Getting started

Configuring your schema
Add a basic type to the schema configuration
Activating the default server
Open up the default server that comes pre-configured with the module
Building the schema
Turn your schema configuration into executable code
Building a schema with procedural code
Use PHP code to build your schema
You are viewing docs for a pre-release version of silverstripe/graphql (4.x). Help us improve it by joining #graphql on the Community Slack, and report any issues at github.com/silverstripe/silverstripe-graphql. Docs for the current stable version (3.x) can be found here

Configuring your schema

GraphQL is a strongly-typed API layer, so having a schema behind it is essential. Simply put:

Queries are just fields on a type called "query". They can take arguments, and they must resolve.

There's a bit more to it than that, and if you want to learn more about GraphQL, you can read the full documentation, but for now, these three concepts will serve almost all of your needs to get started.

Initial setup

To start your first schema, open a new configuration file. Let's call it graphql.yml.

app/_config/graphql.yml

SilverStripe\GraphQL\Schema\Schema:
  schemas:
    # your schemas here

Let's populate a schema that is pre-configured for us out of the box, default.

app/_config/graphql.yml

SilverStripe\GraphQL\Schema\Schema:
  schemas:
    default:
      config:
        # general schema config here
      types:
        # your generic types here
      models:
        # your dataobjects here
      queries:
        # your queries here
      mutations:
        # your mutations here

Avoid config flushes

Because the schema YAML is only consumed at build time and never used at runtime, it doesn't make much sense to store it in the configuration layer, because it just means you'll have to flush=1 every time you make a schema update, which will slow down your builds.

It is recommended that you store your schema YAML outside of the _config directory to increase performance and remove the need for flushing.

We can do this by adding a src key to our schema definition that maps to a directory relative to the project root.

app/_config/graphql.yml

SilverStripe\GraphQL\Schema\Schema:
  schemas:
    default:
      src: app/_graphql
It is recommended that you define your sources as an array so that further source files are merged. Otherwise, another config file could completely override part of your schema definition.

app/_config/graphql.yml

SilverStripe\GraphQL\Schema\Schema:
  schemas:
    default:
      src:
        - app/_graphql
        - module/_graphql
Your directory can also be a module reference, e.g. somevendor/somemodule: _graphql

Now, in our app/_graphql file, we can create YAML file definitions.

This doesn't mean there is never a need to flush your schema config. If you were to add a new one, or make a change to the value of this src attribute, those are still a standard config changes.

app/_graphql/schema.yml

# no schema key needed. it's implied!
config:
  # your schema config here
types:
  # your generic types here
models:
  # your dataobjects here
queries:
  # your queries here
mutations:
  # your mutations here

Namespacing your schema files

Your schema YAML file will get quite bloated if it's just used as a monolithic source of truth like this. We can tidy this up quite a bit by simply placing the files in directories that map to the keys they populate -- e.g. config/, types/, models/, queries/, mutations/, etc.

There are two approaches to namespacing:

  • By filename
  • By directory name
Namespacing by directory name

If you use a parent directory name (at any depth) of one of the four keywords above, it will be implicitly placed in the corresponding section of the schema.

app/_graphql/types/config.yml

# my schema config here

app/_graphql/types/types.yml

# my type definitions here

app/_graphql/models/models.yml

# my type definitions here
Namespacing by filename

If the filename is named one of the four keywords above, it will be implicitly placed in the corresponding section of the schema. This only works in the root source directory.

app/_graphql/types.yml

# my types here

app/_graphql/models.yml

# my models here

Going even more granular

These special directories can contain multiple files that will all merge together, so you can even create one file per type, or some other convention. All that matters is that the parent directory name matches one of the schema keys.

The following are perfectly valid:

  • app/_graphql/types/mySingleType.yml
  • app/_graphql/models/allElementalBlocks.yml
  • app/_graphql/news-and-blog/models/blog.yml
  • app/_graphql/mySchema.yml

Schema config

In addition to all the keys mentioned above, each schema can declare a generic configuration section, config. This are mostly used for assigning or removing plugins and resolvers.

An important subsection of config is modelConfig, where you can configure settings for specific models, e.g. DataObject.

Like the other sections, it can have its own config.yml, or just be added as a config: mapping to a generic schema yaml document.

app/_graphql/config.yml

modelConfig:
  DataObject:
    plugins:
      inheritance: true
    operations:
      read:
        plugins:
          readVersion: false
          paginateList: false

Defining a basic type

Let's define a generic type for our GraphQL schema.

app/_graphql/types.yml*

Country:
  fields:
    name: String
    code: String
    population: Int
    languages: '[String]'

If you're familiar with GraphQL type language, this should look pretty familiar. There are only a handful of scalar types available in GraphQL by default. They are:

  • String
  • Int
  • Float
  • Boolean

To define a type as a list, you wrap it in brackets: [String], [Int]

To define a type as required (non-null), you add an exclamation mark: String!

Often times, you may want to do both: [String!]!

Look out for the footgun, here. Make sure your bracketed type is in quotes, otherwise it's valid YAML that will get parsed as an array!

That's all there is to it! To learn how we can take this further, check out the working with generic types documentation. Otherwise, let's get started on adding some dataobjects.

Further reading

Configuring your schema
Add a basic type to the schema configuration
Activating the default server
Open up the default server that comes pre-configured with the module
Building the schema
Turn your schema configuration into executable code
Building a schema with procedural code
Use PHP code to build your schema