👩‍🚀 👨‍🚀
Scaling a
Single Page Application
with GraphQL

#whoami

Charly POLY

Past

➡️  JobTeaser alumni
➡️  1 year @ A line
 

Now

Senior Software Engineer at

The context

Première plateforme collaborative
de conseil, création et développement pour des projets marketing.

 

  • 2 products:
    • ACommunity:
      • marketplace
    • The platform:
      • projects
      • chat
      • ACL
      • timeline
      • selection lists

The starting point

  • Redux store for data






     
  • one redux action per "CRUD":
    • updateModel, createModel, deleteModel
  • Rest CRUD based service: HttpService
{

   models: {
      chats: {
         "8660f534-c425-4688-b4a9-d9ab11c6af85": { /* ... */ }
      }
   }
   // ...
}

The problem

The chat and the timeline components

  • Timeline has posts that:
    • have different types: media, note, text, links with preview
    • many types of medias: photos, videos
    • theater view (Facebook like)
       
  • Chat are contextual:
    • people chat (1-1, group chats)
    • post chat

The chat data

The chat data

The chat data

- post with file

- post with text only

- post with image

- post with note attached

- post with video

The chat REST journey

Numbers

 

For a average "list chats" query:

➡️ 20-50 chats of all types (without paging)
➡️ lot of n+1, n+2 requests per chat

➡️ lot of redux store updates

➡️ lot of react components re-render 💥💥💥

Solutions

 

paging 
➡️ didn't solved requests issues


"includes" on API side with n+1 objects included in response
➡️ do not resolve n+2 queries issue

preload all chats in a dedicated /preload API endpoint
➡️ still some perf issue with realtime and updates refetches

 

The chat REST journey

The first working solution

 

Hydra
 

a custom client side relational cache with transactional redux dispatch

 

➡️ discover API request based on response data shape
➡️ wait all requests to finish before commit to redux
➡️ on update, ensure redux cache object relations are up-to-date

Example: a query on a chat can update a project object in cache

The chat REST journey

The chat REST journey

Hydra

The first working solution fail

 

Users now have average of 80-100 chats

 

- client cache to many times invalid (too aggressive) 🔥
- API too slow 🔥
 

The chat REST journey

GraphQL and Apollo at the rescue

 

➡️ specific chat query with server-side optimisation

➡️ no more nesting issue (up to 4 levels easily)

➡️ models/data state handled by Apollo using Observables
➡️ advanced caching strategies for better UX

 

The chat in GraphQL

The chat in GraphQL

The chat in GraphQL

Why Apollo and not Relay?
 

➡️ Very flexible and composable API
➡️ Support custom GraphQL schema without "Relay edges"

➡️ more complete options on caching strategies

➡️ easier migration
➡️ possibility to have a local GraphQL schema (state-link)

 

The chat in GraphQL

Apollo: the smooth migration

The chat in GraphQL

Apollo: the caching strategies

  • "cache-first" (default)
  • "cache-and-network"
  • "network-only"
  • "cache-only"
  • "no-cache"

The chat in GraphQL

The Apollo super-powers

  • apollo-codegen: TypeScript/Flow/Swift types generation
  • Link pattern: like rake middleware on front side
  • Local state: a nice alternative to redux

Going further with GraphQL

<ApolloForm>

Going further with GraphQL

<ApolloForm>

  1. Introspect your API GraphQL Schema
  2. Build a JSON-Schema on available types and mutations
  3. Create configuration files
  4. Automatic form bootstrapping 🎉

Going further with GraphQL

<ApolloForm> advantages

  • distinct separation between data and UI:
    • Data structure: what kind of data and validation are exposed
    • UI structure: how we want to display this data
  • Your front application is always synced to your API
  • Easier UI-kit installation and maintainability

Conclusion

  • GraphQL is useful for rich front-end application
     
  • With Apollo, it can even replace local state management
     
  • With TypeScript/Flow or Swift,
    it allows to keep clients and APIs synced

Scaling a SPA with GraphQL

By Charly Poly

Scaling a SPA with GraphQL

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