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OXID eShop, a popular e-commerce platform, has now integrated native support for GraphQL. But what exactly is GraphQL and how can it be used in OXID eShop?

What is GraphQL?

GraphQL is a flexible query language developed by Facebook. Unlike traditional REST APIs, GraphQL does not have fixed endpoints for specific functions. Instead, the client specifies what data it needs, and the server returns exactly the data requested. This means that the client only needs to retrieve the data it needs, rather than the entire data set as with REST.

What does this mean exactly?

One of the main differences between GraphQL and REST is how data is retrieved.

With REST, there are fixed endpoints for each function that an API provides. When a client wants to retrieve data, it sends an HTTP request to the appropriate endpoint and the server sends back the entire data set. This can result in the client receiving more data than is actually needed, which can lead to unnecessary traffic.

With GraphQL, on the other hand, the client specifies what data it needs by sending a GraphQL query to the server. The server then sends back only the requested data, rather than the entire data set. This means that the client only needs to retrieve the data it needs, rather than the entire dataset as with REST.

Another difference between GraphQL and REST is that GraphQL allows the client to combine multiple requests into a single query. With REST, multiple HTTP requests must be sent to get the same data.

Examples:

An online shop uses REST API to provide endpoints for querying product and category data. If a client wants to retrieve all products and categories, it must send two separate HTTP requests, one to the product endpoint and one to the category endpoint. Using GraphQL, the client could instead send a single query containing both sets of data.

A social media network uses REST API to provide endpoints for querying user profiles and posts. If a client wants to retrieve a user's profile and all of the user's posts, it must send two separate HTTP requests, one to the profile endpoint and one to the post endpoint. Using GraphQL, the client could instead send a single query containing both sets of data.

How can GraphQL be used in OXID eShop?

GraphQL can be used in OXID eShop in several ways. One way is to use GraphQL to retrieve product data. This includes information such as product name, price and description.

Another example is to use GraphQL to retrieve orders and customer information. This can be used, for example, to integrate CRM systems or to display order histories on the customer account page.

Advantages of GraphQL

Besides the flexibility to retrieve only the data you need, there are other advantages that GraphQL offers in OXID eShop.

One of these benefits is the ability to combine multiple requests into a single query. This can reduce the number of HTTP requests required and thus improve the page load time.

Another advantage of GraphQL is the ability to specify the server's responses. This means that the client can specify exactly which fields should be included in the response, which in turn leads to better control over the data that is received from the server.

Conclusion

Overall, the integration of GraphQL in OXID eShop offers many benefits, such as flexibility in querying data, the ability to combine multiple queries and the ability to specify the server's responses. This can help improve page load time and increase control over the data received. The integration of GraphQL in OXID eShop is an important step to further improve the functionality and usability of the platform.