What is the difference between REST API & GraphQL

REST API and GraphQL are the two popular terms that procure software architecture style and open-source data query respectively. Both the above APIs (Application Programming Interface) allow the implementation of multiple types of calls, types of requests, and optimization of hypermedia. In this blog, you will learn about REST API and GraphQL API with their respective features, advantages/disadvantages, and key differences. And as a bonus, we will also help you find out which one is better.

What is the REST API?

REST API is a software architectural system that interprets the possible limitations that arise while creating web services. It is a programming interface that offers the flexibility to deal with data formatting, multiple types of calls, and the implementation of hypermedia. REST Application Programming Interface is an approach to web services that enables data storage and retrieval of data if required. This is not dependent on any code libraries, unlike pre-REST APIs.

Features of REST API

  • Resources are handily accessible for REST API. developers.
  • It offers a uniform interface.
  • Mapping of database resources in the application is quicker with the REST API endpoint.
  • The Application Programming Interface of REST supports more than one server at a time.
  • It delivers simple architecture and patterns.
  • For meeting the client's demand the REST API scales up the performance as per the need.
  • It offers the leverage of storing databases frequently in the memory.
  • It enables easy transmission of data and encourages lenient sending and receiving of data.

Advantages of REST API

  • Scaling software is easy with REST API.
  • Adaptation and building take no time with REST API.
  • Implementation of protocols is easy for developers using REST API.
  • With REST API client machines don't require routing details.
  • Meeting user-specific requirements for developers is easy with REST API.
  • REST facilitates the building of the process instances.
  • With REST API there is a vast scope of exposure for developers.

Disadvantages of REST API

  • Maintenance of the records of previous interactions between server and client is the place where REST API is lacking.
  • For retrieving multiple data from different endpoints, you need to request REST API for that permission to commit retrieval for two more endpoints.
  • No limited field option is available.
  • It doesn't support manipulating nested resources.
  • Data searching structures are quite basic.
  • It doesn't allow query validation.
  • API deprecations, addition, and charges are not handled by REST.
  • Tools for tooling and framework are not available.

What is GraphQL API?

GraphQL API is an open-source data query that contributes to manipulating language for APIs. It is a unique and modern alternative to the REST API. GraphQL allows deployment within the IDE, which stands for Integrated Development Environment. It is developed for Facebook for query execution within the exciting data. It facilitates data loading into the client's server. It offers the leverage of selecting the types of requests they would prefer implying and also it can optimize calls of REST API.

Features of GraphQL API

  • Defining variables is not required before using, it is statistically typed.
  • GraphQL enables decoupling the frontend from the backend.
  • Under fetching and over fetching of data is not there with GraphQL.
  • It facilitates you to save your bandwidth.
  • It offers free documentation.
  • GraphQL is a language and HTTP agnostic.

Advantages of GraphQL API

  • It offers declarative query language.
  • GraphQL is product-centric and hierarchical.
  • GraphQL allows query execution within the context of a particular system, it is strongly typed.
  • Queries are encoded in clients, not the server.
  • It enables human-readable queries.
  • Modifying requests to your need.
  • GraphQL offers you to excavate schema in an appropriate matter.
  • It supports fetching data from a single API.
  • It facilities easy dealing with numerous databases.
  • GraphQL is known for quick application prototyping.
  • No versioning is required for API evolution.
  • Query batching and catching are easy with GraphQL.

Disadvantages of GraphQL API

  • It lacks the part of backend resources.
  • Design patterns for complex apps are missing.
  • GraphQL does not offer performance optimization with complex queries.
  • Learning GraphQL Schema Definition Language is significant for implementing GraphQL strategies.
  • It is not based on the HTTP coaching method which usually helps in storing request contents.
  • Not suitable for simple applications since it comes with complexity.
  • It is based on a single endpoint instead of HTTP.
  • It overkills smart applications.

Difference between REST API & GraphQL API

1 REST API is a software architectural style that interprets the sets of restraints for building web services. GraphQL is the application layer server-side technology used with Facebook for executing queries for existing data.
2 It is a server-driven interface. It is client-driven.
3 It can be organized in endpoint support. It is arranged in terms of schema.
4 It is an old, vast, and well-known community. GraphQL is at its growing stage.
5 The development speed is slow. The Development speed is pretty fast.
6 The REST APIs learning curve is quite moderate. The Learning curve of GraphQL is difficult.
7 The endpoint is the identity of an object in REST. The identity for GraphQL is separated from the fetching procedure.
8 The shape and size of the resources can be identified by the REST server. Here the server determines the available resources.
9 It's hard to stay consistent across all platforms using REST API. It offers consistency across all related platforms.
10 Multiple endpoints. Single endpoints.
11 It doesn't support machine-readable metadata cacheable. GraphQL used metadata for query validation.

Which one is better between REST API and GraphQL API

REST has served as the standard API for deploying and inaugurating without anticipating any technical initialization or libraries. The REST architecture embarked on compelling machine-to-machine broadcast manageable using the HTTP protocols. It had been a promising substitute for the formerly manipulated open protocols. However, GraphQL is a practical substitute to the RESTful API since it's simpler to understand, considerably cleaner, and less time-consuming. GraphQL deducts the accumulation of data by obtaining the server for the clients in a private single query. Whereas, the backward with this one is that it lacks the management of caches. Both REST API and GraphQL have their pros and cons, however, developers consider using GraphQL move because it's faster, cleaner, and easier to understand.


Reading this blog will help you understand mostly everything about REST API and GraphQL from their definitions to features to the advantages and disadvantages respectively. You will find thoroughly explained differences between REST API and GraphQL in a tabular format for better and smoother understanding. Along with that at the end, you will find a bonus that tells you which one is better among the above two. Read the blog entirely for a better understanding.


REST is the acronym used for Representational state transfer. It is a software architectural style that interprets a uniform interface between decoupled components over the Internet in a Client-Server architecture.

GraphQL is an open-source data query and it manipulates language for APIs and a runtime for fulfilling queries with existing data.

API means an Application Programming Interface. It is a way for two or more computer programs to communicate with each other. It is a type of software interface, that offers a service to other pieces of software.

It is neither the frontend nor backend but rather the language spoken between the two to exchange information fairly known as GraphQL.

No GraphQL is not REST API. The difference between GraphQL and REST APIs is that GraphQL is a specification and a query language whereas REST is an architectural theory for network-based software.

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