Implementing Dynamic Zones with Strapi and GraphQL

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By squashlabs, Last Updated: March 20, 2024

Implementing Dynamic Zones with Strapi and GraphQL

Strapi is an open-source headless CMS (Content Management System) that allows developers to build useful APIs quickly and easily. It provides a flexible and extensible architecture that enables developers to create custom content types and define their own data structures. One useful feature of Strapi is its integration with GraphQL, a query language for APIs, which allows for efficient and flexible data retrieval.

Dynamic Zones are a feature in Strapi that allows users to create dynamic content structures by defining a list of components that can be added to a content type. This enables content creators to easily create complex and customized content without the need for extensive coding or technical knowledge.

In this article, we will explore how to implement Dynamic Zones with Strapi and GraphQL. We will dive into the implementation details and provide code examples to help you understand how to leverage this useful feature.

Setting up Strapi with GraphQL

Before we can start implementing Dynamic Zones, we need to set up a Strapi project with GraphQL enabled. Follow these steps to get started:

Step 1: Install Strapi globally by running the following command in your terminal:

npm install strapi@beta -g

Step 2: Create a new Strapi project by running the following command:

strapi new my-project

Step 3: Change into the project directory:

cd my-project

Step 4: Start the Strapi server:

strapi start

Step 5: Open your browser and navigate to http://localhost:1337/admin. This will open the Strapi admin panel.

Step 6: Create a new content type by clicking on the “Content Type Builder” menu item on the left-hand side of the admin panel.

Step 7: Define the fields for your content type. For example, let’s create a content type called “Article” with fields like “title”, “content”, and “author”.

Step 8: Once you have defined your content type, click on the “Save” button to save your changes.

Step 9: Enable the GraphQL plugin by clicking on the “Marketplace” menu item on the left-hand side of the admin panel and installing the GraphQL plugin.

Step 10: After installing the GraphQL plugin, you can access the GraphQL playground by navigating to http://localhost:1337/graphql. This is where you can test your GraphQL queries and mutations.

Now that we have set up Strapi with GraphQL, let’s move on to implementing Dynamic Zones.

Related Article: Exploring GraphQL Playground Query Variables

Implementing Dynamic Zones

Dynamic Zones in Strapi allow us to define a list of components that can be added to a content type. Each component can have its own set of fields and can be repeated multiple times within a content entry.

To implement Dynamic Zones, we need to follow these steps:

Step 1: Define the components that can be added to a content type. For example, let’s create two components called “Text” and “Image”.

Step 2: Create a new content type and add a Dynamic Zone field. This field will allow us to add the components we defined earlier to the content type.

Step 3: Configure the components within the Dynamic Zone field. Specify the components that can be added and their order.

Now, let’s see how we can implement these steps in Strapi.

Step 1: Define the components

To define the components, we need to create new content types for each component. For example, let’s create a content type called “Text” with a single field called “text”, and a content type called “Image” with a single field called “image”.

Step 2: Create a content type with a Dynamic Zone field

To create a content type with a Dynamic Zone field, follow these steps:

1. Open the Strapi admin panel and navigate to the “Content Type Builder” menu item.

2. Create a new content type, for example, “Article”.

3. Add a field of type “Dynamic Zone” to the content type. This field will allow us to add components to the article.

4. Save the changes.

Step 3: Configure the components within the Dynamic Zone field

To configure the components within the Dynamic Zone field, follow these steps:

1. Open the Strapi admin panel and navigate to the “Content Type Builder” menu item.

2. Edit the content type that has the Dynamic Zone field, for example, “Article”.

3. Edit the Dynamic Zone field and add the components you defined earlier, for example, “Text” and “Image”.

4. Specify the order in which the components should appear.

5. Save the changes.

With these steps completed, we have successfully implemented Dynamic Zones in Strapi. Now, let’s move on to integrating GraphQL with Strapi.

Schema Stitching in GraphQL

Schema stitching is a technique in GraphQL that allows you to combine multiple GraphQL schemas into a single, unified schema. This can be useful when you have multiple GraphQL services or APIs and you want to expose a single GraphQL endpoint to your clients.

In a typical schema stitching setup, you have multiple GraphQL schemas, each representing a different domain or microservice. These schemas can be combined into a single schema that exposes a unified API to the clients. The combined schema can be composed of types and fields from the individual schemas, and can also include custom types and fields that are specific to the combined schema.

To demonstrate how schema stitching works, let’s consider a simple example. Suppose we have two GraphQL schemas: one representing a blog service and another representing a user service. The blog service schema has types like “Post” and “Comment”, while the user service schema has types like “User” and “Profile”. We want to combine these schemas into a single schema that exposes a unified API to our clients.

Here’s how we can achieve this with schema stitching:

Step 1: Define the individual schemas

First, we need to define the individual schemas for the blog service and the user service. Each schema can be defined using the GraphQL Schema Definition Language (SDL). Here’s an example of how the blog service schema could be defined:

type Post {
  id: ID!
  title: String!
  content: String!
  author: User!
  comments: [Comment!]!
}

type Comment {
  id: ID!
  content: String!
  author: User!
}

type Query {
  post(id: ID!): Post
}

type Mutation {
  createPost(title: String!, content: String!): Post
  createComment(postId: ID!, content: String!): Comment
}

And here’s an example of how the user service schema could be defined:

type User {
  id: ID!
  name: String!
  email: String!
  profile: Profile
}

type Profile {
  id: ID!
  bio: String!
}

type Query {
  user(id: ID!): User
}

type Mutation {
  createUser(name: String!, email: String!): User
  updateProfile(userId: ID!, bio: String!): Profile
}

Step 2: Create a schema stitching configuration

Next, we need to create a schema stitching configuration that specifies how the individual schemas should be combined. This configuration can be written in code using a schema stitching library like Apollo Server.

const { ApolloServer } = require('apollo-server');
const { stitchSchemas } = require('@graphql-tools/stitch');

const blogServiceSchema = require('./blog-service-schema');
const userServiceSchema = require('./user-service-schema');

const mergedSchema = stitchSchemas({
  subschemas: [
    { schema: blogServiceSchema },
    { schema: userServiceSchema },
  ],
});

const server = new ApolloServer({
  schema: mergedSchema,
});

server.listen().then(({ url }) => {
  console.log(`Server ready at ${url}`);
});

In this example, we use the stitchSchemas function from the @graphql-tools/stitch library to combine the blog service schema and the user service schema into a single schema called mergedSchema. We then create an Apollo Server instance with the mergedSchema and start the server.

Step 3: Start the server and test the combined schema

Finally, we can start the server and test the combined schema using a GraphQL client like GraphQL Playground or Apollo Client. The combined schema will expose a unified API that includes types and fields from both the blog service schema and the user service schema.

With schema stitching, we can easily combine multiple GraphQL schemas into a single schema and expose a unified API to our clients. This allows us to build modular and scalable GraphQL architectures that can evolve independently.

Related Article: Step by Step Process: Passing Enum in GraphQL Query

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