Skip to main content

Best Practices

Here's a collection of our recommendations on how best to use Convex to build your application. If you want guidance specific to your app's needs or have discovered other ways of using Convex, message us on Discord!


Use TypeScript!

All Convex libraries have complete type annotations and using theses types is a great way to learn the framework.

Even better, Convex supports code generation to create types that are specific to your app's schema and Convex functions.

Code generation is run automatically by npx convex dev.

Convex Functions

Logging and Debugging

Use console.log to debug your Convex functions.

Any server-side log from a Convex query or mutation function will end up both in the logs page in the dashboard, as well as in the browser console logs for the user who invoked the function call.

If a server-side exception occurs, it will also be logged as an error event which will appear in both places in the dashboard logs, and echoed into the browser's console log.

Data Modeling

Use tables to separate logical object types.

Even though Convex does support nested documents, it is often better to put separate objects into separate tables and use Ids to create references between them. This will give you more flexibility when loading and querying documents.

You can read more about this at Document IDs.

Sharing Code

Use helper functions to write shared code.

You can feel free to write additional helper functions in your /convex directory and use them within your Convex functions. Helpers can be a powerful way to share business logic, authorization code, and more.

Prefer queries and mutations over actions

You should generally avoid using actions when the same goal can be achieved using queries or mutations. Since actions can have side effects, they can't be automatically retried nor their results cached. Actions should be used in more limited scenarios, such as calling third-party services. Convex functions contains a more in-depth guide to the trade-offs of using actions.

UI Patterns

Loading States

Check for undefined to determine if a query is loading.

The useQuery React hook will return undefined when it is first mounted, before the query has been loaded from Convex. Once a query is loaded it will never be undefined again (even as the data reactively updates). undefined is not a valid return type for queries (you can see the types that Convex supports at Types)

You can use this as a signal for when to render loading indicators and placeholder UI.

Optimistic Updates

Add optimistic updates for the interactions you want to feel snappy.

By default all relevant useQuery hooks will update automatically after a mutation is synced from Convex. If you would like some interactions to happen even faster, you can add optimistic updates to your useMutation calls so that the UI updates instantaneously.

Error Handling

Use an exception handling service and error boundaries to manage errors.

Inevitably, your Convex functions will have bugs and hit exceptions. If you have an exception handling service and error boundaries configured, you can ensure that you hear about these errors and your users see appropriate UI.

See Error Handling for more information.