NEW! WPGraphQL for Advanced Custom Fields

Interact with ACF Field data using GraphQL Queries

WPGraphQL + Gatsby Tutorial

Zac Gordon put together a group of engineers to work on a formal project, GatsbyWPThemes.com to port popular WordPress themes to Gatsby themes.

Recently, Muhammad Muhsin published a tutorial showcasing how users can create a Gatsby theme using WordPress as the CMS and WPGraphQL as the API for Gatsby to consume data from.

Take a look at the tutorial, and let us know what you build with Gatsby and WPGraphQL!

Release v0.2.3

Today we released a new version of WPGraphQL, v0.2.3.

The release can be found here: https://github.com/wp-graphql/wp-graphql/releases/tag/v0.2.3

Below is a recap of the release notes:

Breaking Changes

  • none

New Features

  • #676: New TimezoneEnum type added to the Schema
  • #719: New graphql_menu_item_connection_args and graphql_menu_item_connection_query_argsfilters added to the MenuItemConnectionResolver. Thanks @epeli!

Bug Fixes

  • #714 Fixes global $post not properly being setup before resolving fields for posts. Thanks @epeli!
  • #716: Adjusts how the MenuLocationEnum values are determined to include all locations, not just locations with a menu already assigned.

Easy static HTML exports of your Next.js + GraphQL site

You’re here because you’d like to learn how to create static HTML exports for your Next.js site which uses GraphQL as a data source to create dynamic pages from page components. And that site may even use WPGraphQL to pull content from WordPress.

Fantastic, this article will describe the simple process of doing exactly that.

Generally speaking, all else being equal, serving a static HTML file as a webpage is generally going to be the fastest way to get that page in your users hands. There are exceptions to every rule, but this is a pretty safe bet. This speed is great for SEO, UX, conversion rates, blah blah blah, but building a site that delivers that fast is also just fun!

Bare with me for a few moments as we setup the solution with a bit of boilerplate.

As you will see if you peruse the interactive Next.js docs, they have a simple method of enabling static HTML exports. Create a file in your project at the root directory called next.config.js, and add the following code:

module.exports = {
  exportPathMap: function () {
    return {
      '/': { page: '/' }
    }
  }
}

Then add the following to package.json:

{
  "scripts": {
    "build": "next build",
    "export": "next export"
  }
}

And then run:

npm run build
npm run export

Now checkout the out directory. You’ll see static HTML file for your index route. You can now run the following to see your site in action:

npm install -g serve
cd out
serve -p 8080

The Next.js docs then extend this example with the following code snippet:

module.exports = {
  exportPathMap: function () {
    return {
      '/': { page: '/' },
      '/about': { page: '/about' },
      '/p/hello-nextjs': {page: '/post', query: { title: 'Hello Next.js' } },
      '/p/learn-nextjs': { page: '/post', query: { title: 'Learn Next.js is awesome' } },
      '/p/deploy-nextjs': { page: '/post', query: { title: 'Deploy apps with Zeit' } },
      '/p/exporting-pages': { page: '/post', query: { title: 'Learn to Export HTML Pages' } }
    }
  }
}

What we are doing here on the lines starting with '/p…' is passing query data to the component at '/post'.

Ok, now the problem becomes clear: we need a data source to populate the query (or params, title, date, etc.) that our components rely on. But the next export doesn’t “hook into” the GraphQL data source you have likely already setup in your _app.js.

So does this mean you need to rewire everything to hook up GraphQL, write fetching logic, looping, etc?

No, it means I had to. You can just install the NPM package I created and do some basic configuration. 🙂

Enter next-graphql-static-export:

A minimal package which provides the functionality required to perform a static HTML export of dynamic pages from Next.js when using GraphQL as a data source.

https://www.npmjs.com/package/next-graphql-static-export

Ok, end of boilerplate setup. Let’s get down creating your Next.js+GraphQL+WPGraphQL+static-HTML-exported site.

By the way, you do not need to include WPGraphQL in your project to make use of this method. Though if your site has a WordPress backend, you probably should.

