The Graph’s Next Chapter: A Layperson’s View of a World Of Data Services

The Graph By Nov 14, 2023 1 Comment

Diving into “A World Of Data Services” GIP-0042.

Imagine The Graph as a massive digital library. Right now, this library mainly has one kind of digital book called “subgraphs.” But some folks realized that just one type of book isn’t cutting it for everyone’s needs. So, they’re suggesting we add more varieties.

Dive deeper and read on to discover how The Graph Network plans to diversify its offerings and extend its data services.

The big picture

The Graph is on the brink of a transformative change. While its roots are deeply embedded in the world of “subgraphs,” there’s a realization that the web3 ecosystem demands more. This Graph Improvement Proposal (GIP) is not just about adding new features—it’s about reshaping The Graph to cater to a broader spectrum of data services. By introducing services like JSON-RPC, Firehose, Substreams, SQL, LLMs, and more, developers will have a plethora of tools at their disposal, opening doors to use cases previously deemed impossible with just subgraphs.

A brief note on GIPs

For those new to the term, think of a GIP as a blueprint for enhancements in The Graph system. It’s a collaborative way to ensure The Graph stays relevant and efficient.

Why this change?

  1. More tools for developers: The current subgraphs aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. By introducing more options, like Substreams or Firehose, developers can find exactly what they’re after. This expansion provides immense flexibility and opportunities. For instance, a developer aiming to load all data for a smart contract into a custom database with its unique data structure will, in the future, be able to subscribe to a Substream. This allows them to load all the desired data into their database, granting them the autonomy to manipulate it as they see fit.
  2. Better for our indexers: Think of indexers as the librarians. With this change, some can specialize. One might be the go-to for Substreams, while another is the expert on subgraphs. Right now, to use a subgraph, indexers need a lot of hardware. With tools like Substreams, they won’t need as much. Some might even rely on others for certain services, letting them focus on their main job.

The nitty-gritty

Instead of just having subgraphs, our digital library will have different sections. Each section will have its own type of digital book (data service). When an indexer wants to add a new book, they’ll just pick the right section.

What makes this idea stand out?

We’ve got a unique take on this. We believe that by making these changes, The Graph will be more like a digital playground. Developers can mix, match, and create new and exciting innovations. It’s like giving everyone a digital LEGO set and seeing the incredible structures they come up with.

Any risks involved?

Change always comes with its set of challenges. But The Graph is on top of it. The Graph will test everything thoroughly and ensure it’s all safe. Plus, there will be other experts to double-check the work.

Final thoughts

It’s all about making things clear and easy to understand. So, whether you’re a developer, indexer, or just curious, we hope this breakdown helps you get the gist of what The Graph Network is aiming for with this GIP. Let’s keep making The Graph the best it can be!


I am a dedicated member of the Graph Advocates DAO and proud to be a part of the Graphtronauts community. As a passionate crypto investor and enthusiast, I have delved into the world of decentralized technologies, with a strong focus on Graph Protocol. My journey includes writing insightful blogs for Graphtronauts and contributing to the development of Subgraph documentation for various projects within the Graph Protocol ecosystem. Most recently, I have taken on the role of a Pinax technical writer, further expanding my commitment to advancing the adoption and understanding of blockchain and graph-based technologies. /n

1 Comment

  1. PaulieB says:

    It’s so exciting to see the possibilities within The Graph. Example is Sam Green’s tweet here –

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