GraphQL for Commerce

A modern API approach for easily building endless shopping experiences with GraphQL and Elastic Path Commerce Cloud.

What is GraphQL?


GraphQL has increased in popularity recently as a modern, efficient, and easy to use API protocol. GraphQL by definition is a query language for APIs and a server side runtime for fulling those queries with your existing data.It was initially developed by Facebook in 2012 to address specifically iOS and Android application performance and reliability problems created by the complexity of Facebook’s mobile apps.

However, today due to GraphQL’s precision of providing a simple an understandable description fo the data in your API, it has granted clients the power to get the exact data they request and nothing more. This in turn has also allowed APIs to evolve more over time and has also enabled powerful developer tools As a query language, it allows commerce developers to efficiently fetch the information needed to deliver customer experiences.



What is GraphQL for eCommerce?


The use of GraphQL for eCommerce has been beneficial specially for businesses which have adopted a Headless Commerce architecture. Due to the decoupling of the frontend presentation layer from the backend commerce engine, the frontend is heavily dependent of the correct data transfer to the frontend. GraphQL fosters seamless data retrieval on the front-end allow businesses to build more unique experiences. Explore more benefits of GraphQL.


What are the Top Benefits of GraphQL?


Simplified Frontend Development 

Eliminate the hassle of chasing down up-to-date APIS, and accelerate time to market for new experiences

Code Bloat Reduction

Reduce code duplication across the frontend and the backend and eliminate channel silos that lead to inconsistent customer experiences.

Improved Performance 

Minimize over and under-fetching, and improve network performance that impacts overall customer experience.

Do I Need GraphQL for My eCommerce Solution?




GraphQL and REST are both API design architectures which can be used to build web services for data driven applications. Overall, Rest and GraphQL are very similar, however GraphQL has made some small changes that alter the developer experience of building and consuming an API.

In addition, GraphQL can be very beneficial in complex circumstances for example, when there are a 1000+ endpoints working in your backend, your frontend developers need a system where they can easily call on specific resources in the backend. Facebook is a great example of business that would greatly benefit from GraphQL. However, for most eCommerce businesses, it’s highly unlikely that it will get to that level of that complexity and GraphQL is NOT needed.

Elastic Path primarily leverages REST rather than GraphQL. Elastic Path was developed to be developer-first centric and thus, we have designed our APIs with developers in mind. We provide RESTful APIs for developers to learn and use, which eliminate complexity while also providing maximum flexibility. 

At the end of the day both REST and GraphQL can achieve the same end results, and it will all come down to preference.

At Elastic Path you can choose to adopt REST or leverage Elastic Path GraphQL starter kit


GraphQL with Elastic Path





GraphQL vs REST for Elastic Path Commerce Cloud

Both GraphQL and REST are beneficial for your eCommerce solution and the one you choose will all come down to your business preference. 

Explore how Elastic Path supports your use of both GraphQL and REST to fulfill your eCommerce requests.

Get the Overview
Is GraphQL Required for Your Commerce Service?

Oftentimes, vendors will imply that GraphQL is needed for your commerce service to function, which is simply not true. Read on to learn: 

  • The basics of GraphQL
  • The benefits and challenges of GraphQL
  • When GraphQL may or may not be right for you
  • How Elastic Path solves GraphQL challenges with REST
Get the Product Brief
GraphQL Server for Elastic Path Commerce Cloud

Jump into the GraphQL Repo

Explore the GraphQL Server and Playground in the GraphQL Repo here. 

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See the Power of Elastic Path Software With a Free Trial

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