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Operation request format

How to send requests to the Apollo Router 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 the Apollo Router supports. This article describes that format, which is also described on and in this preliminary spec.

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

POST requests

The Apollo Router 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).

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"}}' \

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

GET requests

The Apollo Router 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.

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

curl --request GET \
@defer support
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