Introducing Slash GraphQL

Dgraph is proud to announce the launch of our GraphQL cloud service — Slash GraphQL, a fully managed, GraphQL backend service for building GraphQL apps.

Slash GraphQL: build apps, not infra

Slash GraphQL makes it possible to create a GraphQL backend in one click. Given a GraphQL schema, Slash GraphQL generates a production-ready, scalable GraphQL backend. All the work of building a GraphQL layer over a database is reduced to a single step.

Slash GraphQL is more than just a database; it’s a complete infrastructure for building with GraphQL. With Slash GraphQL, you get:

  • A GraphQL database, Dgraph — the world’s most advanced graph and GraphQL database.
  • Custom logic
    • access to remote HTTP endpoints,
    • ability to run graph queries,
    • integration with remote GraphQL servers, and
    • (soon) Javascript custom logic hosted in Slash GraphQL
  • GraphQL authorization
  • Subscriptions
  • Scale (to terabytes)
  • Flexible schema evolution, without downtime

We call it Slash GraphQL because those features and an incredible developer experience make its /graphql endpoint the GraphQL backend for your app on the Internet. It’s the fastest way to build GraphQL apps.

Why Slash GraphQL?

We built Slash GraphQL because we believe that the way developers build GraphQL backends is fundamentally too complicated. We believe that backends should enable application development, not hinder it. We believe in speed, iteration, and evolution. Data models and GraphQL backends today are none of those.

Dgraph is unique: it’s the only native GraphQL database. It doesn’t run on top of another database like PostgreSQL or MongoDB. We’ve engineered a database that stores and distributes data in the most optimal way for executing GraphQL traversals, joins, and retrievals. With that, Dgraph natively parses and executes GraphQL, achieving great performance and scale.

Slash GraphQL makes that technology accessible to any developer, frontend or backend. You don’t need to know about how to set up a cluster, how to run k8s, how many machines, how much RAM, disk space, etc., or how to translate some other underlying layer into GraphQL.

There’s no tables, no database management, only GraphQL.

Slash GraphQL for your next app

Why should you use Slash GraphQL for your next GraphQL project?

Well, Dgraph’s battle-hardened GraphQL database is the state-of-the-art engineering solution to GraphQL. It’s:

  • Fast: designed from the ground-up as a GraphQL database for performance, Slash GraphQL takes that to /graphql for fast for queries at any depth.
  • Horizontally Scalable: works just as well for a one-person project, as for a Google-scale project.
  • Enterprise-Ready: with built-in authorization, encryption at rest, TLS, incremental backups, and more.

However, as a developer coming to Slash GraphQL, you don’t feel ‘horizontal scalability’ until your app is already successful — even then, you won’t feel it with Slash GraphQL like you’d feel the pain of engineering for scale if you built on some other technology. When you first look at Slash GraphQL, these are the reasons that you won’t be able to stop yourself from using it:

  • Zero learning curve: all you need to know is GraphQL to start building your app, nothing else. Just start designing your app as GraphQL and iterate from there.
  • Zero management: don’t focus on database management or building GraphQL servers, just get on building the next Instagram, Pinterest, Airbnb, or Dropbox.
  • Natively GraphQL: everything about Slash GraphQL from the schema, to auth, to custom logic works with the tooling in the GraphQL ecosystem. That ecosystem is one of many nice reasons to work with GraphQL, and with Slash GraphQL, you never have to work with anything else.
  • Iterative: Slash GraphQL offers infinite flexibility. Change the datatype of a field? Need to make a single object a list? Need a new index for full-text search? No problem. Slash GraphQL will take care of all that, on the fly, without any downtime.
  • Extensible: you might not need complex business logic or deep graph query on day 1, but you’ll need it, so add it seamlessly as your app grows.

GraphQL is a fantastic ecosystem for building apps, and there’s an increasing number of GraphQL solutions coming to market, but no other GraphQL product provides such an easy, GraphQL-focussed developer experience as Slash GraphQL. Switching to Slash GraphQL can cut your code-base in half. Just focus on the structure of your app and business logic. Don’t worry about the boilerplate, translations, and GraphQL engineering concerns, like N+1; we've dealt with those.

Other solutions are not built from the ground up with GraphQL, but rather work through building a GraphQL layer on top of an existing database. Going down that path means always maintaining that layer and dealing with performance as your app grows and stretches at the seams of your tech stack.

Slash GraphQL gives you both a simple, natively GraphQL start and a highly engineered solution as your app grows.

Our vision for GraphQL

More and more developers are coming to GraphQL. They are realizing the power of working with their data as a graph. We want to enable developers to store and access their data as a graph, with first-class support for interlinking and relationships.

We built Slash GraphQL because there was an important gap for a well-engineered backend solution. Developers need a backend that fits the capabilities of a graph query language. For today’s developers, the frontend partly controls the conversation. It’s up to the backend to work around the requests for data as needed.

Building a performant and scalable graph system is a hard problem. We at Dgraph know that better than anyone else. The GraphQL community might not realize that they are in the business of servicing graphs now, but as a product scales, it becomes critical to switch to a database built from the ground-up around graphs. If you’re using GraphQL, you are no longer working with flat data.

Slash GraphQL is our gift to the GraphQL community. GraphQL is a great query language. And we are making it possible for any developer to build GraphQL applications easily and quickly.

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