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Migration Guide

As of December 2016, there are three major versions of Telescope:

  • The “Legacy” version, which uses Meteor's publications and subscriptions and its Blaze front-end framework.
  • The “Vulcan Classic” version, which keeps Meteor's publications and subscriptions but uses React on the front-end.
  • The “Vulcan Apollo” version, which replaces Meteor's publications and subscriptions with Apollo & GraphQL.

This guide focuses on migrating from Vulcan Classic to Vulcan Apollo. If you're still on the Legacy version, I'm afraid there isn't really an easy migration path and you're probably best off starting a new codebase from scratch.

Git Merging

The first step will be merging in the latest commits from the apollo branch. I personally use SourceTree to help manage Git repos, but any good Git app (or even the command line) should work just fine.

I would suggest creating a new local apollo branch (so you can easily go back to your last working version if things don't work out) first with:

git checkout -B devel-apollo

And then pulling in the changes:

git pull origin devel

This will probably result in at least a few Git conflicts between the old and new versions of the same files. Here are some of the most commonly affected files:

  • package.json: fix any conflicts by keeping the most recent version of each package. You can always use a tool like depcheck later to remove unused packages.
  • packages: for this file, it's probably easiest to just accept the new version and then manually re-add your own custom packages afterwards.
  • release: just keep the latest Meteor version.
  • versions: this file will be re-generated at runtime, so you can safely pick either version or even delete it for now.

For any other file (except those belonging to your own custom packages) you should just use the new version.

Make sure your packages file now contains the following new package:

  • vulcan:routing

Once you've fixed all Git conflicts, it's time to install any additional NPM packages with npm install. You can now try running your app with the usual meteor command. If you haven't customized anything, then everything should work more or less fine, and you can stop here!

If however you've built your own custom themes and features, you'll probably have to put in a bit of work. First, start by disabling your customizations and making sure your app runs fine. Once this is done, re-enable your custom packages and read on!

The Telescope Namespace

The global Telescope namespace (Telescope.*) has been deprecated in favor of importing individual functions and objects from vulcan:core. For example, instead of using Telescope.routes.add, you would import { addRoutes } from meteor/vulcan:core.


Routes are handled a bit differently in Vulcan Apollo. Instead of having routes definitions (addRoute(...)) and the actual routing code in the same package, route definitions now belong together with themes, while routing code lives in vulcan:routing.

This means if you had any routing code (e.g. ReactRouterSSR.Run()) in your custom packages, you can now safely remove it and let vulcan:routing handle it.

Other changes:

  • Telescope.routes.routes -> import { Routes } from 'meteor/vulcan:core'
  • Telescope.routes.add -> import { addRoute } from 'meteor/vulcan:core'

Custom Fields

A few schema properties have been changed, and these will trigger schema errors until you update them:

  • canCreate is now canCreate, and takes either the name of a group or a function.
  • canUpdate is now canUpdate, and takes either the name of a group or a function.
  • publish is replaced by canRead, which works similarly to canCreate and canUpdate.
  • join has been replaced by resolveAs, which you can use to specify a GraphQL resolver for the field.

In addition, there are also a few new properties:

  • preload, which you can set to true to preload data (only for the Users schema).

List & Single Containers

The utilities:smart-publications package has been deprecated, so you can also delete any PublicationUtils.addToFields() calls.

Data Loading

With the move to Apollo, the utilities:react-list-container package is not used anymore, and ListContainer and DocumentContainer are instead replaced with withMulti and withSingle.

The key difference is that withMulti is now called directly around the component that needs the data (e.g. export default withMulti(options)(MyComponent)) unlike ListContainer, which was called from that component's parent component.

In practice, this means replacing something like this:



<PostsList terms={terms} />

And then wrapping MyPostsList with withMulti(options) inside MyPostsList.jsx.

Also keep in mind that the data format provided by the GraphQL API can be slightly different from was was previously available (for example, categories are now available on posts.categories instead of posts.categoriesArray). Make sure to check your component's props in the React inspector if you run into any issues.

Daily View

The daily view now has a slightly different component architecture in the base-components package.

  • PostsDaily sets the terms for the view and calls PostsDailyList.
  • PostsDailyList is wrapped with the withMulti data loading HoC and then iterates over each day, calling PostsDay.
  • PostsDay displays the posts for that day.

Note that data loading happens at the list level, not at the level of an individual day. In other words, if you're displaying five days, all posts for all five days will be loaded at the same time.


Component replacement now uses a slightly different syntax. Instead of:

Telescope.components.UsersProfile = MyCustomUsersProfile;

You now write:

import { Components, replaceComponent } from 'meteor/vulcan:core';

replaceComponent('UsersProfile', MyCustomUsersProfile);

And to access a component, you now do:

import { Components, replaceComponent } from 'meteor/vulcan:core';


Finally, to extend a component, instead of

class MyPostsItem extends Telescope.components.PostsItem {

You now write:

import Telescope, { getRawComponent } from 'meteor/vulcan:core';
class MyPostsItem extends getRawComponent('PostsItem') {


Context is not used to access the current user anymore. Instead, use the withCurrentUser HoC.

Methods & Mutations

Meteor methods are now replaced with Apollo mutations. Check out the mutations section for more info, and make sure to check out the withMutation HoC to take care of simple, one-off mutations.


The VulcanForms component now takes care of its own data loading, and accepts a different set of properties.

Also note that the CanDo component used to test for permissions has been replace with ShowIf.

Other Changes


  • Telescope.callbacks -> import { Callbacks } from 'meteor/vulcan:core'
  • Telescope.callbacks.add -> import { addCallback } from 'meteor/vulcan:core'
  • Telescope.callbacks.remove -> import { removeCallback } from 'meteor/vulcan:core'
  • -> import { runCallbacks } from 'meteor/vulcan:core'
  • Telescope.callbacks.runAsync -> import { runCallbacksAsync } from 'meteor/vulcan:core'


  • Telescope.strings.add -> import { addString } from 'meteor/vulcan:core';


  • Telescope.settings.get -> import { getSetting } from 'meteor/vulcan:core';

Note that using the Settings collection and the vulcan:settings package are deprecated.


  • Telescope.utils -> import { Utils } from 'meteor/vulcan:core'

Database Migration

Once you're done with every other change, please run this migration which will adapt user profiles by flattening out to user.__foo.

To run it, create a /server folder in the root of your app (same level as packages) and copy the code in a migration.js file inside it.