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Queries are the bread and butter of your backend API. They fetch data from the database, check authentication or perform other business logic, and return data back to the client application.

Query names

Queries are defined in files inside your convex/ directory.

The path and name of the file, as well as the way the function is exported from the file, determine the name the client will use to call it.

The simplest name is given to functions default exported from a file placed directly in the convex/ directory:

// This function will be named "myQuery".
export default;

To structure your API you can nest directories inside the convex/ directory:

// This function will be named "foo/myQuery".
export default;

Finally it can be handy to declare multiple functions in the same file. This can be done with named exports:

// This function will be named "myFunctions:all".
export const all =;
// This function will be named "myFunctions:some".
export const some =;

You can mix and match all of these ways of naming your functions. The same rules apply to mutations and actions, while HTTP endpoints use a different routing approach.

The query constructor

To actually declare a query in Convex you use the query constructor function, and pass it an implementation function returning the result:

import { query } from "./_generated/server";

export default query(() => {
return "My never changing string";

Query arguments and responses

Named arguments passed to your query from a client are accessible from the second parameter of the implementation function:

import { query } from "./_generated/server";

export default query((_, { a, b }) => {
return a + b;

Arguments are automatically serialized and deserialized, and you can pass and return most value-like JavaScript data to and from your function. See Field Values for the full list of supported types.

The first argument to the implementation function is reserved for the query context.

Query context

The query constructor enables fetching data, and other Convex features by passing a QueryCtx object to the implementation function as the first argument:

import { query } from "./_generated/server";

export default query((queryCtx, { a, b }) => {
// Do something with `queryCtx`

Which part of the query context is used depends on what your query needs to do:

  • To fetch from the database use the db field. Note that we make the implementation function an async function so we can await the promise returned by db.get():

    export default query(async ({ db }, { id }) => {
    return await db.get(id);

    Read more about Reading Data.

  • To return URLs to stored files use the storage field. Read more about File Storage.

  • To check user authentication use the auth field. Read more about Authentication.

Calling queries from clients

To call a query from React use the generated useQuery hook:

import { useQuery } from "../convex/_generated/react";

export function MyApp() {
const data = useQuery("functionName", { a, b });

See Client Libraries for all the ways queries can be called from different clients.

Caching & reactivity

Queries have two awesome attributes:

  1. Caching: Convex caches query results automatically. If many clients request the same query, with the same arguments, they will receive a cached response.
  2. Reactivity: clients can subscribe to queries to receive new results when the underlying data changes.

To have these attributes the implementation function must be deterministic, which means that given the same arguments (including the query context) it will return the same response.

For this reason queries cannot call third party APIs. To call third party APIs, use actions.

You might wonder whether you can use non-deterministic language functionality like Math.random() or The short answer is that Convex takes care of implementing these in a way that you don't have to think about the deterministic constraint.