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GraphQL and Rails, getting started

GraphQL and Rails, getting started

It's a 3 minute read

I was working with the ShopifyAPI, and developing an app which utilised the REST API, and connected up to a development store.

Then I came across an issue, the REST API was very slow to update the large amount of data I was needing to pass updates too. So I started to look at GraphQL.

“GraphQL is an open-source data query and manipulation language for APIs, and a runtime for fulfilling queries with existing data. GraphQL was developed internally by Facebook in 2012 before being publicly released in 2015”
Source: Wikipedia (of course!)

After spending a few hours reading up on GraphQL, and trying to get it to work — unsuccessfully i must add. I had a rest, only to come back to it an hour later and upon restarting my rails server, it started working!

This is simply a getting started helper for anyone who needs it, so let’s have a look at my initial code. I had created a method, which would run this code in a simple Rails app, by adding byebug just above result you’re able to see whats been returned in the terminal.

def shopify_test    
    shop_url = "https://#{API_KEY}:#{PASSWORD}@#.{SHOP_NAME}.myshopify.com"
    ShopifyAPI::Base.site = shop_url
    ShopifyAPI::Base.api_version = '2020-01'

    client = ShopifyAPI::GraphQL.client

    SHOP_NAME_QUERY = client.parse <<-'GRAPHQL'
      shop {

    result = client.query(SHOP_NAME_QUERY)
    puts result.data.shop.name

You can get your api_key and password through the App > Private Apps section of the Shopify Store. Running this would return simply your shop name. But once you have this working you can start to explore the rest of the GraphQL API.

  “data”: {
    “shop”: {
      “id”: “gid:\/\/shopify\/Shop\/{SHOP_ID}”,
      “name”: “{SHOP_NAME}”

While this is just a basic overview of how to get up and running, the Shopify Docs provide a much more in-depth look at their GraphQL queries and mutations.

I am sure i will be posting more about my experiences with GraphQL, and maybe write up some better “How To” guides.


© 2023 Alan Reid