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GraphQL and SwiftUI: A Dynamic Duo for the App-tastic Adventures

Updated: Mar 25, 2023

Unleash the power of GraphQL in your SwiftUI apps with this beginner-friendly guide!


Let’s face it: building and managing apps can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to fetching and updating data. But don’t fret, dear reader!


We’ve got just the solution to make your app development journey a walk in the park. Enter GraphQL and SwiftUI, the dynamic duo that’ll make your life as a developer way easier (and more fun)!





In this article, we’ll explore the basics of GraphQL and SwiftUI, and we’ll show you how to use them together to create a seamless, engaging user experience.


So, grab your cape and buckle up; we’re about to embark on an app-tastic adventure! 🦸‍♂️

  1. GraphQL: The Superhero of Data Fetching

GraphQL is like the Superman of data fetching. It swoops in to save you from the tangled web of REST APIs, providing you with a more efficient, flexible, and powerful way to request and manipulate data.


In a nutshell, GraphQL is a query language for your APIs that allows you to fetch only the data you need and nothing more. It’s like a buffet for your data, where you get to pick and choose what you want on your plate. 🍽


2. SwiftUI: The Mighty UI Toolkit


SwiftUI is Apple’s very own superhero, designed to build user interfaces across all Apple platforms. It’s a declarative framework, which means you can simply describe what you want and SwiftUI does the heavy lifting to bring your vision to life.


It’s like having your own personal superhero assistant. Talk about a dynamic duo! 💪





3. Uniting the Forces: GraphQL and SwiftUI


Now that we’ve met our superheroes, let’s see them in action!


To make this app-tastic adventure even more exciting, we’ll be using Apollo (no, not the Greek god, but a powerful GraphQL client) to help us manage our GraphQL data in SwiftUI.


Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • A SwiftUI project up and running

  • A GraphQL API endpoint (Don’t have one? Try https://countries.trevorblades.com/ for a ready-to-use API)

Follow these steps to unite the forces of GraphQL and SwiftUI:





Step 1: Add Apollo to your project


First, add the Apollo package to your project. You can do this using the Swift Package Manager:

  1. In Xcode, go to File > Add Packages.

  2. Enter the Apollo GitHub repository URL: https://github.com/apollographql/apollo-ios

  3. Select the version you want and click Add Package.

Step 2: Create a GraphQL file

  1. In your project, create a new file named “Queries.graphql”.

  2. Add your GraphQL queries to this file (e.g., fetching a list of countries and their codes).

Step 3: Generate API.swift

After setting up Apollo, you’ll need to generate an API.swift file that will contain your query types and structures.

To do this, open your terminal and navigate to your project’s root directory. Run the following command:

apollo codegen:generate --target=swift --localSchemaFile="schema.json" --includes=./**/*.graphql --output=API.swift

Remember to replace “schema.json” with the path to your GraphQL schema file if necessary.


Step 4: Fetch data with Apollo in SwiftUI


Now, it’s time to fetch the data and display it in SwiftUI. In your ContentView.swift file, add the following code:

import SwiftUI
import Apollo

struct ContentView: View {
    @State var countries: [Country] = []

    var body: some View {
        List(countries, id: \.code) { country in
            Text(country.name)
        }
        .onAppear {
            Network.shared.apollo.fetch(query: CountriesQuery()) { result in
                switch result {
                case .success(let graphQLResult):
                    if let countries = graphQLResult.data?.countries {
                        self.countries = countries.compactMap { $0 }
                    }
                case .failure(let error):
                    print(error.localizedDescription)
                }
            }
        }
    }
}

struct ContentView_Previews: PreviewProvider {
    static var previews: some View {
        ContentView()
    }
}

This code sets up a List view that will display the countries fetched from the API. The onAppear modifier triggers the fetch query when the view appears, and the fetched data is stored in the countries state variable.


Step 5: Build and Run


Finally, build and run your app to see your app-tastic adventure come to life! 🎉 You should now see a list of countries in your app.





Conclusion


Congratulations, you made it to the end of our app-tastic adventure!


By now, you should have a good understanding of how GraphQL and SwiftUI can work together to make your app development journey more efficient, flexible, and powerful.


As we’ve seen, GraphQL is a super-powered data-fetching tool, and SwiftUI is a mighty UI toolkit. Together, they make a dynamic duo that can help you create a seamless, engaging user experience in your apps.


So go forth, dear reader, and unleash the power of GraphQL and SwiftUI in your app-tastic adventures! And always remember, with great power comes great responsibility. (Sorry, we had to throw in one last superhero reference.) 😎

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