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Hasura GraphQL Service Targets Existing Postgres Apps

Hasura, which describes itself as the first GraphQL-as-a-Service provider, unveiled its new open source GraphQL Engine, which reportedly sports the unique capability of working on existing apps based on the popular Postgres database.

GraphQL was announced by Facebook three years ago and subsequently open sourced, providing a new way to query data. It's a query language/runtime combination for querying APIs based on types, letting clients retrieve only the information they request. Its approach differs from the traditional REST-based method that typically requires depending upon servers to fetch data from multiple URLs.

Hasura began providing GraphQL support to its Kubernetes APIs earlier this year and proceeded to work toward releasing its solution as a standalone product able to immediately add GraphQL APIs to existing Postgres databases, which it said is an industry first.

That work resulted in last week's launch of the Hasura GraphQL Engine. "This can be used to quickly build new applications on Postgres or fast-track the move to GraphQL for existing applications on Postgres," the company said in a July 11 blog post.

The tool's UI lets data developers explore APIs and create and view database tables and create GraphQL queries via an included interface it calls GraphiQL, described as an in-browser IDE.

The company's co-founder appeared on Hacker News in a front-page post to announce the product: "This is a standalone service that gives you GraphQL on Postgres. It comes with fine-grained access control that can integrate with any auth provider. It can also work with any existing Postgres database as is, and allows you to expose select tables/views across your Postgres schemas over GraphQL."

The news was greeted with enthusiasm by some commenters, with one saying: "Nice work. There are several competitors in the automagic Postgres REST/GraphQL space, and you're nailing documentation and ergonomics here. Your site and the Hansura Console sets your project apart from the rest."

Today it was the No. 1 trending item on the stackshare site, which provides news about the tools in developer stacks.

In a news release, Hasura touted ROI benefits to enterprises and organizations, saying the engine consumes only 50MB of RAM even while serving some 1000 requests/per second. The company's support plans for the open source project start at $99 per month for the standard version and $749 per month for premium, with custom enterprise plans available.

While the product initially works only with Postgres -- which according to StackOverflow's 2018 developer survey is the third-most commonly used database and ranks among the top two most preferred developer databases -- other support is on tap.

Tanmai Gopal, co-founder and CEO of Hasura, said "Postgres is the first along a roadmap of other leading databases that Hasura intends to support in the future."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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