GraphQL Relay Specification

Getting Started

The three core assumptions that Relay makes about a GraphQL server are that it provides:

  1. A mechanism for refetching an object.
  2. A description of how to page through connections.
  3. Structure around mutations to make them predictable.

This example demonstrates all three of these assumptions.

This example is not comprehensive, but it is designed to quickly introduce these core assumptions, to provide some context before diving into the more detailed specification of the library.

The premise of the example is that we want to use GraphQL to query for information about ships and factions in the original Star Wars trilogy.

It is assumed that the reader is already familiar with GraphQL; if not, the README for GraphQL.js is a good place to start.

It is also assumed that the reader is already familiar with Star Wars; if not, the 1977 version of Star Wars is a good place to start, though the 1997 Special Edition will serve for the purposes of this document.


The schema described below will be used to demonstrate the functionality that a GraphQL server used by Relay should implement. The two core types are a faction and a ship in the Star Wars universe, where a faction has many ships associated with it. The schema below is the output of the GraphQL.js schemaPrinter.

interface Node {
  id: ID!

type Faction : Node {
  id: ID!
  name: String
  ships: ShipConnection

type Ship : Node {
  id: ID!
  name: String

type ShipConnection {
  edges: [ShipEdge]
  pageInfo: PageInfo!

type ShipEdge {
  cursor: String!
  node: Ship

type PageInfo {
  hasNextPage: Boolean!
  hasPreviousPage: Boolean!
  startCursor: String
  endCursor: String

type Query {
  rebels: Faction
  empire: Faction
  node(id: ID!): Node

input IntroduceShipInput {
  factionId: String!
  shipNamed: String!
  clientMutationId: String!

type IntroduceShipPayload {
  faction: Faction
  ship: Ship
  clientMutationId: String!

type Mutation {
  introduceShip(input: IntroduceShipInput!): IntroduceShipPayload

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