GraphQL -> Typescript Codegen

Apollo Client has been configured. Now everytime we use GraphQL queries, we need the relevant types to be mapped to the query and response. Let's automate that process using graphql-code-generator.

GraphQL Code Generator is a CLI tool that generates code out of your GraphQL schema. It analyzes and parses GraphQL syntax in order to output a wide variety of code formats, typings and even components. In this tutorial, we will make use of the automatic typings for all the GraphQL portions of the app.

Install graphql-code-generator

yarn add @graphql-codegen/cli @graphql-codegen/introspection @graphql-codegen/typescript @graphql-codegen/typescript-operations @graphql-codegen/typescript-react-apollo

After the modules are installed, we will configure the code generator specifying what we would like to generate:

Create a new file codegen.js in the root directory and copy the contents below into this file.

module.exports = {
schema: [
'': {
headers: {
Authorization: 'Bearer ' + process.env.AUTH_TOKEN,
documents: ['./src/**/*.tsx', './src/**/*.ts'],
overwrite: true,
generates: {
'./src/generated/graphql.tsx': {
plugins: [
config: {
skipTypename: false,
withHooks: true,
withHOC: false,
withComponent: false,
'./graphql.schema.json': {
plugins: ['introspection'],

The configuration points to schema where our GraphQL API lives. It is configured to generate two files: graphql.tsx to output the types and graphql.schema.json, to output the result of introspection.

Let's add a new script to package.json to autogenerate these files.

Head to package.json and add this script

"scripts": {
"start": "react-scripts start",
"build": "react-scripts build",
"test": "react-scripts test",
- "eject": "react-scripts eject"
+ "eject": "react-scripts eject",
+ "generate": "graphql-codegen --config codegen.js"

Head to GraphiQL to obtain the Authorization token.

Now run the following command to generate the types

# Linux and macOS
AUTH_TOKEN=xxxxx yarn generate --watch
# Windows cmd.exe
set AUTH_TOKEN="xxxxx"
yarn generate --watch
# Windows powershell
yarn generate --watch

Replace xxxxx with the Auth Token you copied from GraphiQL. The Auth Token shouldn't have Bearer.

Note: The command is likely to throw an error until a query, mutation or subscription is defined in the project. You will add them in the next steps and the error will disappear.

This script is running in watch mode and hence will autogenerate types for any queries/mutations/subscriptions that are added later in the tutorial.

Once they are added two files will be generated:

  1. graphql.schema.json - Introspection result of the GraphQL server goes into this file in JSON format.
  2. src/generated/graphql.tsx - It will generate the necessary types for mapping GraphQL queries to Typescript.

We will import the generated GraphQL types in different parts of the tutorial and see how it helps with type safety and how much hand written code is avoided.

In case you are resuming after sometime, be sure to run this command to keep your generated types updated.

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