GraphQL vs. REST: Which API Style is More Efficient?

As more organizations move towards digital transformation and adoption of new technologies, the debate intensifies as to which API style is more efficient: GraphQL or REST? Does GraphQL make the promise of improving efficiency in a way that REST cannot? Are there trade-offs that may be considered when choosing between the two?

According to Harvard Business Review, the digitization of legacy systems who rely on REST-based architectures could be cumbersome and time-consuming. The article mentions that GraphQL has become increasingly popular as the API design of choice for developers and architects alike, due to its ability to aggregate data from multiple sources and allow for more scalability in an organization’s design. Additionally, the speed advantage of GraphQL has been documented by the University of Aberdeen, which identified that applications exploiting GraphQL were able to achieve 10-100x faster performance than their REST-based alternatives.

In this article, You will learn more in depth about the differences between GraphQL and REST, the benefits of each, the potential trade-offs that exist when deciding which to use, and the real-world implications that developers have experienced when building out their applications. We’ll dive into the tools and techniques organizations are deploying today, from sample schemas to the pros and cons of caching. The ultimate goal is to provide the reader with a comprehensive understanding of the pros and cons of GraphQL and REST architectures.

GraphQL vs. REST: Which API Style is More Efficient?


In the world of application programming interfaces (APIs), two designs dominate the landscape: the Representational State Transfer (REST) and the GraphQL. Both are programmatic approaches to retrieving data from a server, and they each bring their own advantages and disadvantages. Here, we will define both of these technologies and explore which is more efficient for data retrieval.

GraphQL is an open-source data query language created by Facebook. It allows clients to send a single request for data, which is then sent from the server back in a requested format. GraphQL allows developers to join data from multiple sources in one query, something that is often not possible with a typical REST API request.

REST or RESTful is a software architectural style that uses HTTP requests to create, read, update, and delete (CRUD) operations on data. A typical REST API requires many endpoints, as data is spread out across different sources, and the client must access each separately using different HTTP requests.

Both GraphQL and REST APIs are highly beneficial to app development, but it depends on the application’s use-case as to which is more effective. GraphQL excels in fetching hierarchical data in a few requests while REST often requires multiple. In contrast, when using REST, data filters can be used to help narrow down the scope of what needs to be retrieved. In addition, REST is better suited for applications that require frequent updates or changes to the operating system.

Uncovering GraphQL and REST: Key Features

GraphQL vs. REST – An Exploration

The demand for scalable and efficient APIs has grown immensely since the launch of the World Wide Web more than 25 years ago. Today, two distinct approaches to designing web-based Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have emerged – GraphQL and REST. Now, web developers are left scratching their heads to determine which of these technologies offers more efficient access to the data they require.
GraphQL was initiated in 2012 as an open source query language developed and maintained by Facebook. GraphQL provides users with greater flexibility in specifying the information needed from an API, giving them sub-data extraction capabilities not found in REST implementations. Developers can design a query in GraphQL which retrieve only the data required by the application, rather than data overages or underdeliveries. This means faster responses delivered only for those pieces of information needed at the moment.
Another major benefit of GraphQL is that data can be accessed from many services through one single entry point, i.e. one endpoint. This allows for more data to be accessed with fewer retrievals, offering great scalability and efficient data handling. On the other hand, in the case of REST, each resource requires its own endpoint.
Though both GraphQL and REST make use of HTTP architecture, they differ in how they treat the requested data. GraphQL maintains a hierarchical structure, allowing one layer of data to access another without repeated requests to the server. REST requires multiple round trips between the user and the system, making it relatively slower for larger databases.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Like every other technology, GraphQL and REST have their respective strengths and weaknesses. Let’s take a look at them:

  • GraphQL:
    • Advantages:
      • Quicker response time
      • Greater flexibility
      • Scalable resource planning
    • Disadvantages:
      • Steep learning curve
      • More complex architecture
  • REST:
    • Advantages:
      • Simple API interface
      • Ease of implementation
    • Disadvantages:
      • Higher latency
      • More rigid structure
      • Inefficient resource usage

When it comes to scalability, performance, and flexibility, GraphQL stands out among the two API styles. It helps developers to define schemas, specify how data can be retrieved, and ensures that only the necessary data is returned with each query. As such, GraphQL is the clear winner when it comes to designing efficient APIs.

Exploring the Benefits of GraphQL and REST: Pros and Cons

A Profound Debate

It is a question that has been debated among technology experts for years. With the fast-paced evolution of the IT industry, there is no denying that the landscape of application development has drastically changed. With two distinct approaches: GraphQL and REST, how can developers determine which API style is more efficient?

