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Operation request format

How to send requests to Apollo Server over HTTP

Also check out this post from the Apollo blog: Making GraphQL Requests using HTTP Methods

By default, almost every GraphQL IDE and client library takes care of sending operations in a format that Apollo Server supports. This article describes that format, which is also described on and in this preliminary spec.

Apollo Server accepts queries and mutations sent as POST requests. It also accepts queries sent as GET requests.

POST requests

Apollo Server accepts POST requests with a JSON body. A valid request contains a query field, along with optional variables and an operationName (if query contains multiple possible operations). You must specify a Content-Type HTTP header with type application/json.

Let's say we want to execute the following query:

query GetBestSellers($category: ProductCategory) {
bestSellers(category: $category) {

Here's an example of a valid POST request body for that query:

"query":"query GetBestSellers($category: ProductCategory){bestSellers(category: $category){title}}",
"operationName": "GetBestSellers",
"variables": { "category": "BOOKS" }

Note that operationName isn't required for this particular request body, because query includes only one operation definition.

You can execute this query against an Apollo-hosted example server right now with the following curl command:

curl --request POST \
-H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
--data '{"query":"query GetBestSellers($category: ProductCategory){bestSellers(category: $category){title}}", "operationName":"GetBestSellers", "variables":{"category":"BOOKS"}}' \

Apollo Server's default landing page provides a curl command you can use to execute a test query on your own server:


You can send a batch of queries in a single POST request by providing a JSON-encoded array of query objects, like so:

"query": "query { testString }"
"query": "query AnotherQuery{ test(who: \"you\" ) }"

If you send a batched request, Apollo Server responds with a corresponding array of GraphQL responses.

You can disable the processing of batched requests by passing allowBatchedHttpRequests: false to the ApolloServer constructor.

GET requests

Apollo Server also accepts GET requests for queries (but not mutations). With a GET request, query details (query, operationName, variables) are provided as URL query parameters. The variables option is a URL-escaped JSON object.

Sending queries as GET requests can help with CDN caching.

Here's the same query from POST requests formatted for a curl GET request:

curl --request GET \

Unlike with POST requests, GET requests do not require a Content-Type header. If you have Apollo Server's CSRF prevention security feature enabled with its default configuration (highly recommended), GET requests that don't contain a Content-Type header must contain one of the following:

  • A non-empty X-Apollo-Operation-Name header
  • A non-empty Apollo-Require-Preflight header

For more details, see the CSRF prevention documentation.

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