Olaf Hartig, Linköping University: An Introduction to GraphQL

Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - 08:30 to 12:30


The GraphQL framework offers a query-based Web interface over a graph-based data structure that may be composed of various types of underlying data sources. GraphQL is highly popular among Web developers, and a lot of developer-friendly tooling is available. While there are several similarities to related techniques used in the Semantic Web context, the actual relationships are not yet well explored. In order to uncover the potential of GraphQL for the Semantic Web community and vice versa, we offer a tutorial in which we introduce GraphQL. The tutorial gives a detailed overview of the different concepts and techniques within the GraphQL framework; the tutorial also contains an introductory hands-on part focused on writing queries in the GraphQL language and interacting with its data model. As a result, attendees will obtain a basic set of knowledge and skills that will allow them to apply GraphQL and to do research related to GraphQL.

Learning objectives

The overall learning outcome will be an in-depth understanding of the GraphQL approach and the related ecosystem. More specifically, after the tutorial, the attendees will be able to explain the GraphQL approach in general, to read and write GraphQL schemas, and to write GraphQL queries. Additionally, the attendees will be aware of different options---and the respective pros and cons---of how to create GraphQL clients and how to develop and set up GraphQL interfaces (including the existing options to provide GraphQL-based access to an RDF dataset), and they will have a basic understanding of new trends in the GraphQL community (e.g., schema delegation and schema stitching) and of the fundamental properties of the GraphQL query language.

About Olaf Hartig

Olaf Hartig is an Associate Professor in Computer Science at Linköping University, Sweden. His research interests are in problems related to the management of data and databases, where his focus in this broad context is on data on the Web and graph data, as well as on problems in which the data is distributed over multiple autonomous and/or heterogeneous sources. In addition to having plenty of experience in teaching university courses, Olaf also has prepared and delivered several tutorials in top scientific conferences such as WWW (2010, 2013, 2017), ISWC (2008, 2009, 2017, 2019), and ICDE (2014). Regarding the tutorial topic, Olaf has published research results related to various aspects of the GraphQL approach; most notably he is one of the two authors of the first scientific work on GraphQL which focused on the semantics and the complexity of the GraphQL query language. Additionally, Olaf has been supervising several student thesis projects on different aspects of GraphQL that are planned to become the basis of further publications, and he has discussed his GraphQL-related research with the GraphQL community as an invited speaker at the GraphQL Europe 2018 conference.