Going from Zero to Building Multi-Region GraphQL Applications

Rate this content
Bookmark

Off late GraphQL workloads see wide adoption in enterprise workloads as GraphQL provides a consistent and flexible way for UI to consume data from the APIs. For API developers like me, seeing GraphQL servers abstracting away the data filtering and the access patterns associated with backend APIs is a complete paradigm shift. Traditional API design tasks, like data modeling, access patterns required to implement high-performance Data APIs, are still relevant when implementing GraphQL applications?

This talk will walk you through the learnings as a backend API developer building a hello world GraphQL application to implement a globally distributed GraphQL API for a real-world e-commerce application. We will look into scaling and resiliency required for building high-performance GraphQL APIs. Also, look into how database capabilities play an essential role in implementing a successful GraphQL application.

8 min
02 Jul, 2021

AI Generated Video Summary

GraphQL is gaining rapid adoption, providing autonomy for UX developers to retrieve only the data they need. The use of GraphQL subscriptions allows for real-time updates without constant data polling. These features were evaluated in real-world use cases like e-commerce and order management systems.

1. Introduction to GraphQL and Evaluation

Short description:

I'm a software engineer at UgerbyteDB, a distributed SQL company. GraphQL is gaining rapid adoption, providing autonomy for UX developers to retrieve only the data they need. We wanted to understand the server-side concepts of GraphQL architecture and its fit with REST API development. We evaluated its performance and ease of production by using real-world use cases like e-commerce. We tested the GraphQL server's use of native database capabilities and its ability to handle varying traffic. We started with a simple table, the product catalog, and then moved on to a more complex dataset, the product ranking.

Hello everyone, thanks for joining, my name is Nikhil Chandrappa, I'm a software engineer at UgerbyteDB, we are a distributed SQL company. I work in the drivers and ecosystem team of UgerbyteDB, where we build integrations with popular developer tools.

Of late we are seeing a lot of interest in our community as well as from our users to build first-class support for GraphQL drive. If you do a quick Google Trend search, you will see GraphQL is gaining rapid adoption. For UX developers, GraphQL provides autonomy over creating the data, they are able to retrieve only the data they need right. For us, being a database company and also on a daily basis we work with the backend developers and API developers, it made sense for us to understand the server-side concepts of GraphQL architecture.

The GraphQL server which provides abstraction over the database for creating and mutating the data and also a few other advanced features like pagination, filtering, eventing. We wanted to see how all these things fit in with a general REST API development that we generally see. So an API developer would understand the business domain. He comes up with the domain objects. He implements all the access patterns around them. We wanted to see how graphQL server, how this all looks in graphQL server. For that, we wanted to use a real world use case. We considered e-commerce domain, which is well known. And also it provides challenges for both UX developers where they had to build an immersive, engaging experience and also API developers where they have to handle the, or where they have to implement the APIs for the randomness of the traffic.

So it's not always constant. It scales based on the user traffic, you have to scale up your APIs or scale down and also API needs to be available all the time. This is a general microservices architecture you will see for e-commerce applications. You'll have a bunch of microservices as exposed as a rest API, and this rest API will be consumed by the UI applications or the UX developers to implement UX apps. So it probably is a very quick sell for them to move to graphQL rather than going through entire docs. For us, during our evaluation, we wanted to see how well the graph qL server can use the native database capabilities. Is it performant or not? And how easy is it to get to production, right?

For that, we first wanted to use one of our simple tables, the product catalog. It doesn't have a complex access pattern. You get the product ID in the request and you send back the product details, right? It was a quick win for us. If you see from this complex JSON object that was being sent on the response. Now, Graphql clients are the UX applications can only retrieve the data they need. Once we dipped our toes in the water when we felt comfortable with the Graphql applications. So we wanted to have a much more complex table or the dataset coming into the picture. We took the product ranking which has a few things going on there. You have to filter the data based on the category and also sort it based on the ranking.

2. Using GraphQL Subscriptions for Real-Time Updates

Short description:

GraphQL simplifies the feedback loop between the API developer and the UX developers. It provides first-class support for subscriptions, allowing real-time updates without the need for constant data polling. We utilized GraphQL subscriptions in our order management system to track user orders and their status, eliminating the need for manual data retrieval.

So some of this happens on the database and few of these filtering is also happening on the API layer. One thing we quickly understood was any crud against these tables is super easy and it's fast. It leads to a faster prototyping where UX developer, you need not do back and forth with them.

