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Persisted queries

Secure your graph while minimizing request latency


Apollo supports two separate but related features called automatic persisted queries () and persisted queries. With both features, clients can execute a by sending an operation's ID instead of the entire operation string. An operation's ID is a hash of the full operation string. by ID can significantly reduce latency and bandwidth usage for large operation strings.

Hashed queries are also sent by default using HTTP GET instead of the default POST, making them easier to cache in your edge network.

Differences between persisted queries and APQs

The feature requires to be registered in a persisted query list (). This allows the PQL to act as an operation safelist made by your first-party apps. As such, persisted queries is a security feature as much as a performance one.

With APQs, if the server can't find the operation ID the client provides, the server returns an error indicating that it needs the full operation string. If an receives this error, it automatically retries the operation with the full operation string.

If you only want to improve request latency and bandwidth usage, addresses your use case. If you also want to secure your with operation safelisting, you should register operations in a PQL.

For more details on differences between persisted queries and APQ, see the GraphOS persisted queries documentation.

Implementation steps

Both persisted queries and APQs require you to configure how your client makes requests. If you intend to use persisted queries for safelisting, you also need to generate and publish an operation manifest.

We recommend you follow this order while implementing:

Implementation StepRequired for PQs?Required for APQs?
1. Generate the operation manifest--
2. Publish the operation manifest to a PQL--
3. Enable persisted queries on the client when it makes requests

The rest of this article details these steps.

also require you to create and link a PQL, and to configure your to receive requests. This only describes the steps that need to be taken by the client to create a manifest of the client's operations and send persisted query requests. For more information on the other configuration aspects of persisted queries, see the GraphOS persisted queries documentation.

0. Requirements

You can use APQs with the following versions of , , and :

  • Apollo Kotlin (v1.0.0+)
  • Apollo Server (v1.0.0+)
  • Apollo Router (v0.1.0+)

Note: You can use either Apollo Server or Apollo Router for APQs. They don't need to be used together.

Using persisted queries for safelisting has the following requirements:

1. Generate operation manifest

This step is only required for implementing safelisting with persisted queries. It is not required for APQs.

The operation manifest acts as a safelist of trusted operations the Apollo Router can check incoming requests against. To generate the operation manifest, set operationManifestFormat to "persistedQueryManifest" in your Gradle script:

// build.gradle.kts
apollo {
service("api") {
packageName.set("com.example")
// Enable generation of the operation manifest
operationManifestFormat.set("persistedQueryManifest")
}
}

The operation manifest is generated during code generation. This happens automatically every time you build your project or you can trigger it manually by executing the generateApolloSources Gradle task.

The operation manifest is generated in build/generated/manifest/apollo/$serviceName/persistedQueryManifest.json, where $serviceName is "api" here. The resulting operation manifest looks something like this:

persistedQueryManifest.json
{
"format": "apollo-persisted-query-manifest",
"version": 1,
"operations": [
{
"id": "e0321f6b438bb42c022f633d38c19549dea9a2d55c908f64c5c6cb8403442fef",
"body": "query GetItem { thing { __typename } }",
"name": "GetItem",
"type": "query"
}
]
}

2. Publish operation manifest

This step is only required for implementing safelisting with persisted queries. It is not required for APQs.

💡 TIP

Ensure your version is 0.17.2 or later. Previous versions of don't support publishing operations to a PQL. Download the latest version.

After you generate an operation manifest, you publish it to your PQL with the Rover CLI like so:

Example command
rover persisted-queries publish my-graph@my-variant \
--manifest ./persisted-query-manifest.json
  • The my-graph@my-variant is the graph ref of any the PQL is linked to.
    • have the format graph-id@variant-name.
  • Use the --manifest option to provide the path to the manifest you want to publish.

NOTE

The persisted-queries publish command assumes manifests are in the format generated by Apollo client tools. The command can also support manifests generated by the Relay compiler by adding the --manifest-format relay argument. Your Rover CLI version must be 0.19.0 or later to use this argument.

The persisted-queries publish command does the following:

  1. Publishes all operations in the provided manifest file to the PQL linked to the specified variant, or to the specified PQL.

    • Publishing a manifest to a PQL is additive. Any existing entries in the PQL remain.
    • If you publish an operation with the same id but different details from an existing entry in the PQL, the entire publish command fails with an error.
  2. Updates any other that the PQL is applied to so that associated with those variants can fetch their updated PQL.

As with generating manifests, it's best to execute this command in your CI/CD pipeline to publish new operations as part of your app release process. The API key you supply to Rover must have the role of Graph Admin or Persisted Query Publisher. Persisted Query Publisher is a special role designed for use with the rover persisted-queries publish command; API keys with this role have no other access to your 's data in , and are appropriate for sharing with trusted third party client developers who should be allowed to publish operations to your graph's PQL but should not otherwise have access to your graph.

Test operations

You can send some test operations to test that you've successfully published your manifests:

First, start your GraphOS-connected router:

APOLLO_KEY="..." APOLLO_GRAPH_REF="..." ./router --config ./router.yaml
2023-05-11T15:32:30.684460Z INFO Apollo Router v1.18.1 // (c) Apollo Graph, Inc. // Licensed as ELv2 (https://go.apollo.dev/elv2)
2023-05-11T15:32:30.684480Z INFO Anonymous usage data is gathered to inform Apollo product development. See https://go.apollo.dev/o/privacy for details.
2023-05-11T15:32:31.507085Z INFO Health check endpoint exposed at http://127.0.0.1:8088/health
2023-05-11T15:32:31.507823Z INFO GraphQL endpoint exposed at http://127.0.0.1:4000/ 🚀

Next, make a POST request with curl, like so:

curl http://localhost:4000 -X POST --json \
'{"extensions":{"persistedQuery":{"version":1,"sha256Hash":"dc67510fb4289672bea757e862d6b00e83db5d3cbbcfb15260601b6f29bb2b8f"}}}'

If your router's PQL includes an operation with an ID that matches the value of the provided sha256Hash property, it executes the corresponding operation and returns its result.

3. Enable persisted queries on ApolloClient

Once you've configured your code generation to include operation IDs, you can update your client to by operation ID rather than the full operation string. This configuration is the same whether you're using APQs or persisted queries. Call autoPersistedQueries() on your ApolloClient.Builder:

val apolloClient = ApolloClient.Builder()
.serverUrl("https://...")
.autoPersistedQueries()
.build()

Once APQs are enabled on your ApolloClient, hashed queries are sent by default.

You may want to disable for certain queries, for instance to avoid any caching when the data is updated often. To do that, set enableAutoPersistedQueries to false on the ApolloCall:

apolloClient.query(myQuery).enableAutoPersistedQueries(false).toFlow()

Generating custom IDs for persisted queries

By default, Apollo uses Sha256 hashing algorithm to generate an ID for the query. To provide custom ID generation logic, use Apollo compiler plugins.

The Plugin interface has an operationIds() method that you can override to customize the operation ids. It takes a list of OperationDescriptor including the source document and name and returns a list of OperationId mapping each name to the generated id.

Example Md5 hash generator:

class MyPlugin: Plugin {
override fun operationIds(descriptors: List<OperationDescriptor>): List<OperationId> {
return descriptors.map { OperationId(it.source.md5(), it.name) }
}
}
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