Trouble getting REST APIs into GraphQL? Try our low-code approach, says Hasura

REST-to-GraphQL data hub also on offer and looking for more contributions

Hasura, a vendor specialising in the GraphQL data-fetching query language, has created a low-code approach to connecting existing REST endpoints into a unified GraphQL API.

It has also launched a data integration hub based on the same approach.

One analyst said the moves would help developers by not only allowing for new applications to integrate but also assisting with the migration of legacy applications to GraphQL.

GraphQL was created at Facebook in 2012, released as an open-source project three years later, and has become viewed as a more capable alternative to REST in terms of moving data. In November 2019, the GraphQL project was moved from Facebook to the GraphQL Foundation, hosted by the Linux Foundation.

Both REST and GraphQL provide ways to request data over HTTP, but GraphQL allows for greater flexibility with requests that are more like database queries.

Founded in 2017, Hasura has now launched a REST API Connector designed to remove the need to write custom code to connect existing REST endpoints into their unified GraphQL API by providing an API transformation system.

Hasura is also launching Data Hub, a repository of API integrations it says would allow developers to easily connect APIs from developer platforms – starting out with Contentful, Elastic, Fauna, and IBM Open API – to their GraphQL APIs.

Hasura co-founder and COO Rajoshi Ghosh told The Register: "Because a lot of your existing data is accessed via REST APIs, we're making it really easy for you to bring them into GraphQL.

"Typically, if you have a REST service and you want to bring it into GraphQL, you would have to write code per endpoint to make sure that the Graph QL API is able to map to it. We're launching a declarative transformation engine that, without writing any code, allows you to bring in your REST endpoints into your Graph QL API immediately."

Related to the product is the Data Hub, a collection of APIs to common data sources created by Hasura, but one to which the company hopes both the open-source community and software companies will contribute to ensuring their data source can be easily accessed using GraphQL. The idea is that it becomes a sort of library of data sources frontend developers can address through one API.

"A frontend developer, then basically the person who's building with React, for example, just has that one API endpoint and knows everything that's available to them, which could be the REST service, or the database, and so on. The person who's handling the API developer can now, in that low-code way, specify what are the data sources are into HERSA and how are they are related to each other," Ghosh said.

Out of the box it comes with PostgreSQL, SQL Server, and Big Query APIs built in. Users or other developers can build their own connectors and add them to the hub, while Hasura hopes to add more native integration as time goes by.

"For any data store or database, the intent is for us to natively support it. And next year, we have some big things coming up," Ghosh said.

Paul Nashawaty, senior analyst at ESG, said this was one of the challenges facing Hasura. "It will continue to grow integrations with their data hub services and expand across the partner ecosystem. This is not an easy task as the partner ecosystem is very large. Delivering a data hub that only partially addresses integration may fall short of customers' expectations."

However, with the new release, adding the one-click RestAPI for GraphQL would help the development of new applications and integration of old ones, Nashawaty said.

"I am also interested in how the data hub will provide a way to present a collection of services across the development ecosystem. This is very helpful from a consolidation perspective but also creating an 'ease of use' for integrating GraphQL APIs in the development cycle," he said.

As the industry continues to expand adopting distributed cloud deliveries, Hasura support for Google Cloud reflects the growth into this multi-cloud world. Multiple cloud deployments are the direction of most organizations and adding this support to Hasura grows their ecosystem, Nashawaty added.

Hasura is already available in AWS and Azure. Last year, the company announced $25m in Series B funding, bringing the total raised to $36.5m. Lightspeed Venture Partners led the round, with participation from existing investors Vertex Ventures US, Nexus Venture Partners, Strive VC, and SAP.iO Fund, and new angel investors including John Thompson, Microsoft chairman. ®

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