Set up a GraphQL client with Apollo

Apollo gives a neat abstraction layer and an interface to your GraphQL server. You don't need to worry about constructing your queries with request body, headers and options, that you might have done with axios or fetch say. You can directly write queries and mutations in GraphQL and they will automatically be sent to your server via your apollo client instance.

React Native Apollo Installation

Let's get started by installing apollo client & peer graphql dependencies:

$ yarn add apollo-client react-apollo @apollo/react-hooks apollo-cache-inmemory apollo-link-http graphql graphql-tag

Create Apollo Client Instance

Create a file called apollo.js inside src and that exports a function called makeApolloClient that takes the authorization token as an argument and creates an instance of apollo client with our GraphQL endpoint.

import { HttpLink } from 'apollo-link-http';
import { ApolloClient } from 'apollo-client';
import { InMemoryCache } from "apollo-cache-inmemory";
const makeApolloClient = (token) => {
// create an apollo link instance, a network interface for apollo client
const link = new HttpLink({
uri: ``,
headers: {
Authorization: `Bearer ${token}`
// create an inmemory cache instance for caching graphql data
const cache = new InMemoryCache()
// instantiate apollo client with apollo link instance and cache instance
const client = new ApolloClient({
return client;
export default makeApolloClient;

Let's try to understand what is happening here.

HttpLink and InMemoryCache

We are creating an HttpLink to connect ApolloClient with the GraphQL server. As you know already, our GraphQL server is running at

At the end, we instantiate ApolloClient by passing in our HttpLink and a new instance of InMemoryCache (recommended caching solution). We are wrapping all of this in a function which will return the client.

We are going to make use of this function inside our entrypoint component (src/navigation/Main.js).

Go to src/navigation/Main.js, and create an instance of Apollo client using the function that we wrote above. This instance of ApolloClient must be passed to ApolloProvider that wraps the entire application. ApolloProvider provides this apollo client's to the context of the all the child components so that it can be used wherever required.

In this component, we fetch the auth token from AsyncStorage, create an apollo client with this token in the state. All this is performed after the first mount of the component.

import React from 'react';
import { AsyncStorage } from 'react-native';
import Drawer from './DrawerNavigator';
import CenterSpinner from '../screens/components/Util/CenterSpinner';
+import { ApolloProvider } from 'react-apollo';
+import makeApolloClient from '../apollo';
const Main = () => {
+ const [client, setClient] = React.useState(null);
const fetchSession = async () => {
// fetch session
const session = await AsyncStorage.getItem('@todo-graphql:session');
const sessionObj = JSON.parse(session);
const { token, id } = sessionObj;
+ const client = makeApolloClient(token);
+ setClient(client);
React.useEffect(() => {
}, [])
+ if (!client) {
+ return <CenterSpinner />
+ }
- return <Drawer />
+ return (
+ <ApolloProvider client={client}>
+ <Drawer />
+ </ApolloProvider>
+ );
export default Main;

Once this has been completed, we can now use the features of Apollo Client anywhere in the child application.


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