Jotschi Vertx Graphql Example Save

Vert.x Server which exposes a GraphQL API

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Vert.x GraphQL Example

This example shows how to build a basic GraphQL endpoint using Vert.x and OrientDB

Getting Started

  • Clone example project
git clone [email protected]:jotschi/vertx-graphql-example.git
cd vertx-graphql-example


I recently added GraphQL support to Gentics Mesh and I thought it would be a good idea to boil down the essence of my implementation in example so that I could share it in a simpler form. This example will not cover all aspects that I have added to the Gentics Mesh API (e.g. paging, search and error handling) but it will give you a basic overview of the parts that I put together. GraphQL does not require a GraphDB even if the name might suggest it. Using a graphdb in combination with GraphQL does nevertheless provide you with some advantages which I will highlight later on.

Why StarWars?

Most graphql examples which I found make use of that domain model. I adoped the graphql-java demo schema and added some values.


GraphiQL browser

The GraphiQL browser is served via a StaticHandler. No further configuration is needed.

Data setup

The StarWarsData class contains the demo data. The demo data is structured in a very simple graph. A central root element is used to reference the aggregation vertices which list all the basic elements (humans, droids, planets, movies). Additional edges exist between those elements.

This example does not use SQL to interface with the GraphDB. Instead it uses makes use of the Object Graph Mapper library Ferma 3.x. This library allowed me to create basic Java classes which map to the vertices which I later use within my Graph. Ferma helps a lot if you plan to setup your graph domain model. Using a tinkerpop based native API is in most cases the fastest way to interact with the GraphDB. OrientDB nativly supports this API and thus the overall overhead is minimal compared to SQL.

GraphQL schema

The GraphQL schema defines which fields and objects can be resolved via a query. I use graphql-java to setup the schema and process the query.

The StarWarsSchema class contains all schema fields and object definitions. Any field may define a data fetcher which is used to access the graph database and load the needed data. Data fetchers can access the the graphql query context (in our case the StarWarsRoot vertex) and a source element. The context will not change if you access nested elements but the source element can change. This is very useful since you can just pass along a vertex. This vertex can be processed by another data fetcher and related vertices, edges or a single vertex can be returned. You can create a very fast and efficient API if you model your graph relationships in a way that it matches up closely to your graphql schema.

Executing queries

The GraphQLVerticle contains the whole query execution logic.

The query is wrapped in an JSON string and thus needs to unwrapped first.

The handleQuery method processes the query. It is important to note that the query has a starting point. In our case this is the root vertex.

ExecutionInput input = new ExecutionInput(query, null, queryJson, demoData.getRoot(), extractVariables(queryJson));

All GraphQL schema data fetchers can access this root vertex and use it as a starting point for the graph traversals.

Testing GraphQL

There are many ways to test a GraphQL API. You could write unit tests which individually test each graphql type or just test the data fetchers. I often opt for tests which cover a big portion of application stack. Those tests have the advantage that they have the potential to uncover bugs which reside in the areas between application parts. The downside is that they often take much longer to execute.

The GraphQLTest which is part of the example loads a predefined GraphQL query and executes it by posting it to the graphql endpoint. The graphQL query also contains special comments which are parsed. These parsed comments are used to perform assertions against the response query.

    vader: human(id: 1001) {
		# [$ Vader]

The comment contains a basic json-path and expected value for that path.

Whats next? What did you not cover?

  • I have not covered mutation support. (GraphQL write operations).
  • I did not cover async graphql execution. It may be desireable to execute parts of the graphql query in-parallel to speedup processing.
Open Source Agenda is not affiliated with "Jotschi Vertx Graphql Example" Project. README Source: Jotschi/vertx-graphql-example
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