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How to use Graphql fragments.

elisealcala profile image Elizabeth Alcalá ・2 min read

Let’s imagine you developing an app and you need a user to login to access some features.
This app has a page when you show a list of all your users and for that, you need to get the user's data in order to render some UI.
Also, if someone clicks on a single user you need to show the data from that particular user.

query User {
  user {
    id
    firstName
    lastName
    username
    email
    URL
    thumbnailUrl
    occupation
  }
}

query Users {
  users {
    edges {
      node {
          id
          firstName
          lastName
          username
          email
          url
          thumbnailUrl
          occupation
      }
    }
  }
}

How can we avoid writing these fields every time we need the user data?

Fragments are a reusable piece of a query. You can use them to avoid repeating code in some cases.
According to the Apollo documentation, one of the principal uses for fragments are Sharing fields between multiple queries, mutations, or subscriptions.

DRY: Don’t Repeat Yourself.

Let’s see how we can use fragments on a .graphql file.

fragment userAttributes on User {
  id
  firstName
  lastName
  username
  email
  url
  thumbnailUrl
  occupation
}

The component after the on, in this case User is the type we are selecting the fields from.
In order to use this fragment in a graphql file, we must import it in this way.

#import "./userFragment.graphql"

query User {
  user {
    ...userAttributes
  }
}

query Users {
  users {
    edges {
      node {
        ...userAttributes
      }
    } 
  }
}

That reducer our code significantly.
Let’s see the way to embed the fragments in our queries if we use the gql helper.

const userFragment = gql`
  fragment userAttributes on User {
    id
    firstName
    lastName
    username
    email
    url
    thumbnailUrl
    occupation
  }
`;

const userQuery = gql`
  query User {
    user {
      ...userAttributes
    }
  }
  ${userFragment}
`;

const userListQuery = gql`
  query Users {
    users {
      edges {
        node {
          ...userAttributes
        }
      } 
    }
  }
  ${userFragment}
`;

If we need to get more data about the user, it’s as easy as adding new fields to our fragment.

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