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GraphQL vs axios: What are the differences?


GraphQL and axios are both widely used in web development, but they have some key differences. In this article, we will discuss these differences and how they affect the development process.

  1. Data Fetching Approach: One of the major differences between GraphQL and axios is their approach to data fetching. GraphQL allows clients to define the structure of the response they need, and the server returns only the requested data. This eliminates over-fetching and under-fetching issues, making the data fetching process more efficient. On the other hand, axios follows a traditional RESTful approach where clients make separate API calls to different endpoints to retrieve specific data.

  2. Flexibility in Data Requests: With GraphQL, clients have the flexibility to request multiple resources in a single request. They can specify nested relationships and fetch related data in a more efficient manner. In contrast, axios requires separate API calls to fetch related data, resulting in more round trips and potentially slower performance.

  3. Response Size and Over-fetching: GraphQL enables the client to request only the required fields, preventing over-fetching of unnecessary data. This reduces the response size and improves performance, especially in situations where the network bandwidth is limited. Axios, on the other hand, retrieves the entire response from the server, including all the fields, even if the client only needs a subset of that data.

  4. Typing and Validation: GraphQL supports strong typing and validation of the data schema. Clients can define the expected structure of the response and the server enforces it accordingly. This reduces the chances of runtime errors due to incorrect data formats. Axios, being a JavaScript HTTP client library, does not provide built-in data typing and validation. Developers have to manually validate the data received from the server.

  5. Versioning and Backend Changes: When using GraphQL, adding new fields to the schema or deprecating existing ones can be done without breaking the client's code. Clients can choose which fields they want to retrieve, and the server can evolve the schema without impacting the clients. In contrast, with axios, any changes to the API's endpoints or responses require updates on the client side, potentially leading to breaking changes.

  6. Caching and Performance: GraphQL provides built-in caching mechanisms at the query level, allowing clients to retrieve data from cache when possible. This can significantly improve performance by reducing the number of network requests. Axios does not have built-in caching capabilities and relies on external libraries or manual implementation for caching.

In summary, GraphQL and axios differ in their data fetching approach, flexibility in data requests, response size and over-fetching, typing and validation, versioning and backend changes, as well as caching and performance optimizations.

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Pros of axios
Pros of GraphQL
    Be the first to leave a pro
    • 75
      Schemas defined by the requests made by the user
    • 63
      Will replace RESTful interfaces
    • 62
      The future of API's
    • 49
      The future of databases
    • 13
    • 12
      Get many resources in a single request
    • 6
      Query Language
    • 6
      Ask for what you need, get exactly that
    • 3
      Fetch different resources in one request
    • 3
      Type system
    • 3
      Evolve your API without versions
    • 2
      Ease of client creation
    • 2
    • 2
      Easy setup
    • 1
      "Open" document
    • 1
      Fast prototyping
    • 1
      Supports subscription
    • 1
    • 1
      Good for apps that query at build time. (SSR/Gatsby)
    • 1
      1. Describe your data
    • 1
      Better versioning
    • 1
      Backed by Facebook
    • 1
      Easy to learn

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    Cons of axios
    Cons of GraphQL
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      • 4
        Hard to migrate from GraphQL to another technology
      • 4
        More code to type.
      • 2
        Takes longer to build compared to schemaless.
      • 1
        No support for caching
      • 1
        All the pros sound like NFT pitches
      • 1
        No support for streaming
      • 1
        Works just like any other API at runtime
      • 1
        N+1 fetch problem
      • 1
        No built in security

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      - No public GitHub repository available -

      What is axios?

      It is a Javascript library used to make http requests from node.js or XMLHttpRequests from the browser and it supports the Promise API that is native to JS ES6.

      What is GraphQL?

      GraphQL is a data query language and runtime designed and used at Facebook to request and deliver data to mobile and web apps since 2012.

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      What companies use axios?
      What companies use GraphQL?
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