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a truly type-safe Go GraphQL client


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generated graphql client ⇒ genqlient

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genqlient: a truly type-safe Go GraphQL client

What is genqlient?

genqlient is a Go library to easily generate type-safe code to query a GraphQL API. It takes advantage of the fact that both GraphQL and Go are typed languages to ensure at compile-time that your code is making a valid GraphQL query and using the result correctly, all with a minimum of boilerplate.

genqlient provides:

  • Compile-time validation of GraphQL queries: never ship an invalid GraphQL query again!
  • Type-safe response objects: genqlient generates the right type for each query, so you know the response will unmarshal correctly and never need to use interface{}.
  • Production-readiness: genqlient is used in production at Khan Academy, where it supports millions of learners and teachers around the world.

How do I use genqlient?

You can download and run genqlient the usual way: go run To set your project up to use genqlient, see the getting started guide, or the example. For more complete documentation, see the docs.

How can I help?

genqlient welcomes contributions! Check out the (Contribution Guidelines), or file an issue on GitHub.

Why another GraphQL client?

Most common Go GraphQL clients have you write code something like this:

query := `query GetUser($id: ID!) { user(id: $id) { name } }`
variables := map[string]interface{}{"id": "123"}
var resp struct {
	Me struct {
		Name graphql.String
client.Query(ctx, query, &resp, variables)
// Output: Luke Skywalker

This code works, but it has a few problems:

  • While the response struct is type-safe at the Go level; there's nothing to check that the schema looks like you expect. Maybe the field is called fullName, not name; or maybe you capitalized it wrong (since Go and GraphQL have different conventions); you won't know until runtime.
  • The GraphQL variables aren't type-safe at all; you could have passed {"id": true} and again you won't know until runtime!
  • You have to write everything twice, or hide the query in complicated struct tags, or give up what type safety you do have and resort to interface{}.

These problems aren't a big deal in a small application, but for serious production-grade tools they're not ideal. And they should be entirely avoidable: GraphQL and Go are both typed languages; and GraphQL servers expose their schema in a standard, machine-readable format. We should be able to simply write a query and have that automatically validated against the schema and turned into a Go struct which we can use in our code. In fact, there's already good prior art to do this sort of thing: 99designs/gqlgen is a popular server library that generates types, and Apollo has a codegen tool to generate similar client-types for several other languages. (See the design note for more prior art.)

genqlient fills that gap: you just specify the query, and it generates type-safe helpers, validated against the schema, that make the query.