Head-to-Head: graphql-request vs Relay Analysis


v6.1.0(7 months ago)

This package is actively maintained.Types definitions are bundled with the npm packageNumber of direct dependencies: 2Monthly npm downloads

graphql-request is a lightweight and flexible JavaScript library for making GraphQL requests. It provides a simple and intuitive API for sending queries and mutations to a GraphQL server. With graphql-request, you can easily fetch data from a GraphQL endpoint and handle the responses in a convenient way.

Alternatives: apollo-client, urql, relay

Tags: javascriptgraphqlclientrequestlightweight


v16.0.0(about 2 months ago)

This package is actively maintained.Types definitions are provided via a separate npm package: @types/relay-runtimeNumber of direct dependencies: 3Monthly npm downloads

Relay-runtime is a JavaScript library that provides a runtime for executing GraphQL queries. It is commonly used in combination with the Relay framework for building React applications. Relay-runtime allows developers to write GraphQL queries in a type-safe and efficient way, and handles the complexity of managing data fetching and caching. It includes features like automatic queries and mutations batching, data normalization, and persisted queries for optimizing network performance.

Alternatives: apollo-client, urql

Tags: javascriptgraphqlclientreactframeworknetwork-performancecaching



Both graphql-request and relay-runtime are popular packages within the GraphQL ecosystem. However, relay-runtime is more commonly associated with the Relay framework and is often used in conjunction with it. graphql-request, on the other hand, is a standalone package that can be used with any GraphQL client or framework.


graphql-request is a lightweight and flexible package that offers a simple and intuitive way to make GraphQL queries and mutations. It is suitable for small to medium-sized applications and provides features like query batching, caching, and error handling. relay-runtime is more feature-rich and provides advanced capabilities like automatic data caching, pagination, and mutations. It is designed specifically for building apps with the Relay framework.

Developer Experience

With graphql-request, developers have more control over the network layer and can use it with any HTTP client of their choice. It has a clear and straightforward API and works well with TypeScript. relay-runtime, on the other hand, is tightly integrated with the Relay framework, providing a more opinionated and structured approach to building GraphQL-powered applications. It offers features like query pre-compilation and data-driven updates, which can improve development efficiency when working with Relay.

Learning Curve

graphql-request has a shallow learning curve and is easier to get started with, especially for developers who are new to GraphQL. relay-runtime, on the other hand, has a steeper learning curve as it requires understanding and adoption of the Relay framework's conventions and patterns. It provides additional abstractions and tooling that may require some initial investment in learning.


graphql-request is more flexible in terms of usage as it can be used with any GraphQL server. It can be integrated into different frameworks or used in plain JavaScript or TypeScript projects. relay-runtime, on the other hand, is tightly coupled with the Relay framework and is best suited for projects that adopt Relay's conventions and have complex data requirements.

Community Support

Both graphql-request and relay-runtime have active communities and receive regular updates. However, relay-runtime benefits from the larger and more established Relay community, which provides a wealth of resources, documentation, and community-driven solutions for common GraphQL challenges.