Learn something new with GraphQL every week


#14 GetCart query and set cart id cookie

Julian Mayorga
Jamie Barton
githubSource code

We will create an initial version of the cart page that displays number of items and subtotal.

To do this we will create a query to fetch cart information, and then keep track of users' carts across requests using HTTP cookies.

GetCart query

Create a folder named documents. This is where we will store GraphQL documents, which can be either Mutations, Queries or Fragments.

Inside of this folder, create a file called GetCart.graphql.

It will import a Cart fragment and define a query that receives a variable called id with an ID type, asks for the top level cart field with the subfields defined by the Cart fragment.

# import Cart from "./CartFragment"

query GetCart($id: ID!) {
  cart(id: $id) {

Next step is defining the Cart fragment on the Cart type. Create documents/CartFragment.graphql with the following content:

fragment Cart on Cart {
  subTotal {
  items {
    unitTotal {
    lineTotal {

In order to regenerate types, modify codegen.yml with a glob that defines where to get documents and add the typescript-react-apollo plugin.

In the documents key, replace null with "**/*.graphql".

Inside the generates/types.ts/plugins array, add an item called typescript-react-apollo.

overwrite: true
schema: "schema.graphql"
documents: "**/*.graphql"
      contextType: ./pages/api/index#GraphQLContext
      mapperTypeSuffix: Model
        Cart: "@prisma/client#Cart"
        CartItem: "@prisma/client#CartItem"
      - "typescript"
      - "typescript-operations"
      - "typescript-resolvers"
      - "typescript-react-apollo"

Now it's time to add the required dependencies.

Install React Apollo's GraphQL codegen with npm add @graphql-codegen/typescript-react-apollo --save-dev. This plugin generates React Apollo components and HOC with TypeScript typings. More info on their website

Now install Apollo client by running npm add @apollo/client --save

Once it's finished installing, update types.ts by running npm run codegen. It will generate types and hooks based on the documents we defined earlier. Types like CartFragment, GetCartQueryVariables, GetCartQuery; and hooks like useGetCartQuery that use those types.

This is what types.ts should look like now:

// ...

import { gql } from "@apollo/client";
import * as Apollo from "@apollo/client";

// ...

export type CartFragment = {
  // ...

export type GetCartQueryVariables = Exact<{
  id: Scalars["ID"];

export type GetCartQuery = {
  // ...

// ....

export function useGetCartQuery(
  baseOptions: Apollo.QueryHookOptions<GetCartQuery, GetCartQueryVariables>
) {
  const options = { ...defaultOptions, ...baseOptions };
  return Apollo.useQuery<GetCartQuery, GetCartQueryVariables>(

// ...

Let's create a handy helper called useClient that always returns the same instance of ApolloClient. It's important to initialize it once, and then call React's useMemo to return the same instance.

Import the required dependencies and add this hook to the end of lib/client.ts:

import { useMemo } from "react";
import { ApolloClient, InMemoryCache } from "@apollo/client";

// ...

export const useClient = () => {
  const client = useMemo(
    () =>
      new ApolloClient({
        uri: `${origin}/api`,
        cache: new InMemoryCache(),
  return client;

With useClient and useGetCartQuery we have the tools we need to fetch cart information on the cart page.

Set cart id cookie

To make sure our server associates the same cart to every user's request, we will store their cart id inside an HTTP cookie.

We will create a cart id on the users' first request, set a cookie with its value and then send it to the browser using the cookies-next library and its setCookie utility.

On subsequent requests, we will get that value using getCookie and send it as a prop to the Cart page.

Install cookies-next to handle cookies both on the browser and the server, and uuid to create unique ids. Run npm add cookies-next uuid --save to install the libraries and npm add @types/uuid --save-dev to install types for uuid.

Let's put the cart id cookie logic in a function called getCartId, inside a file called lib/cart.client.ts to differentiate it from the lib/cart.ts function that the server uses. We cannot put this cart cookie logic in lib/cart.ts because that file handles database connections, which would fail on the client.

This function will receive an object containing NextJs' request and response objects and pass them to getCookie and setCookie.

Take a look at the final result in:

import { getCookie, setCookies } from "cookies-next";
import { IncomingMessage, ServerResponse } from "http";
import { NextApiRequestCookies } from "next/dist/server/api-utils";
import { v4 as uuid } from "uuid";

export function getCartId({
}: {
  req: IncomingMessage & {
    cookies: NextApiRequestCookies;
  res: ServerResponse;
}) {
  let cartId = getCookie("cartId", { req, res });
  if (!cartId) {
    const id = uuid();
    setCookies("cartId", id, { req, res });
    cartId = id;
  return String(cartId);

We have all the pieces to implement the cart page. Create the pages/cart.tsx file and import getCartId, useClient, and useGetCartQuery.

Let's define a component called Cart, which receives a cartId as prop and passes it as variable to useGetCartQuery. It's body will define a hierarchy of layout and child elements that display data?.cart?.totalItems and data?.cart?.subTotal.formatted.

To provide Cart with the same cartId across requests, define getServerSideProps and call the getCartId utility we defined earlier.

Finally define an IProps typescript interface with a cartId prop with a string type. Both Cart and getServerSideProps will receive this type to make sure they share the same cartId property.

import type { GetServerSideProps, NextPage } from "next";
import { getCartId } from "../lib/cart.client";
import { useClient } from "../lib/client";
import { useGetCartQuery } from "../types";

const Cart: NextPage<IProps> = ({ cartId }) => {
  const client = useClient();
  const { data } = useGetCartQuery({ variables: { id: cartId }, client });
  return (
    <div className="min-h-screen flex flex-col">
      <main className="p-8 min-h-screen">
        <div className="mx-auto max-w-xl space-y-8">
          <h1 className="text-4xl">Cart</h1>
          <div>Items: {data?.cart?.totalItems}</div>
          <div className="border-t pt-4 flex justify-between">

interface IProps {
  cartId: string;

export const getServerSideProps: GetServerSideProps<IProps> = async ({
}) => {
  const cartId = getCartId({ req, res });
  return { props: { cartId } };

export default Cart;

To see the final result, go to http://localhost:3000/cart to see your zero cart items that cost you a whooping $0.00.