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Tomek Poniatowicz for GraphQL Editor

Posted on • Updated on • Originally published at

GraphQL Fragments and the benefits of using them

In this short read, I will try to break down for you the concept of GraphQL fragments. What are the fragments in GraphQL and how you can benefit from using them?

GraphQL Fragments

In GraphQL you sometimes need to query for the same fields in multiple queries. This requires defining these fields over again which can lead to tiny, but very annoying errors.

That's why GraphQL includes reusable units called fragments. Fragments let you construct reusable pieces of query logic (an equivalent to UI component of a design system). The small part of a query makes, ready to be used where needed, makes our work is way more effective, and possibly lower odds of making a simple typo.

Let's say we have a user type containing some standard fields like:

type User {
  name: String!
  age: Int!
  twitter: String!
  facebook: String!
  phone: String!
  email: String!
  street: String!
  zipcode: String!
  city: String!
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We can use the fragment to represent a set of specific fields i.e. online contact details:

fragment onlineDetails on User {
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so when querying for online details we can referer to the fragment instead of querying for all fields separately:

  getUsers {
    ... onlineDetails
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Less typing, cleaner code, easier life :)

The benefits of using fragments

GraphQL fragments allow you to reuse parts of your queries and provide such qualities as:

  • consistency - higher confidence that you’re always working on the right fields i.e when running mutations you know you update the right data.
  • better code organization - fragments improve the structure & reusability of GraphQL code, which is very handy in terms of team collaboration
  • improved communication with GraphQL server - querying for fragments isolates a component from any unwanted data.

Sounds good right? So if you are wondering if its worth using GraphQL fragments the answers is simple - YES!

Top comments (4)

sam31000 profile image
Chidiac Sami • Edited

Nice article. Thanks for your share.

However it must be used carefully. One of the main benefit of GraphQL is to retrieve exactly data needed and nothing more. A misuse of fragments can lead into performance drop.

tuucan1 profile image
Tuğcan • Edited

What's the advantage of using fragments over plain template literal variables?

For exm;

const someFields = '

and then

const someQuery = gql'
something {

(assume backticks are used instead of ')

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

I saw that David Walsh tweet too 😂

tomekponiat profile image
Tomek Poniatowicz

Pure pain ;)