You Love GraphQL – Here’s How To Make Sure Your Organization Does, Too
Developers are rushing into the GraphQL open-source query language for APIs. Here's how developers can make sure everyone is on board.
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How do enterprises start their API modernization journeys? More often than not, it’s with a single developer who recognizes all that production-grade GraphQL API adoption can bring to the table—and decides to act as the catalyst for organizational change.
As a fully open-source technology, the GraphQL API query language gives developers more efficient workflows and streamlined access to enterprise scalability. Because GraphQL enables applications to collect all the data they require by making a single API request (and control that data directly), the development pace, simplicity, and stability of working with GraphQL provide night-and-day advantages over legacy REST APIs. For enterprise developers, there’s no real difficulty in setting up GraphQL and getting a server up and running. The challenge usually begins when they need to win their organization’s full backing to achieve a lasting implementation with all the stability and security an enterprise requires from Day One.
Here’s how to do just that.
Bulldozing the “GraphQL Isn’t Enterprise-Mature” Myth
As your enterprise’s GraphQL champion, you’ll inevitably encounter stakeholders that are unconvinced when it comes to GraphQL’s maturity and effectiveness in enterprise production use cases. The worst error you can commit in this situation is to make their doubts appear to be true. Introduce a GraphQL deployment that’s poorly planned, unsustainable, and rife with security risks, and, well, its critics will have all the ammunition they need to make sure your organization steers clear.
The way to defeat the GraphQL-immaturity myth is to prove it false via undeniable demonstration. That means introducing a secure and well-managed enterprise-grade GraphQL deployment from the start — one that will serve as a fully reliable foundation going forward. This can and has been done over and over again: hyper-scale enterprises like Meta, Rakuten, PayPal, Lyft, KLM, Starbucks, Shopify, and countless others utilize GraphQL in some of the largest and most data-intensive production environments out there.
Show the naysayers how available expert support and enterprise-grade tooling purpose-built for GraphQL can smooth out the learning curve when it comes to achieving a seamless and secure deployment. Be sure to make it clear how this strategy of enlisting enterprise support will ensure that developer teams can pursue their goals more confidently and quickly.
Exploding the “It’s Too Soon for Enterprise Tooling and Support” Argument
It’s also common for some stakeholders to offer this rather frustrating and circular argument: because the enterprise doesn’t yet utilize GraphQL to a high degree, it doesn’t make sense yet to invest in the tooling and support needed to provide effective management and security. (The concerns do come with some reason since existing APM and security gateways lack GraphQL-specific support and capabilities.) Unfortunately, accepting this logic can easily sink an enterprise’s GraphQL adoption before it leaves the harbor. As we’ve established, launching GraphQL without the correct best practices and protections is a recipe for failure.
The winning counter-argument that GraphQL champions should convey is this. Implementing a robust best practices-based GraphQL implementation from Day One offers immediate benefits, pays long-term dividends, and is a far more efficient approach than cleaning up a flawed deployment later. When an enterprise deploys a greenfield GraphQL implementation supported by the right tools and aligned with best practices, it yields superior operational efficiency, API lifecycle management, schema planning, granular analytics, and BI insights, security via effective access control and visibility, and an enviable developer experience. Enterprises that instead take the path of ameliorating brownfield GraphQL deployments must solve unpleasant legacy challenges (hard-coded access controls within servers and resolvers are one such common and difficult issue).
For Best Results, Start From the Start
The most convincing argument in an enterprise GraphQL champion’s repertoire might be the simplest: if you’re going to do something, why not do it right? Stakeholders would never question whether it was too early to use Jira or another essential development tooling. As a GraphQL champion calling for a robust and supported GraphQL deployment, you have the winning side of the debate. It's why I co-founded Inigo. Get your enterprise to listen, and you’ll deliver security, scalability, and optimization that transforms your development team’s experience, effectiveness, and pace of development for the better (and for the long term).
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