Getting started with React GraphQL

Tomek Poniatowicz

Tomek Poniatowicz

In this GraphQL tutorial, we will show you how easy is implementing GraphQL in a React application. We’ll be using the React Apollo library that allows you to fetch data from your GraphQL server and use it the React framework.

Setup a project

Before you start make sure that you have Node.js installed. To get started we first need to set up a new React project. The easiest way to do so is to use create-react-app, which allows you to create a new React project with zero build configuration.

$ npx create-react-app my-graphql-project
$ cd my-graphql-project
$ npm start

Install dependencies

Once you have above done the next step will be to install dependencies. You can do it with a single NPM command which will install the following packages:

$ npm install apollo-boost react-apollo graphql graphql-tag
  • apollo-boost: a package with all necessary Apollo Client components
  • react-apollo: a view layer for React
  • graphql & graphql-tag: both required to parse GraphQL queries

Create a client

Now you need to create an instance of Apollo Client. You can do it App.js by adding the following code:

import ApolloClient from 'apollo-boost'
const client = new ApolloClient({
  uri: '[Put your GraphQL endpoint URI here]',

Create GraphlQL Endpoint

To start with, all you really need is the endpoint for your GraphQL server. You can define it in uri or it will be /graphql endpoint on the same host as your app by default.

Connect your React app with Apollo

To connect the Apollo Client to React use the ApolloProvider component exported from react-apollo. The ApolloProvider works simillar to React’s context provider:

  • it wrapps your React app,
  • places the client on the context,

giving you access to it anywhere in your component tree.

import React from 'react'
import { render } from 'react-dom'
import { ApolloProvider } from 'react-apollo'
import ApolloClient from 'apollo-boost'
const client = new ApolloClient({
  uri: '[Put your GraphQL endpoint URI here]',
const App = () => (
  <ApolloProvider client={client}>
      <h1>My app</h1>

render(<App />, document.getElementById('root'))

You made it!

Now, once your first React + GraphQL app is up and running you can start fetching some data with GraphlQL Queries have fun!

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