Building GraphQL Server Using Schema-first Approach in Python | by Logesh | Jun, 2022

Handle CRUD operations with ease

Photo by Douglas Lopes on Unsplash

Schema-first approach is nothing but we first define the schema for our GraphQL service and then we implement the code by matching the definitions in the schema we defined.

We will be using the Ariadne library for this.

Ariadne is a Python library for implementing GraphQL servers using schema-first approach. — ariadne

We are going to build the GraphQL server that handles the CRUD operation of Book in the Book Store.

Simply, we will be storing the book’s information in our database. To make this project simpler I haven’t used any kind of database just used an in-memory store and focused more on the GraphQL part.

Server Operations

  • Add books
  • Get book by ID
  • List books by genre
  • List all the books
  • Update the book
  • Delete the book

Library installation

We highly depend on the Ariadne library, so we have to install that.

pip install ariadne

We have to make our GraphQL server the HTTP server that would receive the HTTP requests, execute GraphQL queries, and return responses.

For this, we can use an ASGI (Asynchronous Server Gateway Interface) server like uvicorn.

pip install uvicorn

I invite you to define the schema and implement the code in your own way and requirement. Here we will see my way of defining the schema.

I planned to have some GraphQL object types that can hold some information about the Books in our Book store.

Here I have 2 object types and 1 enum type as of now to describe a Book.

Book type has the below fields:

  • title — String type and nonnullable
  • book_id — ID type
  • genre — enum type
  • author — array of Author types and non-nullable

Author type:

  • name — String type and non-nullable
  • mail — String type

BookGenre enum type:

  • has two values ​​(FICTION, NONFICTION)

The above types are the basic types to handle the Books information.

Now we move forward to define the entry point for our GraphQL service.

Query type

I have the above Query type that has 3 fields.

  • book — get the book details by providing the book_id in the argument
  • books — get the list of available books
  • getbooks — get the list of books for the requested genre. The getgenre argument is an optional one, it has the default value of FICTION.
type GetBookResult{
isexists: Boolean!
book: Book

The GetBookResult type has 2 fields:

  • isexists — Boolean type and non-nullable, tells whether the book information exists or not for the given book_id
  • book — Book type

Mutation type

Mutation type has 3 fields

  • add_book — to create a book resource in our Book store by providing the inputs and the response is the status of that request.
  • update_book — updates the existing book information and the response is the status of that request.
  • delete_book — deletes the book with the given book id and returns the status of the operation.

The above types are used in the add_book field of the Mutation type.

The UpdateInput and the PutStatus types are used in the update_book field of the Mutation type.

type DeleteStatus{
iserror: Boolean!
description: String

DeleteStatus type is used in the delete_book field of the Mutation type.

We came to the end of our Schema definition. Moving to implement the code.

In-memory store

As I mentioned earlier I will be using an in-memory data store (simply a variable) to store the book’s information.

"title": "Book 1", "book_id": 1, "genre": "FICTION",
"authors": [{"name": "Logesh", "mail": ""}]

Here I have an initial mock data.

Boilerplate code

We can load our schema in two ways:

  • by defining our schema in a variable
  • by defining our schema in a separate .graphql file

For example, in the first case:

from ariadne import QueryType, gql, make_executable_schema, MutationTypefrom ariadne.asgi import GraphQLtype_defs = gql("""
type Query {
book(book_id : ID!): GetBookResult
books: [Book]
query = QueryType()
mutation = MutationType()
schema = make_executable_schema(type_defs, query, mutation)
app = GraphQL(schema, debug=True)

For the second case:

from ariadne import QueryType, make_executable_schema, MutationType, load_schema_from_pathfrom ariadne.asgi import GraphQLquery = QueryType()
mutation = MutationType()
book_type_defs = load_schema_from_path("book_schema.graphql")
schema = make_executable_schema(book_type_defs, query, mutation)
app = GraphQL(schema, debug=True)

In the above code, we can see that I have loaded our schema from the external file.

Helper functions

I have written some helper functions like fetching the book information from the BOOK_STORE:

The above function is used to get the book of given ID from the BOOK_STORE variable(our database)

This function is used to check whether the book with the given ID exists or not.

This simple function is used to create a unique id, which is needed while creating a new book.

To delete the book from the BOOK_STORE variable by providing the book ID.

This function is used to get the list of books with the given genre.


Now we are ready to implement our GraphQL Server resolvers.

For the book field of the Query type we have the above function to resolve the query and return the dictionary with the keys(fields) that we mentioned in our response type of this request in the schema.

The above resolver functions is used to resolve the query fields — books and getbooks.

Now moving to the Mutation type.

The above function is used to create a new book in our Book store.

resolve_update_book function is used to update the existing book.

This function is used to delete the book by providing the book id.

Now we have done with our resolvers, moving to serve the clients.

By using uvicornwe are going to make our GraphQL server to serve over HTTP.

Execute the below command to start the server.

uvicorn main:app
# uvicorn <filename>:<GraphQL object>

Uvicorn running on

Query book

Mutation add_book

Query books

Mutation update_book

Query book

Query getbooks

Mutation delete_book

Query book

We can also use Postman as the GraphQL client.

In this article, we have seen how to build our own GraphQL server in Python (schema first approach).

You can find this project on my Github. Thanks for reading.

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