Flexible Data Access with Graph APIs

With the digital experience spanning multiple platforms, we need data access APIs that support a variety of user interfaces built in different technologies.
Laurence Rowe

Laurence Rowe

Length: Long Talk

Target Level: Intermediate

Target Audience: Developer

Resource centric REST APIs are often a poor fit for web pages and app screens that pull together and present information from across your data model. Graph APIs provide flexible data access, allowing clients to get all the data they need in a single request.

Several interesting approaches to building graph APIs have emerged in the past few years. Netflix created Falcor to power their mobile, desktop, and TV applications. All remote data is represented as a single domain model via JSON Graph. Facebook's Relay takes a similar approach with GraphQL substituting for JSON Graph. Both support client-side caches and aggregate requests for efficient network retrieval.

JSON Linked Data was created by members of the Semantic Web community motivated by a desire to build better Web APIs using familiar Web technologies. It is in part a reaction against the complexity of existing Semantic Web technologies like RDF and SPARQL. With common schemas, JSON-LD can be used to publish structured data and is understood by Google's Knowledge Graph and Gmail's email actions.

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