Limelight Unveils GraphQL Functionality for Its Layer0 Web Application CDN

Content delivery services and AppOps at the edge provider, Limelight Networks (Nasdaq: LLNW), has announced general availability of GraphQL functionality for its ‘Layer0 by Limelight’ web application CDN.

GraphQL is a key enabler for microservices-based (aka headless) websites, allowing developers to make their API layer significantly quicker and easier to administer. Layer0 has solved the crucial problem of caching GraphQL APIs at the network edge, according to limelight, which typical web CDNs would not support. The solution also allows users to run the GraphQL server in a serverless environment.

These new capabilities are intended to strengthen Limelight’s position in the $4.4 billion web application CDN market, which according to Limelight is particularly important because site creators, not operators, are driving these purchases.

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GraphQL is a query language that builds on traditional REST APIs and has exploded in popularity among developers. GraphQL, which was developed at Facebook and then open-sourced, eliminates data over-fetching, which can enhance performance. By establishing a flexible yet highly typed API between client and server, it would also allow teams to iterate their APIs quicker without suffering versioning issues. GraphQL has been popular among developers, particularly in business firms that use headless or API-first web designs.

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Photo Ajay Kapur, CTO at Limelight
“Web builders ship up to twice as often because Layer0 makes edge compute and caching one small part of a more holistic ‘application centric’ workflow,” said Ajay Kapur, CTO at Limelight.

Traditional CDNs and caching technologies, on the other hand, were designed for REST APIs and are incompatible with GraphQL since they do not cache the more complicated HTTP POST syntax. As a result, traditional web CDNs would be unable to understand and cache GraphQL requests, resulting in poor performance for websites employing them.

EdgeJS, a high-performance, JavaScript-based declarative language for edge logic, now has GraphQL parsing and support for the POST method, thanks to Layer0. Web developers may use EdgeJS to define custom caching logic based on the attributes of their GraphQL queries as well as HTTP headers like cookies and authentication.

For example, a developer may use a GraphQL response to cache information like a product ID in an ecommerce API, as well as request header characteristics like language, currency, and personalization preferences. Furthermore, the same application may manage and submit runtime calls to a GraphQL server deployed in a serverless environment on Layer0, removing infrastructure and scaling concerns.

“We’re proud to leapfrog the industry by delivering native GraphQL support,” said Ajay Kapur, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Limelight. “Web builders ship up to twice as often because Layer0 makes edge compute and caching one small part of a more holistic ‘application centric’ workflow. Business teams love their Layer0-powered site because they load in literally the blink of an eye via predictive prefetching, the industry’s fastest edge compute, and suite of RUM and observability tools.”

Layer0 comes with everything a development or DevOps team needs to deploy a headless or Jamstack architecture, including hosting, serverless, observability, RUM, and CI/CD integration. Layer0 may be used in a variety of ways by teams. It may be used to cache GraphQL APIs, operate a serverless GraphQL server, or host a whole headless application. Layer0 also includes sophisticated routing capabilities, allowing teams to convert older apps to headless or API-first designs over time.

Layer0 is suitable for big companies moving to GraphQL with a mix of legacy and new components because of its GraphQL support and compatibility with existing systems.

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