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11. Write your first subscription

In this section, you will use subscriptions to get notified whenever someone books a flight 🚀! Subscriptions allow to be notified in real time whenever an event happens on your server. The fullstack backend supports s based on WebSockets.

Write your subscription

Open GraphQL Playground and open the docs tab on the right. In addition to queries and mutations, you will see a third type of s, subscriptions. Click the tripsBooked :

The definition of tripsBooked in the schema

This doesn't take any and returns a single named tripsBooked. Since the you can book multiple trips at once, tripsBooked is an Int. It will contain the number of trips booked at once or -1 if a trip has been cancelled.

Type the following in the left panel:

subscription {

Click the Play button, your will start listening to events.

Test your subscription with GraphQL Playground

Leave this tab open and open GraphQL Playground in a new one. In this new tab, book a trip like on step 9:

mutation {
bookTrips(launchIds: ["83"]){

Do not forget to include the authentication header:

"Authorization": "The header you got from the login mutation"

Click the Play button. If everything went well, you just booked a trip. Go back to your tab and you should see an event in the right panel:

Your first subscription

Continue booking and/or canceling trips, you will see events coming in the tab in real time. After some time, the server might close the connection and you'll have to restart your subscription to keep receiving events.

Add the subscription to the project

Now that your is working, add it to your project. Create a file named TripsBooked.graphql next to schema.json and your other GraphQL files and paste the contents of the . The process is similar to what you did for queries and s:

subscription TripsBooked {

Configure your ApolloClient to use subscriptions

In Apollo.kt, add a SubscriptionTransport.Factory to your ApolloClient. Here it uses a WebSocketSubscriptionTransport.Factory and OkHttp:

val okHttpClient = OkHttpClient.Builder()
instance = ApolloClient.builder()
.subscriptionTransportFactory(WebSocketSubscriptionTransport.Factory("wss://", okHttpClient))

wss:// is the protocol for WebSocket.

Display a SnackBar when a trip is booked/cancelled

In MainActivity, register your and start listening to events using coroutine Flows. Use a Material SnackBar to display a small message coming from the bottom of the screen:

override fun onCreate(savedInstanceState: Bundle?) {
lifecycleScope.launch {
.collect {
val text = when (val trips = {
null -> getString(R.string.subscriptionError)
-1 -> getString(R.string.tripCancelled)
else -> getString(R.string.tripBooked, trips)

Handle errors

Like for queries and s, the will throw an error if the connection is lost or any other protocol error happens. To handle these situations, you can use Flow.retry:

.retryWhen { _, attempt ->
delay(attempt * 1000)
.collect {
// ...

Test your code

Build and run your app and go back to your second GraphQL Playground tab. Book a new trip while your app is open, you should see a SnackBar 🚀:

A trip has been booked

This concludes the tutorial.

More resources

Use the rest of this documentation for more advanced topics like Caching or Gradle configuration.

Feel free to ask questions by either opening an issue on our GitHub repo or stopping by our Spectrum Chat for help.

And if you want dig more and see GraphQL in real-life apps, you can take a look at these open source projects using Apollo Android:

10. Authenticate your queries
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