GraphQL Leaves Tech Preview
GraphQL Leaves Tech Preview
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Monday, 19 September 2016

Facebook has removed the 'technical preview' tag from GraphQL and relaunched

In reality, GraphQL has been ready for production use the whole time, and has been used by Facebook to deliver data to its mobile news feed since 2012. However, it was only made open source last year, and Facebook's caution about calling anything 'finished' resulted in the technical preview tag. 


GraphQL is a query language for APIs. Its purpose is to provide a complete description of the data in your API, which can then be used by clients to ask for specific data from the API. A GraphQL query is a string that is sent to a server to be interpreted and fulfilled, which then returns JSON back to the client. The developers differentiate the way GraphQL works as handling data not in terms of resource URLs, secondary keys, or join tables; rather as a graph of objects and the models ultimately used in apps like NSObjects or JSON.



GraphQL follows relationships between objects, unlike SQL where you'd need to define a potentially complex join, or RESTful services which may require multiple round-trips to retrieve a complex data set.




The reason for the delay in taking GraphQL off the preview list was Facebook developers making improvements to GraphQL, drafting a specification, and producing a reference implementation to help developers try it out. New versions of some of the tools within GraphQL were also developed. As these elements weren't fully proven, the whole thing was released as technical preview.
In the intervening year, the technology has been implemented in a range of languages including Java and JavaScript, Ruby, Python, Scala, Go, Elixir and C#.  As we reported today, Github has announced the Github GraphQL API,the first major public API to use GraphQL.
Facebook has now decided that GraphQL is ready for use by everyone, so it is now being labeled production ready. The API's website,, has also been revamped with clearer and more relevant content, and the Facebook developers say it's ready for use and
"can greatly simplify data needs for both client product developers and server-side engineers, regardless of what languages you're using in either environment."


Meanwhile GitHub, which has adopted GraphQL as a replacement for its own REST API, has provided Early Access to its GraphQL API, claiming on the GitHub Engineering Blog:

GraphQL represents a massive leap forward for API development. Type safety, introspection, generated documentation, and predictable responses benefit both the maintainers and consumers of our platform.


More Information


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