Comparison of REST and GraphQL Interfaces for OPC UA

Riku Ala-Laurinaho (Corresponding Author), Joel Mattila, Juuso Autiosalo, Jani Hietala, Heikki Laaki, Kari Tammi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Industry 4.0 and Cyber-physical systems require easy access to shop-floor data, which allows the monitoring and optimization of the manufacturing process. To achieve this, several papers have proposed various ways to make OPC UA (Open Platform Communications Unified Architec-ture), a standard protocol for industrial communication, RESTful (Representational State Transfer). As an alternative to REST, GraphQL has recently gained popularity amongst web developers. This paper compares the characteristics of the REST and GraphQL interfaces for OPC UA and conducts measurements on reading and writing data. The measurements show that GraphQL offers better performance than REST when multiple values are read or written, whereas REST is faster with single values. However, using OPC UA directly outperforms both REST and GraphQL interfaces. As a conclusion, this paper recommends using a GraphQL interface alongside an OPC UA server in smart factories to simultaneously yield easy data access, the best performance, and maximum interoperability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number65
Number of pages17
JournalComputers
Volume11
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • communication
  • GraphQL
  • Industry 4.0
  • interfaces
  • OPC UA
  • REST

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