More Mutations and Updating the Store

The next piece of functionality we’ll implement is the voting feature! Authenticated users are allowed to submit a vote for a link. The most upvoted links will later be displayed on a separate route!

Preparing the React Components

Once more, the first step to implement this new feature is to make our React components ready for the expected functionality.

Open Link.js and update the returned JSX to look like this:

import { AUTH_TOKEN } from '../constants';
// ...

const Link = (props) => {
  const { link } = props;
  const authToken = localStorage.getItem(AUTH_TOKEN);

  return (
    <div className="flex mt2 items-start">
      <div className="flex items-center">
        <span className="gray">{props.index + 1}.</span>
        {authToken && (
            className="ml1 gray f11"
            style={{ cursor: 'pointer' }}
            onClick={() => {console.log("Clicked vote button")}}
      <div className="ml1">
          {link.description} ({link.url})
          <div className="f6 lh-copy gray">
            {link.votes.length} votes | by{' '}
            {link.postedBy ? : 'Unknown'}{' '}

export default Link;

We’re already preparing the Link component to render the number of votes for each link and the name of the user that posted it. We’ll also render the upvote button if a user is currently logged in - that’s what we’re using the authToken for. If the Link is not associated with a User, the user’s name will be displayed as Unknown.

Notice that we’re also using a function called timeDifferenceForDate that gets passed the createdAt information for each link. The function will take the timestamp and convert it to a string that’s more user friendly, e.g. "3 hours ago".

Go ahead and implement the timeDifferenceForDate function next so we can import and use it in the Link component.

Finally, each Link element will also render its position inside the list, so we have to pass down an index from the LinkList component.

Notice that the app won’t run at the moment since the votes are not yet included in the query. We’ll fix that next!

Here we are including information about the user who posted a link as well as information about the links’ votes in the query’s payload. We can now run the app again and the links will be properly displayed.

Links in the query's payload

Note: If you’re not able to fetch the Links, restart the server and reload the browser. You could also check if everything is working as expected on GraphQL Playground!

Let’s now move on and implement the vote mutation!

Calling the Mutation

This step should feel pretty familiar by now. The onClick handler of the div with the up caret calls the vote function which runs the mutation to place a vote.

We can now go and test the implementation! Run yarn start in hackernews-react-apollo and click the upvote button on a link. You’re not getting any UI feedback yet, but after refreshing the page we’ll see the added votes.

Remember: We have to be logged in to being able to vote links!

In the next section, we’ll learn how to automatically update the UI after each mutation!

Updating the cache

One of Apollo’s biggest value propositions is that it creates and maintains a client-side cache for our GraphQL apps. We typically don’t need to do much to manage the cache, but in some circumstances, we do.

When we perform mutations that affect a list of data, we need to manually intervene to update the cache. We’ll implement this functionality by using the update callback of useMutation.

In the update callback is that we’ve included with the mutation, we’re calling cache.readQuery and passing in the FEED_QUERY document. This allows us to read the exact portion of the Apollo cache that we need to allow us to update it. Once we have the cache, we create a new array of data that includes the vote that was just made. The vote that was made with the mutation is destructured out using { data: { vote } }. Once we have the new list of votes, we can commit the changes to the cache using cache.writeQuery, passing in the new data.

The last thing we need to do for this to work is import the FEED_QUERY into the Link file:

import { FEED_QUERY } from './LinkList';

That’s it! The update function will now be executed and make sure that the store gets updated properly after a mutation was performed. The store update will trigger a rerender of the component and thus update the UI with the correct information!

While we’re at it, let’s also implement update for adding new links!

The update function works in a very similar way as before. We first read the current state of the results of the FEED_QUERY. Then we insert the newest link at beginning and write the query results back to the store. Note that we need to pass in a set of variables to the readQuery and writeQuery functions. It’s not enough to simply pass the FEED_QUERY query document in, we also need to specify the conditions of the original query we’re targeting. In this case, we pass in variables that line up with the initial variables we passed into the query in LinkList.js.

Awesome, now the store also updates with the right information after new links are added. The app is getting into shape 🤓

Unlock the next chapter
What does the 'update' prop of Apollo's <Mutation /> component do?
It allows to update your Apollo Client dependency locally
It allows to update the local Apollo store in a declarative fashion
It allows to update your store based on your mutation’s result
It updates the GraphQL schema locally so Apollo Client can verify your queries and mutations before they're sent to the server