A helper package for generating a GraphQL schema from Doctrine entities

v3.0.0 2020-07-06 23:44 UTC

This package is auto-updated.

Last update: 2021-05-07 01:25:58 UTC


Generate a PSR-7 GraphQL API server from an instance of the Doctrine ORM in just a few lines of PHP, with permissions and custom mutation resolvers available out-of-the-box.


Via Composer:

composer install guym4c/doctrine-graphql-helper


This package is a helper package for graphql-php and graphql-doctrine, which install automatically with it. Entities used with this package must be graphql-doctrine -compatible. Refer to these packages’ documentation for more details.

Implementing GraphQLEntity

Any entities which you wish to use in your API must extend GraphQLEntity and implement the required methods.

You probably won't want any methods you implement to be added to the schema by graphql-doctrine, and so you must annotate them as excluded:

use GraphQL\Doctrine\Annotation as API;

 * @API\Exclude
public function someMethod() {}

Entity constructors

When an entity is created over GraphQL using a create mutator, it is constructed using the buildFromJson() static, which calls the constructor with no parameters. If your entity has a constructor with parameters, then you will need to override buildFromJson() in your entity class and call the constructor yourself.

After you've performed any tasks you need to, you may still use the inherited hydrate() call after this to fill out the object with the input data. You must unset any properties that you have already hydrated yourself from the input array $data before you make this call, or your existing properties will be overwritten.


In addition to the events that Doctrine provides you with, the schema builder adds events that fire during the execution of some resolvers: beforeUpdate() and beforeDelete(). You may extend these from GraphQLEntity. Both fire immediately after the entity in its initial state is retrieved from the ORM, and before any operation is performed. (For beforeDelete() in particular, these means all fields, including generated values, are accessible.)


You always need to implement hasPermission(), regardless of whether you intend to implement permissions at this level or not. You can find more details on implementing permissions below, or just stub it out with a return true; for the moment. For security reasons, the builder does not default to this.

Building the schema

Construct a schema builder on entities of your choice. You must provide an instance of the Doctrine entity manager, and an associative array where the key is the plural form of the entity's name, and the value is the fully-qualified class name of the entity definition. For example:

$builder = new EntitySchemaBuilder($em, [
    'owners' => Owner::class,
    'dogs'  => Dog::class,
    'cats'  => Cat::class,

Running queries

You may use your built schema in a GraphQL server of your choice, or use the helper’s integration with graphql-php to retrieve a server object already set up with your schema by calling getServer().

The server returned accepts a request object in its executeRequest() method. In some cases you may wish to run a raw JSON payload through the server. To do this, can parse the JSON to a format which the server will accept as a parameter to executeRequest() by calling EntitySchemaBuilder::jsonToOperation($json).

Using permissions

Permissions are managed using the handler you implemented when extending GraphQLEntity. The hasPermission() handler is passed 4 parameters to help you implement this:

abstract public function hasPermission(
    EntityManager $em, // an instance of the entity manager
    DoctrineUniqueInterface $user, // the user you passed to getServer()
    array $context, // array of additional context you optionally passed to getServer()
    string $method // action method verb
): bool;

The method corresponds to the action verb assigned to the currently executing query or mutation. The generated queries and mutators use pre-set CRUD-like verbs: get, create, update and delete, but you can use any verb you choose when writing your own mutators.

Using custom mutators

The schema generator exposes a simple API for adding your own mutators, and a class (Mutation). This wraps some advanced functionality of graphql-doctrine, and so reference to that package’s documentation may or will be required using this feature. You must instantiate Mutation by passing the name of the mutator to the factory method of an EntitySchemaBuilder. This associates the Mutation with the builder and will include it in any schema generated with it.

There are two methods of hydrating the new Mutation returned by the factory: using the chainable methods exposed by Mutation, or by providing all parameters at once to its hydrate() method. The examples below use method chaining, but the same principles apply to hydrate().

setEntity(): Set the class name of the entity that this mutator operates on. This must be set, and is used to auto-generate the type if none was provided.

setType(): Set the GraphQL return type of the mutator. If not configured, this will be a non-empty list of the entity provided in setEntity(). The default type is compatible with the builder’s resolveQuery() method, if called in your resolver function (see below).

setDescription(): Set a description returned by the server in introspection queries (optional).

setArgs(): Set the arguments that may be given when this mutator is queried. By default, this is a non-null (required) ID type, allowing you to retrieve the entity that the ID refers to using the entity manager.

setMethod(): Set the action verb that this mutator uses for permissions purposes.

setResolver(): You must provide a callable here that takes two arguments – an array of your mutator’s args and the API user making the request. You must return the data that you wish to be returned with the response to the query, and that data must of the correct type – methods that can assist with this are provided in EntitySchemaBuilder, and it is suggested that you define this callable in a variable scope where you have access to it and the entity manager. Failure to resolve data of the correct type will result in the server returning an error.

Methods exposed by the builder

The schema builder exposes a variety of methods which may be of use when writing resolver functions. You may wish to consult the documentation of graphql-php and graphql-doctrine for more information on the values that some of these methods return.

listOfType(): When given an entity’s class name, returns a GraphQL return type of a list of the entity.

resolveQuery(): Resolves a query using the entity manager. Requires the args array given with the query, and the class name of the root entity being queried. You may also pass in an instance of the entity as the third parameter to fully resolve and then return this entity.

getMutator(): Generates a mutator (in its array form, not a Mutation) from the provided type, args and resolver.

setUserEntity(): Changes the user from that given during instantiation.

getTypes(): Retrieve the types that have been generated for use in the schema.

isPermitted(): Resolves the permission level of a query, given its args, query context and entity class name.