At Dailymotion, we like GraphQL…a lot. We started using it in 2016, we are active contributors to apollo-android, we even have our own server implementation in Python named Tartiflette. When kotlin coroutines became stable at the end of last year, we couldn’t wait to use them so we added the code to do so.
GraphQL APIs offer several advantages over traditional REST APIs:
- Clients only download the data they need
- The API is introspectable and self-documented
- Versioning is as easy as deprecating old fields and adding new ones
- Tools like apollo-android and graphiql make a great developer experience
Coroutines offer several advantages over threads/RxJava/(AsyncTasks!):
- Lightweight. No threads are needed to make a suspending function
- Code is easier to read as it is written sequentially
- Exceptions and backtraces are also easier to read since you don’t lose the original call site
Bringing GraphQL and coroutines together
Coroutines support is included in version 1.0.0. In addition to the regular apollo-android dependencies, you will also need `apollo-coroutines-support`:
Also, add your API schema and GraphQL query to your project:
A simple query
No need for error callbacks either, errors are handled with a try catch:
There are two sources of errors:
- Transport errors will be thrown in
await. These are most likely unrecoverable.
- Graphql errors won’t be thrown by default as some implementations might be able to recover and display partial results.
In all cases, everything reads sequentially, without callbacks.
A query with cache
If you enabled cache, apollo-android will return two responses. One for the cached data and the other for the network.
Don’t forget to cancel the channel if you want to stop listening to updates.
One last thing
Apollo-android also works for any JVM project, not just Android. The samples are currently taken from Android as it’s a big use case right now but everything works on any jvm-based project. So if you’re writing your backend in kotlin, you can now use coroutines + graphql as well.
Consuming your GraphQL API has never been simpler! With the addition of coroutines to handle concurrency and the existing normalized cache and strong typing, GraphQL is a very strong and mature API solution today. Which is no small feat considering the language is still quite young.
Edit 2019–05–27: updated for version 1.0.0