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Apollo: The GraphQL Toolkit

Apollo: The GraphQL Toolkit

What is Apollo?

Apollo is a complete suite of tools or a toolkit used to create a GraphQL server and to consume a GraphQL API. We know that GraphQL is just a query language. To use GraphQL easily, we need a platform on which it can run and do its task efficiently. Apollo provides such a platform.

The Apollo Platform

The Apollo platform is an implementation of GraphQL. It creates a complete ecosystem for GraphQL. It is used to transfer data between the server and the UI (client) of your app. The Apollo platform provides and supports a large set of libraries. It builds its environment in a particular way and facilitates developers to handle GraphQL on the client as well as the server-side of the application.

Here, we shall discuss some of the great features of Apollo and see why it is considered one of the most popular choices for using GraphQL in JavaScript-based apps.

The Apollo platform is a combination of components like Apollo Server, IDE Plugins, Apollo CLI and some other components

There are three types of components in the Apollo platform:

  • Open Source Components
  • Client Services
  • Commercial Plugins

Apollo Advantages

Following is the list of top 10 advantages of using the Apollo platform for GraphQL:

1. Huge Apollo's Ecosystem

The Apollo platform and its ecosystem are so huge that it can solve every problem you might face using and working with GraphQL. Apollo releases its new updates regularly and also provides additional libraries that make working easy with GraphQL. Apollo's platform not only supports GraphQL but also offers backward compatibility to RESTful architecture.

2. Great Community Support

Apollo has invested a lot of resources into this platform. The company has made its platform's core components open-source. So, it has gained great popularity. There is also a reason behind Apollo's popularity that the community behind GraphQL is growing day by day, and more developers adopt Apollo for the client and server-side JavaScript apps.

3. Apollo is favorite among tech-savvy companies

New-age companies are already interested and taking advantage of the Apollo platform. Following is a list of some well-known companies that are using Apollo:

  • Airbnb
  • Twitch
  • The New York Times
  • KLM
  • Medium

4. Support a lot of libraries

Apollo supports a lot of open-source libraries that are used in implementing GraphQL for JavaScript apps. For example, The Apollo Link library uses an API that is used to link different features into the GraphQL control flow. Apollo also provides exchangeable libraries that are used in the Apollo Client Cache.

5. Updated Documentation

Apollo's community is continuously evolving, and the team and community behind it keep the documentation up to date. It provides plenty of features about how to build applications.

6. Apollo built-in features

The Apollo platform contains a lot of built-in features that reduce the data related complexity and handle the data communication between the client-side and the server-side.

7. Interoperability with other frameworks

Apollo provides a lot of libraries. One of the Apollo's libraries i.e. react-apollo, contains higher-order components (HOC) and render prop components that make it possible to connect Apollo Client to React. Apollo also provides server-side libraries that offer several solutions to connect with Node.js libraries. Apollo Server for Express.js is the most popular choice of developers and companies using GraphQL.

8. Modern Data Handling Approach

Apollo Client uses a declarative approach for data queries. The GraphQL's mutations are triggered imperatively because of the HOC or render prop grants access to the function which executes the mutation. Apollo uses declarative programming over imperative programming.

9. Modern State Management Approach

Apollo uses a library named 'Apollo Link State library' that manages all local and remote data with GraphQL. You don't need any other state management library, and Apollo Link State library takes care of your data. You can use Apollo Client cache to hold all of your local data as well as your remote data.

10. Easy Development Experience

Apollo makes JavaScript application development very easy and convenient because its community provides a lot of tools. It provides development tools for browser extensions, third-party tools to perform GraphQL operations such as GraphiQL, and libraries to simplify developing Apollo applications.

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