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Unless all of the data you are loading is completely public, your app has some sort of users, accounts and permissions systems. If different users have different permissions in your application, then you need a way to tell the server which user is associated with each request.

uses the ultra flexible Apollo Link that includes several options for authentication.

If your app is browser based and you are using cookies for login and session management with a backend, it's very easy to tell your network interface to send the cookie along with every request. You just need to pass the credentials option. e.g. credentials: 'same-origin' as shown below, if your backend server is the same domain or else credentials: 'include' if your backend is a different domain.

const link = createHttpLink({
uri: '/graphql',
credentials: 'same-origin'
const client = new ApolloClient({
cache: new InMemoryCache(),

This option is simply passed through to the fetch implementation used by the HttpLink when sending the .

Note: the backend must also allow credentials from the requested origin. e.g. if using the popular 'cors' package from npm in node.js, the following settings would work in tandem with the above settings:

// enable cors
var corsOptions = {
origin: '<insert uri of front-end domain>',
credentials: true // <-- REQUIRED backend setting

Another common way to identify yourself when using HTTP is to send along an authorization header. It's easy to add an authorization header to every HTTP request by chaining together . In this example, we'll pull the login token from localStorage every time a request is sent:

import { ApolloClient } from 'apollo-client';
import { createHttpLink } from 'apollo-link-http';
import { setContext } from 'apollo-link-context';
import { InMemoryCache } from 'apollo-cache-inmemory';
const httpLink = createHttpLink({
uri: '/graphql',
const authLink = setContext((_, { headers }) => {
// get the authentication token from local storage if it exists
const token = localStorage.getItem('token');
// return the headers to the context so httpLink can read them
return {
headers: {
authorization: token ? `Bearer ${token}` : "",
const client = new ApolloClient({
link: authLink.concat(httpLink),
cache: new InMemoryCache()

Note that the above example is using ApolloClient from the apollo-client package. Headers can still be modified using ApolloClient from the apollo-boost package, but since apollo-boost doesn't allow the HttpLink instance it uses to be modified, headers have to be passed in as a config parameter:

import ApolloClient from 'apollo-boost'
const client = new ApolloClient({
request: (operation) => {
const token = localStorage.getItem('token')
headers: {
authorization: token ? `Bearer ${token}` : ''

In this particular example headers are set individually for every request but you can also use headers option. See the Apollo Boost Configuration options section for more details.

The server can use that header to authenticate the user and attach it to the execution context, so can modify their behavior based on a user's role and permissions.

Reset store on logout

Since Apollo caches all of your query results, it's important to get rid of them when the login state changes.

The easiest way to ensure that the UI and store state reflects the current user's permissions is to call client.resetStore() after your login or logout process has completed. This will cause the store to be cleared and all active queries to be refetched. If you just want the store to be cleared and don't want to refetch active queries, use client.clearStore() instead. Another option is to reload the page, which will have a similar effect.

const PROFILE_QUERY = gql`
query CurrentUserForLayout {
currentUser {
const Profile = () => (
<Query query={PROFILE_QUERY} fetchPolicy="network-only">
{({ client, loading, data: { currentUser } }) => {
if (loading) {
return <p className="navbar-text navbar-right">Loading...</p>;
if (currentUser) {
return (
<p className="navbar-text navbar-right">
onClick={() => {
// call your auth logout code then reset store
App.logout().then(() => client.resetStore());
Log out
return (
<p className="navbar-text navbar-right">
<a href="/login/github">Log in with GitHub</a>
Network layer (Apollo Link)
class ApolloClient
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