There are no assumptions in the code for the NPM package which rely on WPGraphQL, other than possibly the schema.

Here is the relevant bit of the WPGraphQL schema in a query result:

{
  "data": {
    "posts": {
      "pageInfo": {
        "endCursor": "PQOXYXljb25uZWN0oT6uOjEwMzg5Mg==",
        "hasNextPage": true
      },
      "nodes": [
        {
          "id": "cG3zdDozMDO3MTA=",
          "uri": "why-you-should-use-wpgraphql",
          "title": "Why You Should Use WPGraphQL"
        }
      ]
    }
  }
}

Notice the nesting of pageInfo, endCursor and hasNext page, along with nodes. It’s worth taking a quick look at the results you get from queries on your project if you are not using WPGraphQL. If your GraphQL server does not return data in this format, no problem, you can still easily use this package. You’ll just need to write a custom query result parsing function. Details below.

We’ll assume for the moment that your GraphQL server does have the same schema as WPGraphQL and move on.

First install ‘next-graphql-static-export’:

npm i next-graphql-static-export

Now create a new config-exports.js file in the root directory of your project, where we will configure the parameters that we pass to the processContent made available via the next-graphql-static-export library. The following is an example of sensible defaults:

// Include our queries. See https://docs.wpgraphql.com/getting-started/posts for basic queries
const postsQuery = require("./queries/posts-query");
const pagesQuery = require("./queries/pages-query");
const productsQuery = require("./queries/products-query");

// Your graphql endpoint
const endpoint = `https://www.website.com/graphql`;

// The custom information we pass to properly fetch data for each 'post type' or content type, the result of which is the object that Next.js needs to produce an accurate static HTML export of our site
const typeParams = [
  {
    pageComponent: "page",
    contentType: "pages",
    query: pagesQuery,
    urlBase: "pages",
    perPage: 100,
    endpoint
  },
  {
    pageComponent: "product",
    contentType: "products",
    query: productsQuery,
    urlBase: "products",
    perPage: 100,
    endpoint
  },
  {
    pageComponent: "article",
    contentType: "posts",
    query: postsQuery,
    urlBase: "articles",
    perPage: 100,
    endpoint
  }
];

module.exports = {
  typeParams
};

Open up your package.json again, and add change the line pertaining to the dev script to the following:

"scripts": {
    "dev": "EXPORT=false node server.js",
    ...
}

This EXPORT env var will allow us to continue to use npm run dev to develop our site, yet avoid doing a full static HTML export every time we change a line of code (see next step for where we use this env var).

Open up your next.config.js again, and make it look similar to the following:

const processContent = require("next-graphql-static-export");
const { typeParams } = require("./config-export");

module.exports = {
  exportPathMap: async () => {
    if (EXPORT === "false") return {}; // This is where we use the env var we just added to the dev script.

    const [pages, products] = await processContent(typeParams);

    // Create the static pages with Next
    return {
      "/": { page: "/" }
      // ...pages,
      // ...products
      // ...posts
    };
  }
};

Now go ahead and run the following again:

npm run build
npm run export
cd out
serve -p 8080

Open up localhost:8080 and you should see your beautiful site with all dynamic page fully rendered and served as static HTML!

Passing your own query result parsing function

If your schema differs from the one shown above, then you will need to pass your own query result parsing function to your typeParams in your config-export.js file. Here is an example function which exactly reproduces the existing functionality:

const parseQueryResults = (queryResponse, contentType) => {
  const {
    [contentType]: {
      nodes,
      pageInfo: { hasNextPage, endCursor } 
    }
  } = queryResponse;
  return { nodes, hasNextPage, endCursor };
};

Note that the function takes in the queryResponse, and the current contentType, both of which are used to destructure the query result and return the following required values: nodes, hasNextPage, endCursor.

You can use any amount of logic in this function, but those values are required.

