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The framework for teams that move fast — without breaking things.

About Isograph: Fetching data and app structure

What is Isograph, and what are resolvers?

Isograph is a framework for building React applications that are backed by GraphQL data. In Isograph, components that read data can be selected from the graph, and automatically have the data they require passed in. Consider this example Avatar component:

export const Avatar = iso(`
User.Avatar @component {
`)(function AvatarComponent(data, otherRuntimeProps) {
return <CircleImage image={data.avatar_url} />;

This avatar component is available on any GraphQL User. You might use this avatar component in another component, such as a button that navigates to a given user's profile.

export const UserProfileButton = iso(`
User.UserProfileButton @component {

# you can also select server fields, like in regular GraphQL:
`)(function UserProfileButtonComponent(data) {
return (
<Button onClick={() => navigateToUserProfile(}>
<data.Avatar />

These calls to iso define resolvers, which are functions from graph data (such as the user's name) to an arbitrary value. With Isograph, it's resolvers all the way down — your entire app can be built in this way!

How does Isograph fetch data?

At the root of each page, you will define an entrypoint with iso. Isograph's compiler finds and processes all the entrypoints in your codebase, and will generate the appropriate GraphQL query.

So, if the compiler encounters iso(`entrypoint Query.UserList `);, it would generate a query that would fetch all the server fields needed for the Query.UserList resolver and all of the resolvers that it references. Then, when the user navigates to the user list page, that query would be executed.

For example, the data might be fetched during render as follows:

const UserListPageEntrypoint = require('@iso/Query/UserList/entrypoint');

function UserListPageRoute() {
const queryVariables = {};
const { queryReference } = useLazyReference(
iso(`entrypoint Query.UserList`),

const additionalRenderProps = {};
const Component = useResult(queryReference);
return <Component {...additionalRenderProps} />;

Note that the call to read(queryReference) will suspend if the required data is not present in the store, so make sure that either UserListPageRoute is wrapped in a React.Suspense boundary, or that the queryReference is only read in a child component that is wrapped in a suspense boundary.

Now, when UserListPageRoute is initially rendered, Isograph will make an API call.

How do components receive their data?

You may have noticed that when we rendered <data.Avatar />, we did not pass the data that the Avatar needs! Instead, when the component is rendered, Isograph will read the data that the Avatar component needs, and pass it to Avatar. The calling component:

  • only passes additional props that don't affect the query data, like onClick, and
  • does not know what data Avatar expects, and never sees the data that Avatar reads out. This is called data masking, and it's a crucial reason that teams of multiple developers can move quickly when building apps with Isograph: because no component sees the data that another component selected, changing one component cannot affect another!

Big picture

At the root of a page, you will define an iso entrypoint. For any such entrypoint, Isograph will:

  • Recursively walk it's dependencies and create a single GraphQL query that fetches all of the data reachable from this literal.
  • When that page renders, or possibly sooner, Isograph will make the API call to fetch that data.
  • Each resolver will independently read the data that it specifically required.

About Isograph: @exposeField

Currently, @exposeField is only processed if it is on the Mutation type. But, it will be made more generally available at some point.

Types with the @exposeField(field: String!, path: String!, fieldMap: [FieldMap!]!) directive have their fields re-exposed on other objects. For example, consider this schema:

input SetUserNameParams {
id: ID!
some_other_param: String!

type SetUserNameResponse {
updated_user: User!

type Mutation
field: "set_user_name" # expose this field
path: "updated_user" # on the type at this path (relative to the response object)
fieldMap: [{ from: "id", to: "id" }] # mapping these fields
) {
set_user_name(input: SetUserNameParams!): SetUserNameResponse!

In the above example, the set_user_name field will be made available on every User object, under the key set_user_name (this will be customizable.) So, one could write a resolver:

export const UpdateUserNameButton = iso(`
User.UpdateUserNameButton {
`)(({ data: { set_user_name } }) => {
return (
<div onClick={() => set_user_name({ input: { new_name: 'Maybe' } })}>
Call me, maybe

Clicking that button executes a mutation. The id field is automatically passed in (i.e. it comes from whatever User object where this field was selected.)

The fields that are refetched as part of the mutation response are whatever fields are selected on that user in the merged query! So, if on that same User, we also (potentially through another resolver) selected the name field, the mutation response would include name! If, later, we selected email, it would also be fetched.

Getting involved and learning more

There's a lot more. These docs are threadbare.

Other, older resources


Isograph is an open source software project and licensed under the terms of the MIT license.