Implementing GraphQL as a Query Language for Deductive Databases in SWI-Prolog Using DCGs, Quasi Quotations, and Dicts

Falco Nogatz
Dietmar Seipel

The methods to access large relational databases in a distributed system are well established: the relational query language SQL often serves as a language for data access and manipulation, and in addition public interfaces are exposed using communication protocols like REST. Similarly to REST, GraphQL is the query protocol of an application layer developed by Facebook. It provides a unified interface between the client and the server for data fetching and manipulation. Using GraphQL's type system, it is possible to specify data handling of various sources and to combine, e.g., relational with NoSQL databases. In contrast to REST, GraphQL provides a single API endpoint and supports flexible queries over linked data.

GraphQL can also be used as an interface for deductive databases. In this paper, we give an introduction of GraphQL and a comparison to REST. Using language features recently added to SWI-Prolog 7, we have developed the Prolog library, which implements the GraphQL type system and query syntax as a domain-specific language with the help of definite clause grammars (DCG), quasi quotations, and dicts. Using our library, the type system created for a deductive database can be validated, while the query system provides a unified interface for data access and introspection.

In Sibylle Schwarz and Janis Voigtländer: Proceedings 29th and 30th Workshops on (Constraint) Logic Programming and 24th International Workshop on Functional and (Constraint) Logic Programming (WLP'15/'16/WFLP'16), Dresden and Leipzig, Germany, 22nd September 2015 and 12-14th September 2016, Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science 234, pp. 42–56.
Published: 1st January 2017.

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