Replace Graphiql With Graphql Playground Using These Simple Steps

Graphiql is the default IDE for working with Graphql API in Gatsby. But Gatsby also support, newer and more featured IDE known as Graphql Playground. Graphql Playground provides us with additional features like a nice fully customizable UI interface, multiple tab options, detailed docs drawer, copy CURL option etc. These features makes building queries easy and fun. So, lets see how we can swap Graphiql for Graphql Playground.

Steps To Replace Graphiql To Graphql Playground:

1) Install dotenv dependency

For replacing the IDE we need to declare an environment variable and for that environment variable to load in process.env we need to use an dotenv package. You can install it by running this command.

npm install dotenv

2) Define the environment variable

For gatsby to know that we want to use Graphql Playground we need to define an environment variable GATSBY_GRAPHQL_IDE=playground. We can define this variable in an .env file. Its a best practice to seperate environment variables for development and production. So, we can define the env files in our root folder like this .env.development and .env.production.

├── node_modules
├── public
├── src
├── static
├── .env.development
├── .env.production

Now, In the .env.development file define this key value pair.


3) Update gatsby-config.js

Inside your gatsby-config.js file at the very top require the dotenv plugin and provide the path to the appropriate .env file.

require('dotenv').config({  path: `.env.${process.env.NODE_ENV}`,});
module.exports = {
  siteMetadata: {

Now when you run gatby develop. it will set the NODE_ENV to development, and the dotenv package will load the environment variables defined in .env.development file.

Finally, go to http://localhost:8000/___graphql and use the newer and nicer Graphql Playground IDE.

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