GraphQL is a specification for defining an API schema, giving it types, and a way to relate data provided by the backend API. To understand more about GraphQL, and why it's a useful API specification, we found Github's documentation helpful.
First Resonance adopted a GraphQL API for ion not only because it is becoming adopted by many API providers, but because of how fitting it is for manufacturing systems. Specifically, GraphQL allows clients to request and receive only the data it needs. In a complex manufacturing environment, this is important to maintain simplicity while still serving all of the various types of engineers working in manufacturing. Furthermore, the complex relationships across different processes and systems (e.g. Runs and Issues) is significantly better to relate and understand using the GraphQL specification over, e.g. REST.