AbulAsar Sayyad
Abul Asar's Blog

Abul Asar's Blog

Fetching data from external Graphql API service in Phoenix LiveView

Fetching data from external Graphql API service in Phoenix LiveView

AbulAsar Sayyad's photo
AbulAsar Sayyad
ยทMay 29, 2022ยท

5 min read

Table of contents

  • Action Plan
  • Let's start building ๐Ÿ‘ท
  • Installing Graphql client
  • Configure Neuron
  • Adding API layer to fetch data
  • Integrating API layer with UI
  • References

Recently while creating my personal portfolio website abulasar.dev, I added a blog page. For that, I had fetched hashnode blogs on the page. Hashnode has exposed its blog through API. You can visit api.hashnode.com and this API is in Graphql format. Previously, I had fetched these blogs in an Ember.js app and wrote a blog on this topic. I had no previous experience using graphql client in the elixir projects. I implemented it in this project and this blog will be about using graphql query in the Phoenix LiveView project. Let's build one!!

Action Plan

  • Creating LiveView project
  • Installing and configuring graphql client.
  • Adding API layer to fetch data.
  • Integrating API layer with UI

Let's start building ๐Ÿ‘ท

  • First of all, as discussed will create a LiveView project.
  • We will confirm if Elixir is installed by running elixir -v.
  • Once confirmed we need to create/generate the Phoenix LiveView application.
  • This can be done by running mix phx.new fetch_hashnode --no-ecto --live and this will generate one.
  • We will then navigate to the project directory by running cd fetch_hashnode and run mix phx.server. Once, the project starts running navigate to localhost:4000 to see the Welcome phoenix screen.

Installing Graphql client

  • I searched for Graphql client in Elixir and came across a few but the one that caught my eye is Neuron. It is very easy to configure and use so I decided to go with Neuron.
  • We will configure Neuron by first adding it to the list of dependencies.
  • Open the mix.exs file and add Neuron to the list of dependencies.
    def deps do
    [
     ........,
      {:neuron, "~> 5.0.0"}
    ]
    end
    
  • Now run mix deps.get to install the dependency.
  • Next, we are going to configure Neuron.

Configure Neuron

  • To query Hashnode API, we have to add a url in the Neuron configuration.
  • As per documentation we can test Neuron in iex shell by running the following query.
iex> Neuron.Config.set(url: "https://api.hashnode.com/")
  • After adding this you can query Hasnode API as follows
Neuron.query("""
{
  user(username: "your_username") {
      publication {
          posts(page: 0) {
              title
              brief
              slug
              cuid
              coverImage
          }
      }
  }
}
""")
  • This query will return a Neuron response with a list of blogs on page number 0, along with the nitty-gritty details of header responses, something like below.
{:ok,
 %Neuron.Response{
   body: %{
     "data" => %{
       "user" => %{
         "publication" => %{
           "posts" => [
             %{ } // blog 1,
             %{ } // blog 2
           ]
    }
           ]
         }
       }
     }
   },
   headers: [
     {"Connection", "keep-alive"},
     {"Content-Length", "3186"},
     ......
   ],
   status_code: 200
 }
}
  • So far so good, everything is looking fine. In our next step, we'll add an API layer where we'll place the above query to fetch the data.

Adding API layer to fetch data

  • We will add a module that will have all two functions one to fetch all blogs and one to fetch specific blogs.
  • Create a file a create a folder blog_posts under lib/fetch_hashnode. In that, we'll add the blog.ex file.
  • Add the following code to it.

    defmodule  FetchHashnode.Blog do
      @username "your_hashnode_username"
    
      def get_blogs(page \\0) do
        Neuron.query("""
          {
            user(username: "#{@username}") {
              publication {
                  posts(page: #{page}) {
                      title
                      brief
                      slug
                      cuid
                      coverImage
                  }
              }
            }
          }
        """)
      end
    
      def get_detail_blog(slug) do
        Neuron.query("""
          {
              post(slug: "#{slug}", hostname: "#{@username}") {
              title,
              slug,
              cuid,
              coverImage,
              content,
              contentMarkdown,
              tags {
              name
              }
           }
         }
        """)
     end
    end
    
  • The above two functions are self-explanatory. It is simple and very similar to what we have tried earlier in the console.
  • Let's fire up the iex shell by running iex -S mix phx.server and do some testing of these functions.
  • We'll first test the get_blogs function which expects to return a list of all blogs on page 0 (because the default is 0).
  • Run the following query
    iex>  FetchHashnode.Blog.get_blogs
    
  • We will get the error " you need to supply an url". So, what went wrong? ๐Ÿค”
  • If you'll remember we registered the url with the Neuron in the shell earlier by doing something like this.
    Neuron.Config.set(url: "https://api.hashnode.com/")
    
  • We want Neuron should be aware of this url as soon as the server starts. So, we will add the above snippet in application.ex in the start function.
def start(_type, _args) do
    children = [
      FetchHashnode.Repo,
      ....
   ]
   opts = [strategy: :one_for_one, name: FetchHashnode.Supervisor]

   Neuron.Config.set(url: "https://api.hashnode.com/")  # This is the line
   ...
end
  • Now, again restart the server iex -S mix phx.server and again query the function FetchHashnode.Blog.get_blogs and voila!! it's working now.
  • Similarly for the second function i.e get_detail_blog we need to pass the slug of the blog. So, we will test the function with some slug like this
FetchHashnode.Blog.get_detail_blog('writing-mix-task-in-elixir-phoenix')
  • This will return a detailed version of the blog.

Integrating API layer with UI

  • Now, that we have a working API layer. We will add a LiveView page to display these fetched blogs.
  • Add blogs endpoint in router.ex by adding the following code
scope "/", FetchHashnodeWeb do
    pipe_through :browser

    live "/blogs", BlogsLive
end
  • Now add a file lib/fetch_hashnode_web/live/blogs_live.ex and add the following mount callback in the code.

    defmodule FetchHashnodeWeb.BlogsLive do
     use FetchHashnodeWeb, :live_view
     alias FetchHashnode.Blog
    
     def mount(_params, _session, socket) do
       {:ok, blogs} = Blog.get_blogs()
       blogs = get_in(blogs.body, ["data", "user", "publication", "posts"])
       socket = assign(socket, blogs: blogs )
       {:ok, socket}
     end
    end
    
  • We have aliased the Blog module and queried the get_blogs function in the mount function.
  • We have assigned the fetched blogs to the blogs variable using pattern matching.
  • Later we have extracted all the blogs and assigned them to socket this will make it available in the view in the render callback.
  • We will loop over the blogs variable in the view to display something like this.
    def render(assigns) do
       ~L"""
          <%= for blog <- @blogs do %>
             Title: <%= blog["title"] %> 
             <hr>
          <% end %>
       """
    end
    
  • It will look something like below Screenshot 2022-05-30 at 12.50.58 AM.png
  • Similarly, we can fetch a particular blog and display it on a separate LiveView page. I'll leave this logic up to you ๐Ÿ˜Š.

I hope you like this blog. Of course, there is some scope of refactoring that I intentionally didn't touch. If you have any questions then please comment below. Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ˜Š.

References

ย 
Share this