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README.md

README.md

When Rest Isn’t Enough: Adding GraphQL

When we’re under constant pressure to ship, it’s hard to take the time to write good docs or reach out to all the teams using our code, which can lead to knowledge silos, accidental breaking changes, and — worst of all — frustration and resentment between teams. But by combining REST with GraphQL, we can simplify our REST APIs and take advantage of GraphQL’s built-in documenation and exploration capabilities, allowing us to focus on building fast, dependable REST endpoints — and letting GraphQL create a fantastic developer experience.

In this talk, we’ll take a look at IBM Cloud’s journey to putting GraphQL in production; unifying dozens of REST APIs into a single, explorable data layer; and improving the customer experience — and developer experience! — across the stack.

Full Abstract

In a perfect world, teams have all the time they need to thoroughly document their APIs and notify other teams of every change. In reality, docs are the first thing to go under deadline pressure, leading to knowledge silos, accidental breaking changes, and — worst of all — frustration and resentment between teams.

By combining REST with GraphQL, we can simplify our REST APIs and take advantage of GraphQL’s built-in documenation and exploration capabilities, allowing us to focus on building fast, dependable REST endpoints — and letting GraphQL create a fantastic developer experience.

In this talk, we’ll take a look at IBM Cloud’s journey to putting GraphQL in production, unifying dozens of REST APIs into a single, explorable data layer. Learn how we solved problems including:

  • How to give teams control of their data while still centralizing everything
  • How to drive adoption of new technology in large, slow-to-change organizations
  • How to decouple front- and back-end workflows, massively increasing velocity
  • How to improve error handling in the data layer
  • How to leverage GraphQL for massive UX improvements
  • How to deploy GraphQL on a global scale

Developers can use the lessons from this talk to start exploring how GraphQL + REST can improve experiences for everyone involved, whether they're a team of 1, or a team of 400,000.