Elizabeth Alcalá

Boost your productivity with apollo hooks and typescript.

Generate types with apollo codegen.

In a world where Typescript is becoming an essential part (almost required) of many web applications, it's very useful to know how to use it with the many libraries that are in our current stack.

If you work on a React app which already uses Typescript, and you also use Apollo, this guide will help to start using Typescript with it, to take advantage of the beautiful work of static typing.

Start our project.

Let's configure apollo in our new app.

yarn add apollo-boost @apollo/react-hooks apollo

Now let's create our Apollo client and use it with the React application.

On the App.tsx add the following code.

import React from 'react';
import ApolloClient from 'apollo-boost';
import { ApolloProvider } from '@apollo/react-hooks';
import './App.css';
const client = new ApolloClient({
uri: 'https://rickandmortyapi.com/graphql',
function App() {
return (
<ApolloProvider client={client}>
Rick and Morty App
export default App;

Write some queries.

Now that we configured Apollo in our app, let's write some queries to get the data from the API.

Let's create a new file called queries.ts on the root of the project and add our first query to get the characters.

import { gql } from 'apollo-boost';
export const CHARACTERS_QUERY = gql`
query charactersQuery(
$page: Int,
$name: String,
$status: String,
$species: String,
$type: String,
$gender: String
) {
page: $page,
filter: {
name: $name,
status: $status,
species: $species,
type: $type,
gender: $gender
info {
results {

The query above has some variables to filter the characters and to paginate the list, look the fields inside results, those fields are the one who belongs to the character, there are a few more, but those are most relevant for now.

Now, create a new filled called Characters.tsx, this is where we will use the query and make the request.

import React from 'react';
import { useQuery } from '@apollo/react-hooks';
import { CHARACTERS_QUERY } from './queries'
const Characters = () => {
const { data } = useQuery(CHARACTERS_QUERY);
return (
<pre>{JSON.stringify(data, null, 2)}</pre>
export default Characters;

Let's break down this to understand it better.

Import this new Characters component into the App, and you will see the data from all the characters.

Generate Types.

This is my favorite part, you can generate the types for the queries, this will highly increase your productivity writing code, apollo codegen is a tool that allows us to do exactly that.

Previously we installed the apollo library so now we are going to create a configuration file apollo.config.js on the root of the project.

module.exports = {
client: {
service: {
url: 'https://rickandmortyapi.com/graphql',
includes: ['./src/**/*.{ts,tsx,js,jsx,graphql}'],

Let's also include a new script on the package.json to run it and generate the types.

"scripts": {
"start": "react-scripts start",
"build": "react-scripts build",
"test": "react-scripts test",
"apollo:codegen": "apollo client:codegen --tagName=gql --target=typescript types",
"eject": "react-scripts eject"

The tagName flag is the name of the template literal tag used, in this case, is gql, the target is the type of code generator to use, the final types is the output, the new folder when all the types are going to be.

Check the documentation to know what other options you can set.

So now you are ready to run yarn run apollo:codegen on the console and see what happens.


Check your project and you should see two new folders, we only need the one with the charactersQuery.ts file inside.

Using the types with hooks.

Let's go back to the Characters component, now that we have the types generated the next part is straightforward.

import React from 'react';
import { useQuery } from '@apollo/react-hooks';
import { CHARACTERS_QUERY } from './queries';
import { charactersQuery, charactersQueryVariables } from './types/charactersQuery';
const Characters = () => {
const { data } = useQuery<charactersQuery, charactersQueryVariables>(CHARACTERS_QUERY);
return (
<pre>{JSON.stringify(data, null, 2)}</pre>
export default Characters;

Import those types and include it on the useQuery hook, and now you're ready to go.


Since we already included the types for the variables, if you tried, this will throw an error.

const { data, loading } = useQuery<charactersQuery, charactersQueryVariables>(CHARACTERS_QUERY, {
variables: {
page: "12",

Type 'string' is not assignable to type 'number | null | undefined'.ts(2322)


Generally, I tried to use Typescript for all my projects and having the types for the queries and mutations saved me a lot of time, I hope you find it useful.