To use this function in your implementation, simply add the function as a parameter to the relevant content types. So our new config-exports.js would look like this:

// Include our queries. See https://docs.wpgraphql.com/getting-started/posts for basic queries
const postsQuery = require("./queries/posts-query");
const pagesQuery = require("./queries/pages-query");
const productsQuery = require("./queries/products-query");

// Your graphql endpoint
const endpoint = `https://www.website.com/graphql`;

// Custom query result parsing function
const parseQueryResults = (queryResponse, contentType) => {
  const {
    [contentType]: {
      nodes,
      pageInfo: { hasNextPage, endCursor } 
    }
  } = queryResponse;
  return { nodes, hasNextPage, endCursor };
};

// The custom information we pass to properly fetch data for each 'post type' or content type, the result of which is the object that Next.js needs to produce an accurate static HTML export of our site
const typeParams = [
  {
    pageComponent: "page",
    contentType: "pages",
    query: pagesQuery,
    urlBase: "pages",
    perPage: 100,
    endpoint,
    parseQueryResults // Passing our function as a parameter
  },
  {
    pageComponent: "product",
    contentType: "products",
    query: productsQuery,
    urlBase: "products",
    perPage: 100,
    endpoint,
    parseQueryResults
  },
  {
    pageComponent: "article",
    contentType: "posts",
    query: postsQuery,
    urlBase: "articles",
    perPage: 100,
    endpoint,
    parseQueryResults
  }
];

module.exports = {
  typeParams
};

And that’s all there is to adapting this module to a different schema than the one natively expected. Feel free to reach out with any questions.

Preventing unauthenticated requests to your WPGraphQL API

Someone asked in the Slack channel how they could lock down the WPGraphQL endpoint so that only authenticated users could access it.

Provided Solution

add_action( 'do_graphql_request', 'force_graphql_api_authentication', 10, 1 );

function force_graphql_api_authentication( $query ) {
	if ( ! defined( 'GRAPHQL_HTTP_REQUEST' ) || true !== GRAPHQL_HTTP_REQUEST ) {
		return;
	}

	$introspection_query = \GraphQL\Type\Introspection::getIntrospectionQuery();
	$is_introspection_query = trim($query) === trim(introspection_query);

	if ( $is_introspection_query ) {
		return;
	}

	if ( ! get_current_user_id() ) {
		throw new \GraphQL\Error\UserError( __( 'You do not have permission to access the API', 'your-textdomain' ) );
	}
}

What this does

Below, I’ll walk through what this snippet does.

Hook into the GraphQL request lifecycle

add_action( 'do_graphql_request', 'force_graphql_api_authentication', 10, 1 );

This snippet hooks into the do_graphql_request action, which is fired when a GraphQL request is about to be executed, and fires the function force_graphql_api_authentication

The action passes 4 args to the force_graphql_api_authentication callback: $query, $operation, $variables and $params. For this particular case, we only care about the first argument, $query, which is the query string to be executed.

Determine if the request is an HTTP Request

Since WPGraphQL can be used internally within your Plugin and Theme PHP code to hydrate data for page templates, shortcodes, etc, locking down all GraphQL requests could have unintentional consequences, so we don’t want to prevent all unauthenticated requests from executing with GraphQL, we just want to prevent unauthenticated requests coming over HTTP.

So we first check:

if ( ! defined( 'GRAPHQL_HTTP_REQUEST' ) || true !== GRAPHQL_HTTP_REQUEST ) {
  return;
}

This checks to see if the request is indeed a GraphQL HTTP Request. If it’s not, it simply returns and we let GraphQL carry on as usual. That means internal GraphQL requests using the graphql() function can be processed as usual.

Ignore Introspection Queries

GraphQL has an awesome feature where the Schema itself is queryable. Tools such as WPGraphiQL, GraphQL Playground and Altair make use of the IntrospectionQuery to fetch the Schema and render Schema documentation for users.

$introspection_query = \GraphQL\Type\Introspection::getIntrospectionQuery();
$is_introspection_query = trim($query) === trim(introspection_query);

if ( $is_introspection_query ) {
  return;
}

Here we use a helper method from the underlying GraphQL PHP library which is part of WPGraphQL to get the Introspection Query.

