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    0.2.5 • Public • Published

    GraphQL Form Helpers


    A light-weight (1kb) package for dealing with complicated forms that have nested data and use GraphQL.

    We use it in combination with Formik, Apollo Client and Prisma, but it is not specific to one of those.


    • Convert data from a form to a GraphQL mutation (docs)
    • Convert data from a GraphQL query to suitable form data (docs)


    When dealing with GraphQL you often have to write boilerplate code to load the fetched data in a form and some code so the form data becomes a correct mutation. It might not be so much boilerplate if you have a basic form, but it can quickly become a lot for more complicated forms with nested data. This package intents to reduce that boilerplate code.


    Install with Yarn or npm:

    yarn add @volst/graphql-form-helpers
    npm i @volst/graphql-form-helpers


    From form to mutation

    Imagine you have a form which, when the onSubmit event is called, outputs this data:

    const data = {
      restaurant: 'kjrrqxy08001309',
      categories: [
          id: 'dgfrqxfaf000v',
          name: 'Drinks'
          name: 'Burgers'

    First I'll explain what's going on here:

    • The restaurant field refers to an ID, so it already exists and should be connected to the given restaurant.
    • The categories field is an array of categories, the first one already exists (since it has an id field), and the second one doesn't exist yet.

    Now we need to write a mutation which saves this data to your backend. Your GraphQL scheme probably looks different from this data scheme. For example, if you use Prisma, your mutation data would need to look like this:

    const graphqlData = {
      restaurant: { connect: { id: 'kjrrqxy08001309' } },
      categories: {
        create: [
            name: 'Burgers'
        update: [
            where: { id: 'dgfrqxfaf000v' },
            data: { name: 'Drinks' }

    As you can see this is a lot different to the data we have above. You could write some custom code everytime to make it look the same, but I'm already sweating even thinking about that. That's where parseFormToMutation comes in:

    import {
    } from '@volst/graphql-form-helpers';
    const scheme = {
      restaurant: connect,
      categories: save
    const graphqlData = parseFormToMutation(values, scheme);

    But what if you have nested data? Imagine that a category can have items and subitems, the schema would look like this:

    const scheme = {
      restaurant: connect,
      categories: {
        __format: save,
        items: {
          __format: save,
          subitems: save

    The __format property applies the formatter (save) on the parent property.

    As you can see, it is now very easy to mutate nested data, even if it's an array of objects.

    Currently there are three formatters out of the box:

    • connect - wraps an object around a connect mutation.
    • create - wraps an object around a create mutation.
    • save - wraps an object around an update mutation if there is an id field, or create if there is none.

    Psst, want to see a real-world example?

    Writing a custom formatter

    Writing a custom formatter is very easy!

    function decimalToFloat(value: string | number) {
      return parseFloat(value);
    const scheme = {
      items: {
        price: decimalToFloat // In this example you could even pass `parseFloat` directly

    From query to form

    When performing a GraphQL query, you can't just load the results of the query directly into a form. The results contain some extra info which is not relevant to the form, like __typename (Apollo Client adds this field automatically for caching purposes). Stripping this field recursively is painful. Also, the top-level id is not relevant since you already have that id.

    parseQueryToForm removes this irrelevant data for you. An example with Formik:

    import { Query } from 'react-apollo';
    import { Formik } from 'formik';
    import { parseQueryToForm } from '@volst/graphql-form-helpers';
    const GET_RESTAURANT = gql`
      query($id: ID!) {
        restaurant(where: { id: $id }) {
    <Query query={GET_RESTAURANT} variables={{ id }}>
      {({ data }) => (
          initialValues={parseQueryToForm(, {})}

    Checkout this real-world example


    This project is still in early phases. Please don't hesistate to create an issue with feedback or send a PR! See contributing guide for more info.


    npm i @volst/graphql-form-helpers

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