As in when we were bringing more tables, we soon realized building all these domain mappings and the resolvers is kind of a complex task. It's not something you can have a couple of spins and you have to have robust GraphQL server. But that's where we kind of wanted to pivot to use some of the popular open source and GraphQL implement server implementations out there. So we kind of pivoted from that to use the open source tools.

In our research, what we kind of found out was all these tools have first class support for subscriptions, right? First class support for even based systems using GraphQL subscriptions, we wanted to use that. So in our iteration two, we kind of wanted to use GraphQL subscription. So we use it for a order management system where you want to track all the user orders and the status for them. We were super this kind of solves a lot of issues, right? You don't have to pull for the data, whenever there's a new status update, you kind of get the notification.

Check out more articles and videos

We constantly think of articles and videos that might spark Git people interest / skill us up or help building a stellar career

React Advanced Conference 2022React Advanced Conference 2022
25 min
A Guide to React Rendering Behavior
React is a library for "rendering" UI from components, but many users find themselves confused about how React rendering actually works. What do terms like "rendering", "reconciliation", "Fibers", and "committing" actually mean? When do renders happen? How does Context affect rendering, and how do libraries like Redux cause updates? In this talk, we'll clear up the confusion and provide a solid foundation for understanding when, why, and how React renders. We'll look at: - What "rendering" actually is - How React queues renders and the standard rendering behavior - How keys and component types are used in rendering - Techniques for optimizing render performance - How context usage affects rendering behavior| - How external libraries tie into React rendering
React Summit 2023React Summit 2023
32 min
Speeding Up Your React App With Less JavaScript
Too much JavaScript is getting you down? New frameworks promising no JavaScript look interesting, but you have an existing React application to maintain. What if Qwik React is your answer for faster applications startup and better user experience? Qwik React allows you to easily turn your React application into a collection of islands, which can be SSRed and delayed hydrated, and in some instances, hydration skipped altogether. And all of this in an incremental way without a rewrite.
React Summit 2023React Summit 2023
23 min
React Concurrency, Explained
React 18! Concurrent features! You might’ve already tried the new APIs like useTransition, or you might’ve just heard of them. But do you know how React 18 achieves the performance wins it brings with itself? In this talk, let’s peek under the hood of React 18’s performance features: - How React 18 lowers the time your page stays frozen (aka TBT) - What exactly happens in the main thread when you run useTransition() - What’s the catch with the improvements (there’s no free cake!), and why Vue.js and Preact straight refused to ship anything similar
JSNation 2022JSNation 2022
21 min
The Future of Performance Tooling
Our understanding of performance & user-experience has heavily evolved over the years. Web Developer Tooling needs to similarly evolve to make sure it is user-centric, actionable and contextual where modern experiences are concerned. In this talk, Addy will walk you through Chrome and others have been thinking about this problem and what updates they've been making to performance tools to lower the friction for building great experiences on the web.
GraphQL Galaxy 2021GraphQL Galaxy 2021
32 min
From GraphQL Zero to GraphQL Hero with RedwoodJS
We all love GraphQL, but it can be daunting to get a server up and running and keep your code organized, maintainable, and testable over the long term. No more! Come watch as I go from an empty directory to a fully fledged GraphQL API in minutes flat. Plus, see how easy it is to use and create directives to clean up your code even more. You're gonna love GraphQL even more once you make things Redwood Easy!
Vue.js London Live 2021Vue.js London Live 2021
24 min
Local State and Server Cache: Finding a Balance
How many times did you implement the same flow in your application: check, if data is already fetched from the server, if yes - render the data, if not - fetch this data and then render it? I think I've done it more than ten times myself and I've seen the question about this flow more than fifty times. Unfortunately, our go-to state management library, Vuex, doesn't provide any solution for this.For GraphQL-based application, there was an alternative to use Apollo client that provided tools for working with the cache. But what if you use REST? Luckily, now we have a Vue alternative to a react-query library that provides a nice solution for working with server cache. In this talk, I will explain the distinction between local application state and local server cache and do some live coding to show how to work with the latter.

