The 10 Best GraphQL Tools For 2021

Emily Nielsen
Emily Nielsen

January 21, 2021

The 10 Best GraphQL Tools For 2021

Since its beginnings in 2012, GraphQL has continued to offer exciting possibilities for developers to extend and expand upon their services. Over the last couple of years, GraphCMS has grown from the new-kid-on-the-block to a sophisticated and widely adopted query language. GraphQL is opening up a whole host of opportunities for new API infrastructures and content management systems. All the new tools that are being developed for GraphQL are opening up even more avenues. We've assembled a list of 10 of the best GraphQL tools for 2021 to help teams navigate the ever-growing options for working with GraphQL.

Here's Jamie, highlighting some of these tools in his latest video. Be sure to check it out!

1. GraphCMS

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Number one on our list of the best GraphQL tools we think you should be trying out right now has to be our very own GraphCMS. We’re definitely biased to our baby, but it’s been frequently featured on other lists too — and here’s why. GraphCMS is a powerful, easy-to-use, headless content management system that allows you to build the essential back-end content infrastructure that you need. Our CMS offers intuitive simplicity for creating a GraphQL endpoint, along with an endpoint for trying out GraphQL too — so there’s no need to code a server.

2. GraphiQL 2.0

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2020 saw the merging of great forces in the GraphQL space. GraphiQL and GraphQL Playground merged after Prisma donated Playground to the GraphQL foundation. The features that developers knew and loved from GraphiQL, think multiple tabs and internationalization, were introduced to the Playground. There were some exciting new features released, such as the vscode style command palette and helpers for integrating custom authentication flows. GraphiQL 2.0 has all of the features that make IDEs (Integrated Development Environment) easy to use and integrate into your workflow. The further development of improvements and plugins for this project surely mean that this tool will continue to be a mainstay for GraphQL developers in 2021.

3. GraphQL Code Generator

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GraphQL Code Generator is an established player in the GraphQL space after its launch in 2016. It enables teams to quickly generate Typescript code instantly to help developers avoid the repetitive actions of transforming information from a GraphQL schema into the various forms needed such as resolver signatures. The outputs are highly customizable and the tool itself is straightforward and easy to use. GraphQL Code Generator has become a tried and true tool that every GraphQL developer should have in their toolbox and we only expect this to grow with 2021.

4. GraphQL Docs — auto-create your docs

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If developers wanted to be writers, they would have chosen a writing career - but they didn't. And that’s why GraphQL Docs is a lifesaver for those who have to write up documentation -— whether we like it or not. As the website itself says, this tool creates beautiful documents in seconds, and it also gives you the option to allow public or private access to your document.

5. Insomnia

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Insomnia is another tried-and-true tool for GraphQL developers. It has been offering GraphQL support since 2017. Insomnia enables developers to create GraphQL APIs in a user-friendly way that promotes organization, and efficiency. The two product offerings, Insomnia Core and Insomnia Designer, give developers all of the tools they need to build powerful APIs using GraphQL.

6. OneGraph.com


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OneGraph is a powerful GraphQL tool that enables developers to quickly query and update data across different services on the frontend or backend. Not only that but its secure authentication, robust permission set, and integrations with popular third-party services, makes using this tool in production easy. If the OneGraph maintains the momentum it built up in 2020, in 2021 it will surely be one to watch.

7. GraphQL Network

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GraphQL Network is a network-style tab on Chrome where you can see network requests for GraphQL, allows developers to inspect queries and responses, thus monitoring and debugging those queries more easily. The simple, easy-to-use tool is a potentially very handy for devs.

8. GraphQL Editor

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Take advantage of GraphQL Editor's ready-to-use fake backend to visualize your schema. Easily collaborate with others and create Team Schema Libraries. If you're looking for a way to visualize and validate your existing schema, then GraphQL Editor could be the right tool for you.

9. Altair GraphQL Client

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The Altair GraphQL Client helps you debug your GraphQL APIs quickly and easily. Although this project is much newer than some of the other players on this list, but the progress and adoption it has seen is impressive. With Altair GraphQL Client, features like advanced schema doc search, environments and the ability to execute pre-request scripts, are just the beginning. We are looking forward to seeing what they have to offer in 2021!

10. Apollo Studio, (previously known as Engine, previously known as Optics)

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Studio is just one part of Apollo GraphQL, a platform that integrates a number of tools needed for operating and building with GraphQL. Apollo Server, Schema Registry, IDE Plugins, and Apollo Client are some other tools. Apollo Studio pulls data from Apollo schemas and performance reports — handing you the opportunity to improve your schema management system. At the end of 2020, the Apollo team launched Development Graphs which give developers free and unlimited access to Apollo Studio’s Explorer and Schema tools, making it easier for development teams to get up and running quickly.

GraphQL is here to stay

The number of major international companies incorporating GraphQL is growing - Shopify, Github, Medium, Docker, Twitter, Airbnb, and Paypal are just some of the mega-enterprises which have implemented GraphQL into their tech stack. Many of these tools, which began as niche products, have now seen wide adoption across the GraphQL Community. The speed of adoption of GraphQL in major enterprises and growing companies demonstrates that GraphQL is here to stay and will not be wiped out anytime soon.


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