🧱 Adding Data into Gatsby GraphQL Data Layer
Gatsby's data API can seem tricky to get to terms with, so here we look at a practical example, using Webmentions. Webmentions is a free service which lets you track user interactions with your website pages on social platforms like Twitter. As an example, once set up, you can use the webmention.io API to query how many people have shared or retweeted a Tweet. If you are familiar with Gatsby, you will know it has a built in GraphQL data layer, allowing you to access data in your page components. Typically you will add a plugin to add new data. Here, though we will add data into Gatsby GraphQL manually, using the Gatsby Node API . We use Webmentions as a practical example which you can add to your existing projects.
There are a couple of Webmentions plugins, though we roll our own here, essentially. That way we can later leverage the code to add data into Gatsby GraphQL from any API.
⚙️ Configuring the Webmentions Service
There are a few steps to set up the service. Daily Dev Tips has a fantastic article which tells you how to set up Webmentions . Just follow the five steps in that piece. For step 3, as we are working in a React framework, to add the tag to our page head, we can use the React Helmet package , and add this code to a Layout component :
Once you have set up Webmentions, you will need your Webmentions API key. You can find this by logging into webmentions.io and heading to the settings page . The API Key is at the bottom of the page. Make a note of it, you will need it shortly.
😕 Querying the Webmentions API
All the work we need to do for Gatsby to query the Webmentions API and then add data into Gatsby GraphQL is in the
gatsby-node.js file. Let's write a function to query the API getting the latest mentions:
domain variable will be the domain you set Webmentions up on and
token your API token. These will be passed in when we call the function in the next step.
reporter is a function in the Gatsby API which we use here to output warnings to the console.
Let's look at the sourceNodes API call next, this is where we do the heavy lifting.
🏋️🏽 Gatsby sourceNodes API
We use the sourceNodes API to pull in data and add it to Gatsby's GraphQL layer. It is called as Gatsby sets up our site. We will use Angelo Ashmore's
gatsby-node-helpers to generate some of the data sourceNodes needs. Let's install that first:
We also install
query-string which we referenced in the
fetch call in the previous section as well as
node-fetch itself. Finally
camelcase-keys converts the object keys in the Webmentions object we create from the API call result.
With that out of the way we'll code up our sourceNodes function:
You will see, in line
6, we pull in two environment variables:
WEBMENTION_TOKEN. Don't forget to add these to your
.envfiles. The first is the domain we registered with Webmentions. The second is the API key we got earlier from webmentions.io.
58we define all the Webmentions types which exist on the object we pull in. The types are needed for GraphQL. It is important to update these if you are using this code for a different API.
30we pull in the author image as a
Filetype. The actual variable is just a string containing the URL for the image. By defining the type this way we can later access and process the image using the Gatsby Image API .
61we actually call the
getMentionsfunction which we defined in the previous section.
It's definitely worth setting up Webmentions on one of your projects at least so you have a working example of how to add data into Gatsby GraphQL. You can then use that code as a starting point if you need to add data from any other API into your project's GraphQL.
🙌🏽 That's all Folks!
In this post we learned:
- how to use the Gatsby sourceNodes API,
- setting up Webmentions for your site,
- how to add data into Gatsby GraphQL.
I hope you found this useful. Let me know if I can improve the content in any way. Also,I am keen to hear which APIs you will use this code on. You can leave a comment below, @ me on twitter or try one of the other contact methods listed below.
🙏🏽 Add Data into Gatsby GraphQL: Feedback
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