Workshops on related topic

React Summit 2023React Summit 2023
170 min
React Performance Debugging Masterclass
Featured WorkshopFree
Ivan’s first attempts at performance debugging were chaotic. He would see a slow interaction, try a random optimization, see that it didn't help, and keep trying other optimizations until he found the right one (or gave up).
Back then, Ivan didn’t know how to use performance devtools well. He would do a recording in Chrome DevTools or React Profiler, poke around it, try clicking random things, and then close it in frustration a few minutes later. Now, Ivan knows exactly where and what to look for. And in this workshop, Ivan will teach you that too.
Here’s how this is going to work. We’ll take a slow app → debug it (using tools like Chrome DevTools, React Profiler, and why-did-you-render) → pinpoint the bottleneck → and then repeat, several times more. We won’t talk about the solutions (in 90% of the cases, it’s just the ol’ regular useMemo() or memo()). But we’ll talk about everything that comes before – and learn how to analyze any React performance problem, step by step.
(Note: This workshop is best suited for engineers who are already familiar with how useMemo() and memo() work – but want to get better at using the performance tools around React. Also, we’ll be covering interaction performance, not load speed, so you won’t hear a word about Lighthouse 🤐)
GraphQL Galaxy 2021GraphQL Galaxy 2021
140 min
Build with SvelteKit and GraphQL
Featured WorkshopFree
Have you ever thought about building something that doesn't require a lot of boilerplate with a tiny bundle size? In this workshop, Scott Spence will go from hello world to covering routing and using endpoints in SvelteKit. You'll set up a backend GraphQL API then use GraphQL queries with SvelteKit to display the GraphQL API data. You'll build a fast secure project that uses SvelteKit's features, then deploy it as a fully static site. This course is for the Svelte curious who haven't had extensive experience with SvelteKit and want a deeper understanding of how to use it in practical applications.

Table of contents:
- Kick-off and Svelte introduction
- Initialise frontend project
- Tour of the SvelteKit skeleton project
- Configure backend project
- Query Data with GraphQL
- Fetching data to the frontend with GraphQL
- Styling
- Svelte directives
- Routing in SvelteKit
- Endpoints in SvelteKit
- Deploying to Netlify
- Navigation
- Mutations in GraphCMS
- Sending GraphQL Mutations via SvelteKit
- Q&A
React Summit 2023React Summit 2023
145 min
React at Scale with Nx
Featured WorkshopFree
We're going to be using Nx and some its plugins to accelerate the development of this app.
Some of the things you'll learn:- Generating a pristine Nx workspace- Generating frontend React apps and backend APIs inside your workspace, with pre-configured proxies- Creating shared libs for re-using code- Generating new routed components with all the routes pre-configured by Nx and ready to go- How to organize code in a monorepo- Easily move libs around your folder structure- Creating Storybook stories and e2e Cypress tests for your components
Table of contents: - Lab 1 - Generate an empty workspace- Lab 2 - Generate a React app- Lab 3 - Executors- Lab 3.1 - Migrations- Lab 4 - Generate a component lib- Lab 5 - Generate a utility lib- Lab 6 - Generate a route lib- Lab 7 - Add an Express API- Lab 8 - Displaying a full game in the routed game-detail component- Lab 9 - Generate a type lib that the API and frontend can share- Lab 10 - Generate Storybook stories for the shared ui component- Lab 11 - E2E test the shared component
JSNation 2023JSNation 2023
170 min
Building WebApps That Light Up the Internet with QwikCity
Featured WorkshopFree
Building instant-on web applications at scale have been elusive. Real-world sites need tracking, analytics, and complex user interfaces and interactions. We always start with the best intentions but end up with a less-than-ideal site.
QwikCity is a new meta-framework that allows you to build large-scale applications with constant startup-up performance. We will look at how to build a QwikCity application and what makes it unique. The workshop will show you how to set up a QwikCitp project. How routing works with layout. The demo application will fetch data and present it to the user in an editable form. And finally, how one can use authentication. All of the basic parts for any large-scale applications.
Along the way, we will also look at what makes Qwik unique, and how resumability enables constant startup performance no matter the application complexity.
React Advanced Conference 2022React Advanced Conference 2022
95 min
End-To-End Type Safety with React, GraphQL & Prisma
Featured WorkshopFree
In this workshop, you will get a first-hand look at what end-to-end type safety is and why it is important. To accomplish this, you’ll be building a GraphQL API using modern, relevant tools which will be consumed by a React client.
Prerequisites: - Node.js installed on your machine (12.2.X / 14.X)- It is recommended (but not required) to use VS Code for the practical tasks- An IDE installed (VSCode recommended)- (Good to have)*A basic understanding of Node.js, React, and TypeScript
GraphQL Galaxy 2022GraphQL Galaxy 2022
112 min
GraphQL for React Developers
Featured Workshop
There are many advantages to using GraphQL as a datasource for frontend development, compared to REST APIs. We developers in example need to write a lot of imperative code to retrieve data to display in our applications and handle state. With GraphQL you cannot only decrease the amount of code needed around data fetching and state-management you'll also get increased flexibility, better performance and most of all an improved developer experience. In this workshop you'll learn how GraphQL can improve your work as a frontend developer and how to handle GraphQL in your frontend React application.