4. Queries and the Explorer


Now for the fun part: actually using our !

In this lesson, we will:

  • Run queries in Apollo Explorer
  • Create and use operation collections

Building and running queries

We can easily build, run, and manage GraphQL queries and s with the help of the Apollo . It's part of the platform!

The IDE is easily accessible through the sidebar navigation.


The Explorer on Apollo Studio

Note: You can also get to the same page immediately after creating your by clicking on Query your supergraph in the modal.

If you've used Apollo Server to build your GraphQL API before, the will look very familiar. It's always available for local development and querying!

Let's run our first query.

Getting to know the Explorer

The Operation panel in the middle is where we create queries. The has already filled in a default ! You can edit the directly or add s from the Documentation sidebar.

At the top of the Operation panel is the button to run our query. Let's click it now and see what happens!


The response shows data after clicking on the Run button

The Response panel on the right displays our list of recipe IDs. Sweet, our is up and running!

Operation collections

Operation collections help you store and organize commonly used s so you can access them more quickly and share them with team members.

There are two types of collections: personal and shared.

Personal collections are visible only to you. Shared collections are visible to all organization members who can view the the collection belongs to.

Creating a shared operation collection

Let's get our shared collection started, this is going to be helpful for future teammates (and future us!) to get the most out of the .

Click on the bookmark icon to access the Operation Collections in the left panel.


Accessing the Operation Collections tab in the left panel

Under the Shared section, click the + Create collection button.

We'll give the collection a name and a description.

Name: Recipes
Description: A collection of queries to retrieve content about recipes

Creating a collection, filling in the name and description in the modal

Then click Add. We'll see the new collection show up under the Shared section.

Saving an operation to a collection

Let's add an to the collection!

We'll build a query to retrieve a random recipe from the API. You can try building this yourself, or copy the snippet below and paste it into the Operations section.

query GetRandomRecipe {
randomRecipe {
ingredients {

When you run it, you should get data about a random recipe!

Click the Save icon.


Click the Save icon in the Operation panel

We'll use the same we already gave it. Then, select the collection it belongs to (the one we just created earlier!).


Filling in the operation details in the operation collection modal

We'll hit Save, and success!

We can see the under this shared collection, and we can see a bookmark icon in the tab that also tells us that this is saved. It's ready to use whenever we need it!


Which of these are benefits of using the Explorer?

Key takeaways

  • Operation collections help you store and organize commonly used operations so you can access them more quickly and share them with team members.
  • You can save collections that are visible only for yourself (personal) or visible to the whole organization (shared).

Up next

We can send queries to our supergraph! 🥳 This is great, but we want other people to use it too. This is a public API, after all! In the next lesson, we'll learn a couple ways to enable the best API experience for our users.


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