What is JSON API? JSON vs GraphQL vs REST API Comparison


What is JSON API? JSON vs GraphQL vs REST API Comparison

 JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) API is an application programming interface designed for lightweight data interchange (text-based data exchange format) between two computer applications operating on the same hardware device or between different computers in different geographical areas.

 The API describes how users should requests, capture, or modify data and how the server should respond to those requests. The API aims at speeding up HTTP requests and the size of data transferred between the users and the server without compromising the legibility, pliability or perceptibility.

 How JSON API Works

 The user and the server send a data request in the API. The API then designates how the data will be called using the GET method and the affiliated links shared. A JSON object then retrieves data and outputs either an error message or shows data depending on the user request. 

 Users of JSON API

 Developers use this software to build other API programs to help clients have a seamless experience when retrieving information from the server without ad hoc coding. Some of the notable companies that use this API software include Twitter and Flickr. JSON API is also useful to the end-users who may need to retrieve information from the servers where they have been stored or cached.

 Importance of JSON 

  •  Helps in the storage of data
  •  Utilize user input to create data structures
  •  Fetch or convey data from server to server, server to a client, and the client to server.
  •  It arranges data in a pattern that can be understood and in its verification.

 Benefits of JSON API


 This is a process of storing data in a cache for a short period of time. Caching is of the essence as it boosts the speed and performance of a website.

 In JSON, this feature is built-in HTTP since the users get information using a single method, and they do not need multiple locations for data storage. Through caching, users can retrieve searched information in a very short time.

 Developers can continuously test JSON API caching tool to improve optimization.

 Has Optimization Features

 The JSON software contains properties that enhance the API return packages obtained from clients’ requests. The ability to test JSON API, analyze and separate useful information in the return package can lead to a positive effect on the quality of output.

 There are two resources in the free JSON API that ease the process and improve optimization. One is pagination, which divides the responses into a group containing different content.

 During pagination, segmentation, limitation, and standardization are done. Through these processes, the user experience is improved as the complexity of navigating through the results is eliminated. The other optimization feature is sorting, which specifies each key direction.

 Compound Documents

 This software enables servers to simultaneously dispatch related and primary resources. It also allows one to incorporate extra resources in an initial request. If executed correctly, it should help reduce the HTTP requests. Reducing HTTP requests certainly improves the loading speeds of a page and helps in website optimization.

 Sparse Fieldsets

 Using compound Documents may generate a lot of responses, making it hard to find the exact resource you may need. This software provides an easy way to obtain data. A sparse Fieldset allows the user to request and obtain data from particular fields. It allows for customization by offering to add fields that contain resource names. These fields are what you seek to obtain from the parameters of the URI.

 Freedom of Selection

 The software has many features, and most of them are optional. This means that the user has the privileged of choosing which feature to use without the interference of another feature. Whenever a user requires to use a feature, they can easily turn it on and give it access. The knowledge and choice of handling data by a client or user frees the system from redundancy and large amounts of data that may not be useful.

 Comparison between JSON vs GraphQL vs REST APIs.

 Request Efficiency

 Representation State Transfer API or simply REST API is slow in fulfilling user requests. This API’s ambiguity is caused by returning the path list that can be further retrieved from the first request, second request, and so on. Clients thus have to obtain requests each time they need something.

 When modifying an object, REST API sends the whole representation for every object back and forth to update a single field. This implies that if a client has modified 50 notes, removed 30 and added 20, and did not have an internet connection at the time. 100 different requests must be made for the changes to reflect. Such bulk operations cause the API to bloat.

 On the other hand, JSON API examples and GraphQL are designed to counter those challenges encountered by REST, with only a single request needed to retrieve what was requested. Limiting the response size of requests, JSON and GraphQL prove to have a pleasurable user experience with great efficacy.

 GraphQL API solves the problem by ensuring that the developer adds precisely the required resource field to each query. By so doing, the GraphQL queries are vast, causing cacheable requests infeasible but data over fetch is difficult.

 JSON uses the sparse fieldset theory to overcome the REACT challenges. These sparse fields or rather a list of desired resource fields work in a similar aspect of GraphQL only that suppose they are missed, and JSON will retrieve all fields. However, when the query is too large, the sparse fieldsets are discarded, making the request cacheable.


 REST has been around for a while and is more mature with a robust developer community and much Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEMs). That said, REST has many resources at the developer’s disposal, ranging from documentation, extensions, and integrations, thereby making API analytics easy to obtain. Nonetheless, the tools may require customizations for the best developer experience.

 GraphQL and JSON are newer and do not have a big community base in comparison to REST. They still, however, have many developer tools that do not have to be specific for implementation.

 Data Writing

 REST and JSON are easy to write and obtain data, although JSON API examples have a better implementation. GraphQL allows mutations in writing codes requiring customized codes for every new write operation. Therefore the GraphQL can be more challenging in design and implementation. REST and JSON use the HTTP conventional create, read, update, and delete (CRUD) verbs to get, post, put, and post queries.

 Ease of use

 REST and JSON, as earlier stated, allow HTTP integration making them user-friendly to developers. This feature allows them to handle big volume traffic and use reverse proxies such as Varnish or Content Delivery Network (CDN). The GraphQL API, however, lacks HTTP integrations, thereby requiring particular relational models and interlocking techniques, which may be expensive and time-consuming.

 GraphQL API allows users to perform multiple tasks in calls and responses, adding to its complexity. Rest is easy to use and very dynamic. However, it is not very useful in its basic form as it is very limiting. JSON, on the other hand, gives the user a feel of the GraphQL and REST experience as it is reliable and has tools that allow you to add functionality.

 Rest and JSON have fewer server-client points of failure in contrast to GraphQL. However, it has many client caches that allow clients to access data without liaising with the server.

 Decoupled Filtering

 This refers to the ability of the client to post queries without disruptions from the client-server. The free JSON API supports decoupled filtering, while GraphQL depends on additional configurations. The REST API completely lacks this feature.


 GraphQL and JSON may be new technologies with limited tooling compared to REST API but they offer more flexibility when dealing with single resources. GraphQL API on the other hand is good for making a small application.

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