$introspection_query = \GraphQL\Type\Introspection::getIntrospectionQuery();

Then, we compare the incoming query, which is passed through the do_graphql_request action to check if the incoming query is an IntrospectionQuery or not:

$is_introspection_query = trim($query) === trim(introspection_query);

And last, if we’ve determined that the incoming query is indeed an IntrospectionQuery, we return and allow GraphQL to execute as normal. This will allow GraphQL to execute the Introspection Query and send the Schema back to the tool requesting it.

if ( $is_introspection_query ) {
  return;
}

Throw an error if the request is not authenticated

Lastly, we check to see if the request is authenticated by checking for the ID of the current user. If the ID is “0”, then the request is not authenticated, so we want to throw an error.

if ( ! get_current_user_id() ) {
	throw new \GraphQL\Error\UserError( __( 'You do not have permission to access the API', 'your-textdomain' ) );
}

Conclusion

With this snippet, you can lock down your WPGraphQL endpoint so nothing will be executed if the request is not authenticated.

If you need to make authenticated requests, we recommend using WPGraphQL JWT Authentication, but any of the Auth plugins that work for the REST API plugin _should_ work well with WPGraphQL as well.


NOTE: The Application Passwords plugin requires a filter to play nice with WPGraphQL:

add_filter( 'application_password_is_api_request', function( $api_request ) {
  if ( defined( 'GRAPHQL_HTTP_REQUEST' ) && true === GRAPHQL_HTTP_REQUEST ) {
     return true;
  }
  return $api_request;
});

Build an App Using React and the GraphQL Plugin for WordPress in ~15mins

If you keep up with tech trends, you likely already know that GraphQL is one of the newer breakout technologies that people are gushing about. It’s an open source specification created and used by Facebook’s Engineering team that can be used to push and pull data between APIs and apps. REST APIs have traditionally been used for that purpose, but GraphQL has several advantages over them that you can read more about here.

If you work on the WordPress platform, you’ll be happy to learn that a GraphQL implementation exists for WordPress – the WPGraphQL plugin! The project was started by Jason Bahl and is being actively being developed by him and a number of other contributors. In this post, I’ll walk you through building a sample app that uses React and Apollo Client in the browser to fetch data from a WordPress site that’s running WPGraphQL. Let’s roll! 🏎💨

Building Our App

We’re going to build an app that allows you to search for blog posts. If any matches are found on the server, WPGraphQL will send back the data we requested for each post and our React app will render cards to the page for the matching posts. Here it is in action:

The completed app is available in the WPGraphQL Examples repo.

In order to use GraphQL, you need software running on the server to receive requests, process them then send back a response. Server implementations exist in most popular server-side languages (PHP/Node/Python/etc.). We’ll be using the WPGraphQL plugin on the server, which takes two existing PHP libraries for GraphQL (graphql-php & graphql-relay-php), and layers WordPress-specific functionality on top of them, so that it’s possible to run queries for blog posts, pages, taxonomies, settings, users, and many other WordPress-y things (these are referred to as “types” in GraphQL parlance).

Once the server supports GraphQL, you’ll also need a client-side library to help out with sending the requests to the server and receiving the responses that come back. Many such libraries exist. For our client-side app, we’ll be using Apollo Client.

Steps to Follow

1. Make sure you have node and npm installed and are mildly familiar with React and running commands on the command line.

2. Install and activate the WPGraphQL plugin on the WP site you’d like to pull data from. You should then be able to visit the /graphql endpont in a browser, such as example.com/graphql and see JSON output rather than your site’s 404 page. Don’t worry if you see a “Syntax Error GraphQL” message in the JSON output. That’s expected, since we haven’t sent a valid request to the /graphql endpont yet – merely visited it directly in a browser.

One important distinction to note here: with REST APIs, many different endpoints are used, depending on the type of data you need to send/receive. With GraphQL though, all requests use a single endpoint. The WPGraphQL plugin registers the /graphql route for that purpose.

