Migrate from Rest to GraphQL Workshop - Vladimir Novick

Repo:GitHub - vnovick/moving-from-rest-to-graphql: Moving from REST to GraphQL wor...

  • Lots of coding.
  • Everything is in the repo
  • Will be using breakout rooms
  • For each exercise make sure you checkout the other exercises

Problems with REST

  • We are having to send a separate request for ever user that we need.
  • In the client code, we are consolidating the requests that we are making.
  • We are getting data we don't need on this particular request - overfetching
  • We need to versioned, documented and helpful API points

All the steps we go through will be the same in making and executing a REST->GraphQL migration.

  • We were looking at the network tab, seeing the 4 network requests required by the page and then executing those same queries in an API client (or curl ;)). This was a total of 740kb.

GraphQL query language

  • GraphQL gives you only a single endpoint that we send a query to. In the body of the request, we send the query and variables as an object.
  • On the server there is a specific type system, so we can get a schema description of our API. There is type strictness.
  • The data we get back is the same shape as the query we send.
  • We're getting a bit of an overview of how to construct a GraphQL query.
  • As well as queries, we have mutations - update, delete, side-effects.
  • There is also a concept called subscription which is for real time updates.
  • Variables are provided with a JSON object

Q: The exercise asked us to use a client like Postman/Insomnia to test out the endpoints, I know Gatsby has a visual playground for GraphQL but do these clients work with GraphQL? A: Ah ha! It actually comes out of the box. GraphiQL.

Harald Q: Can the documentation show what fields are required in a mutation? A: It will when we are developing it locally, the web client shows the top level required (with an !).

GraphQL endpoint setup

  • We managed to create a query that could create a post and author at the same time. To do this, we created the author with a known UUID and then used that UUID for the author id in the create post query. These could be handled in one post request.

  • We create the typeDefs and then the resolvers - the resolvers return type must match the

  • We don't have to use Express as Apollo is a server itself.

  • It is a pretty basic setup:

  • We define the typeDefs and the resolvers, we then new up a new ApolloServer those in and mock the schema and finally we run the server with server.applyMiddleware({ app });

Design a GraphQL Schema by analyzing REST api

  • We have two endpoints.
  • We could separate out our typeDefs and resolvers either by domain or by function.
  • We can define a custom types (for posts, authors, etc.)
const authorType = gql`
  type Author {
    id: ID!
    name: String
    avatarUrl: String

Implementing temporary resolvers for Queries

  • Like with our single endpoint, we will set up typeDefs and resolvers. We'll then need to setup.

  • Here we are going to put a GraphQL layer between our request and response. In the first instance, we will query the rest API points from the GraphQL resolvers and parse the data into the correct form.

  • This removes the multiple requests from our client but it moves it onto the server.

Batch REST requests with REST Data Source

  • We can use the REST Data source to batch our sources so that we de-dupe requests.
  • When defining the ApolloServer we define dataSources property by supplying an extended instance of the base rest-data-source class.
  • In our resolvers, rather than fetching the data directly, we are going to get the data via the dataSources API we define.

Migrate to the same data source

  • The next stage is to use a cache the results in an in-memory cache.
  • This will reduce the need for disc access

Implement Mutations

  • This can be handled:
  Mutation: {
    insertAuthor: async (\_, {input}, {dataSources}) => {
      return dataSources.postsJsonAPI.insertAuthor(input)
  async insertAuthor(input) {
    const author = {
      id: uuidv4(),
    await this.add(’authors’, author)
    return author
  async add(key, data) {
    const result = await this.readFromCache(key)
    writeFile(this.jsonDbPath, JSON.stringify(result, null, 2))
    await this.keyValueCache.set(CACHE<sub>KEY</sub>, result)
  • ApolloServer can link into multiple datasources (REST, SQL, Redis, Memcached, ...)

Things to look at next:

  • Connectors
  • Client side migration
  • Go back over the repo and make sure I understand it
  • Think about how this could be possible in a serverless environment