Countless Advantages

When taking a closer look at both APIs, it is evident that GraphQL and REST both have their advantages. Regarding REST, developers can use the same endpoint for different requests, making it easy to work with various types of data. While GraphQL requires multiple requests to obtain data, fields can be requested as needed, which eliminates the need for unwanted information and increases application performance. So, which protocol is better? Is it possible that both can be used to create dependable and efficient applications?
One way to explore this topic is to weigh the pros and cons of each API and note their similarities and differences. GraphQL, for example, focuses on fetching needed data, avoiding over and under-fetching of data. It also simplifies API access requirements – allowing for shorter and simpler code. On the other hand, REST relies on HTTP status codes, making it easier for developers to find errors. Its structure also allows developers to send multiple requests at the same time, reducing latencies.
Can developers use both GraphQL and REST in the same application? The short answer is, yes. With careful consideration and proper strategizing for each use-case, developers can create powerful applications and take advantage of the features of each style. By prioritizing what each protocol does best – whether it is performance or scalability – developers can craft smart solutions that are adapted to their business logic.
The choice between GraphQL and REST boils down to the purpose and the end goal of the application. As the IT industry continues to evolve, so will the development protocols that are available. While there are distinct advantages and disadvantages associated with each one, careful exploration and development can lead to the most suitable and efficient application. Thought-provoking question: Could the balance between GraphQL and REST be the key to creating the most reliable application?

Understanding the Popularity of GraphQL and REST: Trends

The Age of GraphQL: The Increasing Popularity of APIs

The world of technology has awoken a new dawn, one in which owning a website is as common as owning a fridge. Nowadays, developers have been presented with a wealth of options when creating a website or an application: their choices include platforms such as GraphQL and REST, both of which have their merits. However, such a range of options calls into question which of the two APIs is more efficient.

GraphQL vs. REST: Is One Apparently Better than the Other?

One serving as a potential answer to the question of an efficient API is GraphQL. Essentially, GraphQL enables developers to uncover and execute only the data that is needed, consequently affecting the network power used to execute queries. Additionally, GraphQL API’s are self-descriptive—answering all the expected questions like an example can be a query like ‘what about pagination?’, etc. Furthermore, unlike REST APIs, GraphQL comes as a single endpoint, hence thrashing out the requirement of more endpoints for executing varied requests.
But, while GraphQL appears to win this challenge of efficiency, REST is far from being a bad choice. REST APIs can have an architecture which controls multiple call formats, including GET, POST, and DELETE. Moreover, when working with a steady platform, the uniformity of the application makes making changes simpler for developers, consequently improving the overall efficiency. Additionally, these APIs also produce human-readable web pages, allowing the developers to craft the end product in an easier manner.
So, how does one decide which API suits them? The answer arises in the form of questioning one’s circumstance. If a developer requires an API for a more collaborative approach, then clearly REST will provide a better option. However, in the case where the project requires ensuring maximum utilization of the network power, then GraphQL might be the best option. And as the popularity of both methods races ahead, one can expect more advancement in the features of each platform, consequently creating an ideal API trend.
But one question remains—will the technology be able to create the optimal convergence of both REST and GraphQL APIs? If so, then this new API style might just be the answer to the efficiency crisis of the tech industry.


The modern world relies heavily on information being easily accessible in real-time. It is only natural that we should ask ourselves which API style is more efficient for providing this necessary data. Is GraphQL more efficient than the traditional REST API or do they each have their own strengths and weaknesses?
In a world where both a vast amount of data and highly efficient API styles are expected, can we pitch the two API styles against each other and come to a conclusion? To this end, understanding both the advantages and disadvantages of GraphQL and REST is necessary to make an informed decision about the best API for particular use cases.
Rather than looking for a definitive answer to this question here, we hope to start a discussion. Follow our blog for further discussion of the differences between GraphQL and REST, examining research, case studies and user experiences to ultimately decide which is more efficient. If you are looking for the answer to this question now, unfortunately you will have to wait for our next release.

In the end, it is important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to API design. The efficiency of GraphQL vs. REST API style should be judged based on the specific needs of the project and the users.


Q1: What is GraphQL?
A1: GraphQL is a data query language designed to improve the performance of data transmission and retrieval. It provides an alternative to RESTful API architectures, enabling developers to interact with and query data sources quickly and easily.
Q2: What are the benefits of GraphQL?
A2: GraphQL enables developers to retrieve only the data they need for their applications, without having to download entire datasets. This makes data more efficient, reducing page load times and saving bandwidth. It also makes it easier to request data from multiple sources, allowing for more complex API calls.
Q3: Why should I use GraphQL instead of REST?
A3: GraphQL is particularly advantageous for mobile and web applications that need to transmit large amounts of data. It provides the ability to query only the specific data needed, which can drastically reduce page load times compared to REST. Additionally, GraphQL makes it easier to request data from multiple sources with one API call.
Q4: What kinds of queries can be made with GraphQL?
A4: GraphQL can be used to query data from multiple sources, including relational databases, object-oriented databases, and third-party APIs. It can also make complex queries, including nested and conditional queries, as well as queries for multiple data points from different sources.
Q5: What kind of authentication does GraphQL use?
A5: GraphQL uses token-based authentication. This means that developers must generate a unique token for each API call to identify themselves and verify their access to the requested data. This is a more secure method of authentication than traditional username/password authentication, as tokens can be revoked if needed.