Customizing the Client

Ferry is built to be modular and extensible. Ferry's core features are implemented as composable TypedLinks, a typed version of the gql_link API. In fact, the Ferry Client itself is a TypedLink, created by composing several other core links.

A TypedLink is simply a class with a request() method which returns a Stream of OperationResponses.

For example, here's the link that Ferry uses internally to resolve requests from the ferry_cache:

import 'package:ferry_exec/ferry_exec.dart';
import 'package:ferry_cache/ferry_cache.dart';
export 'package:ferry_cache/ferry_cache.dart';
/// A terminating link that fetches the operation from the Cache, mapping the
/// result to an [OperationResponse].
class CacheTypedLink extends TypedLink {
final Cache cache;
CacheTypedLink(Cache cache) : cache = cache ?? Cache();
Stream<OperationResponse<TData, TVars>> request<TData, TVars>(
OperationRequest<TData, TVars> operationRequest, [
]) =>
(data) => OperationResponse(
operationRequest: operationRequest,
data: data,
dataSource: DataSource.Cache,

Forwarding TypedLinks

Not all links need to resolve the request directly. Some links simply modify the request or response stream by calling the forward() callback on the request() method. This defers resolution of the request to the next link in the chain.

For example, ferry uses the following link to automatically add "__typename" fields to each node of the GraphQL operation.

import 'dart:async';
import 'package:gql_exec/gql_exec.dart';
import 'package:gql/ast.dart';
import 'package:normalize/utils.dart';
import 'package:ferry_exec/ferry_exec.dart';
/// Adds `__typename` to each node of the operation.
class AddTypenameTypedLink extends TypedLink {
const AddTypenameTypedLink();
Stream<OperationResponse<TData, TVars>> request<TData, TVars>(
OperationRequest<TData, TVars> req, [
]) =>
OperationRequest<TData, TVars> _addTypename<TData, TVars>(
OperationRequest<TData, TVars> request,
) =>
(request as dynamic).rebuild(
(b) => b
..operation = Operation(
document: transform(
operationName: request.operation.operationName,

Chaining TypedLinks Together

TypedLinks can be chained together using the TypedLink.from() method.

The following will create a link that adds "__typename" fields to the request, then resolves the request from the Cache:

final myTypedLink = TypedLink.from([

You can then use this link to execute requests by listening to the Stream returned by the request() method:

myTypedLink.request(GMyQueryReq()).listen((data) => print(data));

Ordering Your TypedLink Chains

There are a few important guidelines that you should follow when chaining TypedLinks to ensure that your requests get executed correctly.

  1. If you are using a link that originates requests (such as RequestControllerTypedLink), it should be the first link in the chain.
  2. The final link in the chain must be a "terminating" link, i.e. a link that does not forward the request down the chain.

Don't Chain the Ferry Client Directly

You generally shoudn't chain the Ferry Client together with other TypedLinks. Since the Client's composition chain starts with a RequestControllerTypedLink and ends with a terminating link, adding a link before or after it would violate the above guidelines and lead to unexpected results.

Instead, you can simply use the underlying links that Client composes, adding your custom link to compose your own custom chain.

Core TypedLinks

The ferry Client is created by composing these core TypedLinks.

  • Client: The Ferry Client itself is a TypedLink, implemented by composing other core TypedLinks.
  • AddTypenameTypedLink: Adds "__typename" to each node of the operation.
  • CacheTypedLink: A terminating link that fetches the operation from the Cache.
  • FetchPolicyTypedLink: A terminating link that resolves an operation from the Link or the Cache based on the request's FetchPolicy, possibly caching the response.
  • GqlTypedLink: A terminating link which defers execution to the provided gql_link. Any errors received by the gql_link are included in the OperationResponse.linkException.
  • OptimisticTypedLink: Returns the response stream from the next link in the chain, immediately emitting a response with the optimistic data.
  • RequestControllerTypedLink: Allows multiple requests to be made by adding requests to the requestController.
  • UpdateCacheTypedLink: Runs any specified UpdateCacheHandlers with a CacheProxy when
    1. an optimistic response is received
    2. the first time a non-optimistic response is received

Additional TypedLinks

Ferry includes some additional TypedLinks that are not included in the default client. You can use these to compose your own client.

  • OfflineMutationTypedLink: Caches mutations in a hive box when offline and re-runs them when re-connected. This link must be between a RequestControllerTypedLink and the terminating link.