3. Run these commands to get a fresh app up and running locally using Create React App:
npx create-react-app using-react-apollo
cd using-react-apollo
npm start

You can now open http://localhost:3000/ to see your app. You can hit ctrl+c whenever you need to stop it, then npm start whenever you need to get it running again.

4. Install the npm packages we need.
npm install apollo-boost react-apollo graphql graphql-tag

Here’s a brief description of each:

  • apollo-boost: Package containing everything we need to set up Apollo Client
  • react-apollo: Apollo Client view layer integration for React
  • graphql: Library for parsing GraphQL queries
  • graphql-tag: Library that takes ES6 template literal strings and compiles them into GraphQL ASTs (Abstract Syntax Trees) that can then be passed into Apollo Client

5. Open the project in a code editor. In the /src/ folder of your project, delete all the files except index.js and index.css to clean things up a bit.

6. Replace the contents of /src/index.js with the code below, but swap out “https://www.wpgraphql.com/graphql” with the URL of the WP site you want to pull data from.

You can see that we’re creating a new client using Apollo and providing it with the URL endpoint to use for GraphQL requests. We’re also wrapping our entire app in a new ApolloProvider and passing to it the client we created as the client prop. The result of this is that we’ll now be able to use the react-apollo library to make GraphQL requests anywhere inside of our app.

7. Replace the contents of /src/index.css with this code to give our app some style. 😎

8. You may have noticed that /src/index.js tries to import a PostsSearch component that doesn’t exist yet. Let’s fix that! Create a new /src/PostsSearch.js file and paste in this code:

This component provides the input in which users can type the text they’d like to search for. Once the search field is populated with text, it renders the PostsList component (which we’ll create next), providing the search query to it as a prop.

9. Create a new /src/PostsList.js file and paste in this code:

This is where the magic happens ✨. At the top, we’re defining a POSTS_SEARCH_QUERY GraphQL query. It takes in a search string as an argument and tells WPGraphQL to search for WordPress blog posts that match it, and send back their data. Notice that unlike a REST API where you have no control over which data is sent back in the response, here we are telling WPGraphQL exactly what data we’d like to get back, and the shape to put it in.

In GraphQL, “edges” represent connections between nodes, and “node” is a generic term for an object – in our case those objects will be blog posts.

You can also see that we’re using the Query component and passing to it our query as well as the search string to use as the argument it gets. Query handles all the heavy lifting and provides a render prop. We are immediately destructuring the three props we receive into loading, error, and data variables. After that we have some declarative JSX code to handle all possible scenarios. Different things are rendered depending on whether:

  • the query is currently in progress (loading)
  • an error has occurred
  • matching posts were NOT found, or
  • matching posts WERE found

If matching posts were found, we map over them and render out a PostCard component for each (which we’ll create next).

10. And now for our final PostCard component that will handle rendering each individual post card. Create a new /src/PostCard.js file and paste in this code:

That’s it! Once those four JS files and one CSS file are in place, you should be able to run npm start (if the app’s not already running), then visit http://localhost:3000/ and try searching for some blog posts. Any string you type will be used to search both blog post titles and their content, and the matching results will pop into view.

Let’s contrast our app from one using a traditional REST API for a minute –
If you were to build an app like this using a REST API, you’d potentially have to make multiple requests back to the server to get all the data you need. The first REST endpoint may take in a search string as an argument and respond with a list of the post IDs for the matching search results. You’d then have to take those post IDs and make another request back to the server to get all of the data you need for those posts (title, date, author, featured image, etc.). Extra, synchronous round trips like that back to the server can be expensive and slow down your frontend app. By contrast, with GraphQL, everything can be fetched in one request. For example, you could build a complex query for getting the most recent 10 posts, then for each of the authors of those, get some of their user data (name, email, etc.) as well as a list of their 3 most recent posts in a particular category. If you’re using GraphQL, all of that data could be fetched from the server in a single request and returned to your frontend app all at once, formatted in exactly the way you requested.

