GraphQL on Azure: Part 3 - Serverless With JavaScript

Updated: Aug 13, 2020

Last time we look at how to get started with GraphQL on dotnet and we looked at the Azure App Service platform to host our GraphQL server. Today we’re going to have a look at a different approach, using Azure Functions to create run GraphQL in a Serverless model. We’ll also look at using JavaScript (or specifically, TypeScript) for this codebase, but there’s no reason you couldn’t deploy a dotnet GraphQL server on Azure Functions or deploy JavaScript to App Service.

Getting Started

For the server, we’ll use the tooling provided by Apollo, specifically their server integration with Azure Functions, which will make it place nicely together.

We’ll create a new project using Azure Functions, and scaffold it using the Azure Functions Core Tools:

func init graphql-functions --worker-runtime node --language typescript
cd graphql-functions

If you want JavaScript, not TypeScript, as the Functions language, change the --language flag to javascript.

Next, to host the GraphQL server we’ll need a Http Trigger, which will create a HTTP endpoint in which we can access our server via:

func new --template "Http Trigger" --name graphql

The --name can be anything you want, but let’s make it clear that it’s providing GraphQL

Now, we need to add the Apollo server integration for Azure Functions, which we can do with npm:

npm install --save apollo-server-azure-functions

Note: if you are using TypeScript, you need to enable esModuleInterop in your tsconfig.json file.

Lastly, we need to configure the way the HTTP Trigger returns to work with the Apollo integration, so let’s open function.json within the graphql folder, and change the way the HTTP response is received from the Function. By default it’s using a property of the context called res, but we need to make it explicitly return be naming it $return:

    "bindings": [
            "authLevel": "function",
            "type": "httpTrigger",