presented on the role of GraphQL in AI and API integration.
With the growing adoption of GraphQL, IBM is helping organizations develop production-level GraphQL APIs quickly. Learn more about GraphQL capabilities in IBM API Connect and how to get started for free.