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Variables

You can simplify GraphQL queries and mutations by extracting data into separate variables. GraphQL variables let you re-use the same requests with different arguments.

Variable Structure#

GraphQL requests can be split into two sections: the query, and variables.

In the query section, GraphQL variables begin with the $ symbol and are declared after the query or mutation keyword, similar to passing an argument to a function.

When you declare a variable, you need to specify its type, such as CreateSpaceInput. This lets GraphQL know that you intend to refer to this type by this variable name later in the actual query.

The following query declares an $input variable and passes it to the input argument.

mutation($input: CreateSpaceInput!) {
createSpace(input: $input) { ... }
}

In the variables section, the variables themselves are defined as a JSON object.

The following JSON object defines the $input variable for the query above.

{
"input": {
"name": "Product Updates",
"collectionId": "p15Q7zycbml0"
}
}

Simplify Space Creation Request#

The following example uses the createSpace mutation from the previous article, but simplifies the mutation by using variables. The result is a much cleaner and reusable mutation.

POST https://api.tribe.so/graphql
mutation ($input: AddSpaceInput!) {
createSpace(input: $input) {
id
name
slug
}
}

Variables

{
"input": {
"name": "Product Updates",
"collectionId": "p15Q7zycbml0"
}
}

JSON Response

{
"data": {
"createSpace": {
"id": "qgmFho8F6jlA",
"name": "Product Updates",
"slug": "product-updates-fw15x39k"
}
}
}

Variables in cURL#

Because variables are a core concept of GraphQL, you can use them outside of fully featured clients. For example, you can perform the addSpace mutation with variables by using cURL.

The cURL command below creates a customer. The JSON data object has two properties:

  • query: The mutation, provided as a string.
  • variables: An object for holding variables. The only variable is the input object that's used for the mutation.

To run the cURL command from the command line, make the following substitution:

  • {{access_token}}: Your access token issued as mentioned in the Authentication section
curl -X POST \
https://app.tribe.so/graphql \
-H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
-H 'Authorization: Bearer {{access_token}}' \
-d '{
"query": "mutation ($input: CreateSpaceInput!) { createSpace(input: $input) { id, name, slug } }",
"variables": {
"input": {
"name": "Product Updates",
"collectionId": "p15Q7zycbml0"
}
}
}'

The response will look similar to this:

{
"data": {
"createSpace": {
"id": "qgmFho8F6jlA",
"name": "Product Updates",
"slug": "product-updates-fw15x39k"
}
}
}