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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 s 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 s 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 , along with optional variables and an operationName (if query contains multiple possible s). 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 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 s). 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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