This example app merely scratches the surface of what can be done with these technologies. You can dig into the documentation for WPGraphQL to learn more about working with mutations (changing or deleting data), implementing authentication, defining your own GraphQL types, connections and resolvers, and much more.

Apollo Client also has lots more to offer from sending requests for mutations to the server (in addition to query requests, like the one we send in this example app), caching query data locally, providing you with a global app data store using Apollo Link State, pagination, and many other features.

Now go forth and see what other cool things you can build with these technologies. 😊

Querying Sticky Posts with GraphQL

Recently, a WPGraphQL user asked how to query only sticky posts with a GraphQL query. 

One of the great things about WPGraphQL is how customizable it is with hooks and filters, making it easy to extend the API for your needs. 

End goal

One (of many possible) solutions would be to allow the client to specify that they only want sticky posts as an argument on the posts connection query.

A query could look something like the following: 

query GET_STICKY_POSTS {
  posts( where: {onlySticky: true }) {
    nodes {
      id
      title
      date
      link
    }
  }
}

This query would allow the client to specify that they want posts, but onlySticky posts

This should give us what we were looking for, a way to query only sticky posts using WPGraphQL. 

The issue is that the onlySticky argument doesn’t exist in the WPGraphQL plugin, so if we want to use it, we’ll need to add it ourselves.

Register the “onlySticky” argument

To add this field as an argument, we can use the following snippet:

add_action( 'graphql_register_types', function() {
    register_graphql_field( 'RootQueryToPostConnectionWhereArgs', 'onlySticky', [
        'type' => 'Boolean',
        'description' => __( 'Whether to only include sticky posts', 'your-textdomain' ),
    ] );
} );

Here we hook into the graphql_register_types action, to make sure the GraphQL Type registry is ready to be hooked into. 

Next, we register a field to the GraphQL schema by using the register_graphql_field() method.

The first argument is the name of the Type to register the field to. In our case, that Type is RootQueryToPostConnectionWhereArgs. This is the Input Type that is used by the root posts field to provide filters to the query. 

The next argument is the name of the field we’re registering. Here, we’re using onlySticky as the field name. 

The third argument is an array to configure the field. We declare the Type the field should be is Boolean, meaning it should be either true or false, and provide a description for the field. 

At this point, our query would validate, as onlySticky would be a valid argument on the query now, but our actual results aren’t affected.

Filter the WP_Query to respect the onlySticky input

The next step we need to take is to filter how WPGraphQL resolves the query and make sure it respects the onlySticky argument that was input. 

We can do so with the following snippet:

add_filter( 'graphql_post_object_connection_query_args', function( $query_args, $source, $args, $context, $info ) {
    if ( isset( $args['where']['onlySticky'] ) && true === $args['where']['onlySticky'] ) {
        $sticky_ids = get_option( 'sticky_posts' );
        $query_args = [
            'posts_per_page' => count( $sticky_ids ),
            'post__in' => $sticky_ids
        ];
    }
    return $query_args;
}, 10, 5 );

Here, we filter graphql_post_object_connection_query_args. This filter can be found in the PostObjectConnectionResolver.php file in the WPGraphQL plugin. 

This allows for the $query_args that are prepared to send to WP_Query for execution to be filtered prior to WP_Query fetching the posts. 

Inside this filter, we check to see if the $args that were passed through the resolver from GraphQL include the onlySticky input, and if that value is true

If those conditions are met, then we define custom $query_args, by first getting a list of the sticky posts, then asking to query only those IDs and the posts_per_page equal to the number of sticky posts we have. 

Then we return the modified $query_args for WP_Query to use to resolve the query.

In action

Now, we can see our query in action. 

First, go set a couple posts to sticky, if you haven’t already:

Screenshot showing a few sticky posts

Then, using WPGraphiQL, execute the query, and the results returned should only be the Sticky posts!

GIF showing how the query with onlySticky set to true, and the results being only sticky posts

Conclusion

My hope is that this shows how easy it is to extend WPGraphQL for your system’s needs. The plugin is powerful out of the box, but if you have custom needs for your application, take advantage of the various hooks and filters in the plugin to make it work for you!

