Learning Resources

Slash GraphQL Overview

Slash GraphQL, powered by Dgraph database, is a fully-managed GraphQL database service that lets you focus on building apps, not managing infrastructure. Slash is built to support GraphQL natively, so it integrates seamlessly with your existing ecosystem of GraphQL tools.

With Slash, you can define a schema and then deploy a production-ready, scalable GraphQL backend in one click. All of the work that would usually be required to build a GraphQL layer over a traditional relational database is removed from your project. This lets you focus on what you really care about - powering your app or website with a database that fits the shape of your data, supports efficient and fast queries-at-depth, and grows along with your userbase and transactional workloads.

We call our SaaS offering Slash GraphQL because it provides a great developer experience and a set of features that make its /graphql endpoint the fastest way to bring the power of GraphQL to your apps.

Slash gives you the power of Dgraph in a hosted environment, giving you the flexibility and performance of a horizontally-scalable and distributed GraphQL database with a graph backend. With Slash, you don’t need to configure and manage VMs, servers, firewalls, and HTTPs endpoints to power your modern apps and websites.

Key features

Feature Notes
Zero learning curve All you need to know to start building your app backend is GraphQL, so you can start designing your app using GraphQL and then iterate from there.
A high-performance, graph-first database Slash runs Dgraph database, which was built to support the needs of modern apps with lightning-fast queries at any depth.
Power your app with native GraphQL support Dgraph is built for graph data, so you don’t need to configure and maintain a cumbersome GraphQL layer over a traditional relational database.
Evolve your schema without downtime When it comes time to deploy a new schema, you can do that in seconds, not hours.
GraphQL-based authorization and management GraphQL is used throughout Slash, so you don’t need to use another tool or learn another syntax to handle user authorization or database administration tasks such as schema changes and data exports.
Work with the Open Source ecosystem Because Dgraph is open-source, your app relies on a codebase that you can contribute to, not an opaque “black box”.
Custom logic Use JavaScript to add programmatic custom logic on the backend, adding power to your apps without sacrificing client-side performance.
Production-ready Slash is great for small app developers but is also built to meet the needs of your business as it grows with built-in authorization, encryption at rest, TLS, incremental backups, and more.
Scale and expand your app without rebuilding your backend Slash GraphQL stores and distributes data to optimize the execution of GraphQL traversals, joins, and retrievals. Dgraph natively parses and executes GraphQL, achieving great performance and the ability to scale horizontally up to terabytes of data.

Video

The following short video summarizes the benefits of Slash GraphQL:

Architecture

Slash GraphQL runs Dgraph database in a fully-managed service, so you don’t need to manage servers or VM to use Slash. Dgraph is a truly distributed database that shards and replicates data across server nodes, providing a scalable and production-ready database solution for your app.

Behind the scenes, Slash GraphQL runs Dgraph database instances as clusters of Dgraph Zero and Dgraph Alpha server nodes.

  • Dgraph Zero nodes control the cluster. This includes storing information about the cluster and moving data between Dgraph Alpha nodes to rebalance based on transactional workloads.
  • Dgraph Alpha nodes serve data to clients, and also provide administrator endpoints.

To learn more about the Dgraph clusters that power Slash GraphQL, see Understanding Dgraph Cluster.

Next steps

To learn more about how Slash GraphQL makes it easier to develop apps create a 7-day trial account and try Slash GraphQL for yourself. Then, complete the Build a Message Board App with React tutorial.

To learn more about how graph data models differ from the relational data models used by most traditional databases, and why graphs can be a good fit for your app, see the Graph Data Models 101 tutorial.

To learn more about using Slash, read the Slash GraphQL documentation on the Dgraph documentation site.