GraphQL integration

const createGraphQLRouter = require('@arangodb/foxx/graphql');

The @arangodb/foxx/graphql module lets you create routers for serving GraphQL requests, which closely mimics the behavior of the express-graphql module.

For an example of a GraphQL schema in Foxx that resolves fields using the database see the GraphQL example service (also available from the Foxx store).

Starting with graphql version 0.12 you can use the official graphql library if you include it in the node_modules folder of your service bundle and pass it to the graphql option:

const graphql = require('graphql'); // 0.12 or later
const graphqlSchema = new graphql.Schema({
  schema: graphqlSchema,
  graphiql: true,
  graphql: graphql

Foxx also bundles version 0.6 of the graphql-sync module, which is a synchronous wrapper for the official JavaScript GraphQL reference implementation.

graphql-sync is a thin wrapper for old versions of graphql, allowing it to run in ArangoDB. This GraphQL server/schema implementation is deprecated and only shipped for backward compatibility. Version 0.12 and newer of the official graphql package can be used directly. New projects should bundle their own copy of this module:


const graphql = require('graphql-sync');
const graphqlSchema = new graphql.GraphQLSchema({
  // ...

// Mounting a graphql endpoint directly in a service:
module.context.use('/graphql', createGraphQLRouter({
  schema: graphqlSchema,
  graphiql: true

// Or at the service's root URL:
  schema: graphqlSchema,
  graphiql: true

// Or inside an existing router:
router.get('/hello', function (req, res) {
  res.write('Hello world!');
router.use('/graphql', createGraphQLRouter({
  schema: graphqlSchema,
  graphiql: true

For more information on graphql-sync see the graphql-js API reference.

Creating a router

createGraphQLRouter(options): Router

This returns a new router object with POST and GET routes for serving GraphQL requests.


  • options: object

    An object with any of the following properties:

    • schema: GraphQLSchema

      A GraphQL Schema object from graphql-sync.

    • context: any (optional)

      The GraphQL context that will be passed to the graphql() function from graphql-sync to handle GraphQL queries.

    • rootValue: object (optional)

      The GraphQL root value that will be passed to the graphql() function from graphql-sync to handle GraphQL queries.

    • pretty: boolean (Default: false)

      If true, JSON responses will be pretty-printed.

    • formatError: Function (optional)

      A function that will be used to format errors produced by graphql-sync. If omitted, the formatError function from graphql-sync will be used instead.

    • validationRules: Array<any> (optional)

      Additional validation rules queries must satisfy in addition to those defined in the GraphQL spec.

    • graphiql: boolean (Default: false)

      If true, the GraphiQL explorer will be served when loaded directly from a browser.

    • graphql: object (optional)

      If you need to use your own copy of the graphql-sync module instead of the one bundled with ArangoDB, here you can pass it in directly.

If a GraphQL Schema object is passed instead of an options object it will be interpreted as the schema option.

Generated routes

The router handles GET and POST requests to its root path and accepts the following parameters, which can be provided either as query parameters or as the POST request body:

  • query: string

    A GraphQL query that will be executed.

  • variables: object | string (optional)

    An object or a string containing a JSON object with runtime values to use for any GraphQL query variables.

  • operationName: string (optional)

    If the provided query contains multiple named operations, this specifies which operation should be executed.

  • raw: boolean (Default: false)

    Forces a JSON response even if graphiql is enabled and the request was made using a browser.

The POST request body can be provided as JSON or as query string using application/x-www-form-urlencoded. A request body passed as application/graphql will be interpreted as the query parameter.