Introducing playground.wpgraphql.com

I’ve done many presentations about the WPGraphQL plugin, and I find myself showing demos of many of the same features, so in order to streamline the demos before my presentation at the 2018 WordCamp Phoenix, I created https://playground.wpgraphql.com

This site showcases examples of GraphQL Queries and Mutations on a live WordPress site with the WPGraphQL plugin active. The demos start out very basic, and as you work down the list, you will see progressively more advanced examples of GraphQL use cases, demonstrating both unique features of the WPGraphQL plugin and the broader GraphQL Query Language.

Enjoy.

New meeting schedule in the WPGraphQL slack

Over the past few weeks we have been working hard towards the stable 1.0 release of the WPGraphQL plugin. We have a plethora of issues in our backlog that we feel are necessary to resolve before the stable release. In order to try and organize our efforts a little bit better, and to make it easier for new contributors to come on board, we will be adding scheduled bug scrubs and office hours within the WPGraphQL slack organization. If you haven’t joined the slack organization yet, use the link on the community page to get added.

Starting the week of October 16th, the schedule for meetings will be as follows:

  • Bug Scrubs: every Tuesday and Thursday, 11:30am – 12:00pm MDT
  • Office Hours: every Friday at 10:00am – 11:00am MDT

If you are interested in contributing to the WPGraphQL plugin, we would love to have you join us for some of the bug scrubs if you can spare some time. We are looking for help on issues such as documentation, unit testing, and overall plugin architecture. If you are a consumer of the API, or someone modifying it for your needs we would love to hear how you are using the plugin so we can make sure we are making the right decisions for the future of the plugin, as well as the community. See you in slack!

WPGraphQL Featured on FreeCodeCamp

FreeCodeCamp is a popular YouTube channel that posts free videos about coding. Today, Jesse Weigel did a live coding session diving into using GraphQL with WordPress and after comparing a few options, he settled on using WPGraphQL.

Watching the video was eye opening. It was great to see that folks are interested in using GraphQL with WordPress, but it was also clear that the documentation and resources to get started using WPGraphQL are still pretty lacking. Documentation will be a focus over the next few weeks to make sure folks have what they need to get up and running with WPGraphQL.

Thanks, Jesse for featuring the plugin!

Check out the video from FreeCodeCamp here:

 

 

Tracing for WPGraphQL

In 2015, Huey Petersen wrote an article about instrumenting a GraphQL schema to track resolver times and provide insight into how the GraphQL server is performing. Since then Apollo Optics has taken the instrumentation to a new level, providing a SaaS solution for storing data about your GraphQL requests. The Apollo team has also been working on a proposal to standardize the instrumentation, and they’re calling it Apollo Tracing.

The proposed spec is still young, but the goal is to come up with a standard for how GraphQL schemas should record performance metrics for requests and their resolvers so that tools like Apollo and perhaps even GraphiQL or others can make use of these standard extensions.

While the spec is still young, having these metrics is pretty important for us, so we’ve introduced WPGraphQL Insights. It’s a plugin that adds tracing to your WPGraphQL server. The plugin is pretty early in development, so I wouldn’t suggest running it in production quite yet, but feel free to test it out on your local/dev environments and provide any feedback on the Github repo so we can make it better!

The near-future plans for the WPGraphQL Insights plugin are:

  • add the ability for the server to enable/disable tracing
    • add a settings page
    • define via a constant, ex: define( ‘GRAPHQL_TRACING’, true );
  • allow the client to request tracing in the response (see this discussion)
  • provide storage options for the trace data
    • We’re working with the Apollo Optics team to figure out how we can get the trace data from a WPGraphQL server into Optics
    • We’re experimenting with storing trace data locally in WordPress to some degree
    • We’re experimenting with sending the data elsewhere, like logstash/elasticsearch.

Here’s a look at tracing in action on WPGraphQL. Enjoy!