The open-source query language developed by Sanity. GROQ is a game-changer in data retrieval and manipulation, offering the ability to do things like: manipulate and mutate data before your frontend is even involved.
A good example of this: I want to get data only for events that have a launch date later than October.
With GROQ, developers are empowered to describe precisely what information their applications require without any limitations. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities, enabling the creation of sophisticated and highly tailored responses to complex queries.
One of the critical strengths of GROQ is its ability to seamlessly join information from multiple sets of documents, making it an ideal solution for large and complex data structures. This means that developers can quickly stitch together a highly specific response with only the exact fields they need, resulting in a highly optimised and efficient solution.
Problems with GROQ
One issue that is often discussed with GROQ is that its syntax can become unwieldy and difficult to manage as queries become more complex, especially when using long and repetitive fragments. This can reduce the code's readability and maintainability, making it difficult for developers to modify and update their queries efficiently. This issue emphasizes the importance of using best practices and effective coding techniques when using GROQ to keep queries manageable and easy to understand even as they become more complex.
This query, for example, is extremely difficult to comprehend. We can refactor this to make it more readable and clean.
First, identifying the repetitive parts
As we can see from the above query and list of queries, some blocks are abstractable, such as rich text, links, buttons, etc.
This entire rich text can be a separate GROQ fragment, such as
Combine blocks into into fragments
Alternatively, this variable can be a function that takes in the projection parameters and generates a GROQ fragment dynamically.
If you have a page builder (component list), you can have levels of fragments. This could also be a separate fragment, such as
Combine fragments into into query
Using this method, we can clean up our GROQ queries. From the above GROQ query, we can now refactor it as follows.
You can also create a reference extend function that will make your groq query more readable. you can look into it here
If you're just getting into GROQ make sure you download the Sanity.io VSCode extension...
It's going to save you hours. It lets you do two things:
- Execute GROQ queries
- Give you GROQ syntax highlighting
Execute GROQ queries
If you're struggling with the first and you're in a mono-repo environment, you can simply add your Sanity instance at the root of your Next/Remix/Gatsby environment.
What's really clever is it actually lets you pass in variables, like the $slug:
GROQ Syntax Highlighting
Just by adding the:
You're going to get all the syntax highlighting goodness.
A note about prettier
However, if you're looking to quickly format your GROQ query before you clean it up with the techniques above there is something official you can use (and it's fantastic 🎉).
Want to get better at GROQ?
Okay, so now you've seen what you can to tidy up GROQ, but there's always the opportunity to improve your GROQ knowledge. That's why we recommend checking out the free GROQ course on egghead.io.
Don't say we don't ever give you anything...