The Railt GraphQL Framework

1.3.7 2019-02-24 14:15 UTC

This package is auto-updated.

Last update: 2024-06-18 01:46:55 UTC



PHP 8.1+ railt.org Discord Latest Stable Version Total Downloads License MIT



Project idea is clean and high-quality code.

Unlike most (all at the moment) implementations, like webonyx, youshido or digitalonline the Railt contains a completely own implementation of the GraphQL SDL parser which is based on EBNF-like grammar. This opportunity allows not only to have the original implementation of the language and to keep it always up to date, but also to implement a new backward compatible functionality that is not available to other implementations.

Goal of Railt:

  • Do not repeat the mistakes made in the JS-based implementations.
  • Implement a modern and convenient environment for PHP developers.
  • Implement easy integration into any ready-made solutions based on PSR.
  • Provide familiar functionality (including dependency injection, routing, etc.).


  • composer require railt/railt

Quick Start

This tutorial helps you:

  • Obtain a basic understanding of GraphQL principles.
  • Define a GraphQL schema that represents the structure of your data set.
  • Run an instance of Railt Application that lets you execute queries against your schema.

This tutorial assumes that you are familiar with the command line and PHP and have installed a recent PHP (v8.1+) version.

Step 1: Create a new project

  1. From your preferred development directory, create a directory for a new project and cd into it:
mkdir railt-example
cd railt-example
  1. Initialize a new project with Composer:
composer init
composer require railt/railt dev-master@dev

Your project directory now contains a composer.json file.

Please note that in case of installation errors related to installing the dev version ("The package is not available in a stable-enough version according to your minimum-stability setting"), you need to specify "minimum-stability": "dev" in composer.json file.

See more at https://getcomposer.org/doc/04-schema.md#minimum-stability

Applications that run Railt Application may require two top-level dependencies:

  • railt/webonyx-executor - An executor that provides a webonyx/graphql-php bridge for launching and processing GraphQL requests.
  • railt/router-extension - A router extension that provides a convenient way to delegate GraphQL requests to controller instances.

Alternatively, you can install all components separately:

composer require railt/factory railt/webonyx-executor railt/router-extension

Step 2: Define your GraphQL schema

Every GraphQL application (including Railt) uses a schema to define the structure of data that clients can query. In this example, we'll create an application for querying a collection of users by id and name.

Open index.graphqls in your preferred code editor and paste the following into it:

# Comments in GraphQL strings (such as this one)
# start with the hash (#) symbol.

# This "User" type defines the queryable fields for
# every user in our data source.
type User {
    id: ID
    name: String

# The "Query" type is special: it lists all of the
# available queries that clients can execute, along with
# the return type for each. In this case, the "books"
# query returns an array of zero or more Books (defined above).
type Query {
    users: [User]

Now just open (create) the index.php file and paste the following into it:


require __DIR__ . '/vendor/autoload.php';

// Create An Application
$application = new Railt\Foundation\Application(
    executor: new Railt\Executor\Webonyx\WebonyxExecutor(),

$application->extend(new Railt\Extension\Router\DispatcherExtension());

// Creating a connection instance that will process
// incoming requests and return responses.
$connection = $application->connect(
    schema: new \SplFileInfo(__DIR__ . '/index.graphqls'),

This snippet defines a simple, valid GraphQL schema. Clients will be able to execute a query named users, and our server will return an array of zero or more Users.

Step 2.1: Schema health check

To health check an application, you can create a GraphQLRequest instance manually by passing the request object with the desired GraphQL query string.

// Passing a request to the specified connection.
$response = $connection->handle(
    request: new \Railt\Http\GraphQLRequest(
        query: '{ users { id, name } }',


// Expected Output:
// array:1 [
//   "data" => array:1 [
//     "users" => []
//   ]
// ]

Step 3: Define controller

Resolvers tell Railt Application how to fetch the data associated with a particular type. Because our User array is hardcoded, the corresponding resolver is straightforward.

Create a controller file with a UserController class, for example with a index() method and the following code:


class UserController
    public function index(): iterable
        return [
            ['id' => 1, 'name' => 'Vasya'],
            ['id' => 2, 'name' => 'Petya'],

Make sure that this class is available for autoloading or the file is included in the index.php.

Step 4: Bind field to controller action

We've defined our data set, but Railt application doesn't know that it should use that data set when it's executing a query. To fix this, we create a route.

Route tell Railt how to fetch the data associated with a particular type. Because our User array is hardcoded, the corresponding route is straightforward.

Add the following @route directive to the bottom of your index.graphqls file:

# ...
type User {
    id: ID
    name: String

# ...
type Query {
    users: [User]
        # Route directive can be defined here
        @route(action: "UserController->index")

Step 5: Working with HTTP

To pass the request data and send the response, we must complete our index.php file.

{tip} In the case that you use Symfony, Laravel or another http layer (for example, psr-7), then you can organize data acquisition according to the provided framework API and/or specification.

$data = json_decode(file_get_contents('php://input'), true);

$response = $connection->handle(
    request: new \Railt\Http\GraphQLRequest(
        query: $data['query'] ?? '',
        variables: $data['variables'] ?? [],
        operationName: $data['operationName'] ?? null,

$json = json_encode($response->toArray());

header('Content-Type: application/json');
header('Access-Control-Allow-Origin: *');

echo $json;

Step 6: Start the server

We're ready to start our server! Run the following command from your project's root directory:

php -S

You should now see the following output at the bottom of your terminal:

PHP 8.2.6 Development Server ( started

We're up and running!

Step 7: Execute your first query

We can now execute GraphQL queries on our server. To execute our first query, we can use Apollo Sandbox, GraphQL Playground or something else.

Our server supports a single query named users. Let's execute it!

Here's a GraphQL query string for executing the users query:

  users {

Paste this string into the query panel and click the "send request" button (The GraphQL interface and panel layout may depend on the platform/client you are using). The results (from our hardcoded data set) appear in the response panel:


One of the most important concepts of GraphQL is that clients can choose to query only for the fields they need. Delete name from the query string and execute it again. The response updates to include only the id field for each User!

Learning Railt

Full documentation can be found on the official site.


Thank you for considering contributing to the Railt Framework! The contribution guide can be found in the documentation.

Security Vulnerabilities

If you discover a security vulnerability within Railt, please send an e-mail to maintainer at nesk@xakep.ru. All security vulnerabilities will be promptly addressed.


The Railt Framework is open-sourced software licensed under the MIT license.

Help & Community Discord

Join our Discord community if you run into issues or have questions. We love talking to you!

Supported By