GraphQL vs Rails: What are the differences?
GraphQL: A data query language and runtime. 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; Rails: Web development that doesn't hurt. Rails is a web-application framework that includes everything needed to create database-backed web applications according to the Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern.
GraphQL belongs to "Query Languages" category of the tech stack, while Rails can be primarily classified under "Frameworks (Full Stack)".
"Schemas defined by the requests made by the user", "Will replace RESTful interfaces" and "The future of API's" are the key factors why developers consider GraphQL; whereas "Rapid development", "Great gems" and "Great community" are the primary reasons why Rails is favored.
GraphQL and Rails are both open source tools. It seems that Rails with 43.6K GitHub stars and 17.5K forks on GitHub has more adoption than GraphQL with 11.7K GitHub stars and 753 GitHub forks.
According to the StackShare community, Rails has a broader approval, being mentioned in 2321 company stacks & 796 developers stacks; compared to GraphQL, which is listed in 559 company stacks and 748 developer stacks.
What is GraphQL?
What is Rails?
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The first live version of Leanstack was actually a WordPress site. There wasn’t a whole lot going on at first. We had static pages with static content that needed to be updated manually. Then came the concept of user-generated content and we made the switch to a full on Rails app in November of last year. Nick had a lot of experience with Rails so that made the decision pretty easy. But I had also played around with Rails previously and was comfortable working with it. I also knew I’d need to hire engineers with a lot more experience building web apps than I do, so I wanted to go with a language and framework other people would have experience with. Also, the sheer number of gems and tools available for Rails is pretty amazing (shout to RubyToolbox ).
I don’t see us ever having to move away from Rails really, but I could be wrong. Leanstack was built in Rails 3. For StackShare we decided to upgrade to Rails 4. Biggest issue with that has been caching. DHH decided to remove the standard page and action caching in favor of key-based caching (source)[http://edgeguides.rubyonrails.org/caching_with_rails.html#page-caching]. Probably a good thing from a framework-perspective. But pretty shitty to have to learn about that after testing out your new app and realizing nothing is cached anymore :( We’ll need to spend some more time implementing "Russian Doll Caching", but for now we’ve got a random mixture of fragment and action caching (usually one or the other) based on which pages are most popular.
We use Rails for webpages and projects, not for backend services. Actually if you click through our website, you won't notice it but you're clicking though, I think, seven or eight different Rails projects. We tie those all together with a front-end library that we wrote, which basically makes sure that you have a consistent experience over all these different Rails apps.
It's a gem, we call it Karmeleon. It's not a gem that we released. It's an internal gem. Basically what it does is it makes sure that we have a consistent layout across multiple Rails apps. Then we can share stuff like a menu bar or footer or that kind of stuff.
So if we start a new front end project it's always a Rails application. We pull in the Karmeleon gem with all our styling stuff and then basically the application is almost ready to be deployed. That would be an empty page, but you would still have top bar, footer, you have some custom components that you can immediately use. So it kind of bootstraps our entire project to be a front end project.
Web has always been in Rails from the beginning, so we used Redis for caching our items, which we had, from the beginning. Rails is kind of what we were comfortable with, and we knew we wanted the front end to be really, really snappy, so we de-normalized all the item attributes into Redis, and that's how it got served out.
Rails 5 (beta 3) provided a nice structure for rendering responses, linking to front-end assets (compiled previously via Webpack), handling sessions w/ tailor made login links via an email button/token, background jobs, and creating an admin behind basic auth to allow managing of users and purchases.
For this project rails was ideal due to new features introduced in Rails 5 that allowed us to build a lightweight "API only" project. Developer familiarity and the ability to rapidly iterate, as well as providing an accessible testing framework were additional factors.
GraphQL will be used as the public API for the data persistence layer. It communicates nicely with all other languages and can provide API responses in the format specified in the request.
Applied GraphQL in a side-project I'm currently working on. Using the Apollo GraphQL implementation for both server-side and React client.
From Magento 2.3 GraphQL is provider by a core implementation, this is used to implement PWA frontend.