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ScalarDB GraphQL Sample

This sample application is a simple CLI electronic money application that has the following features:

  • Charge an amount to a user
  • Pay an amount from a user to another user
  • Show the balance of a user

In this sample, we will use Cassandra as a storage for ScalarDB. The Cassandra server and the ScalarDB GraphQL server will run with Docker.

Apart from them, we will build a client Node.js application that will communicate with the GraphQL server. Please note that this client app is just one example of the clients; since GraphQL is a communication pattern, there are many tools in various programming languages for building applications.


  • Docker Engine 20.10+
  • Docker Compose 1.28+
  • Node.js 16+

You need a Personal Access Token (PAT) to access the Docker image of ScalarDB GraphQL in GitHub Container registry since the image is private. Ask a person in charge to get your account ready. Please read the official document for more detail.

Set up

This section describes the steps to start the database and the GraphQL server and build the client application.

Clone the ScalarDB samples repository

Open Terminal, then clone the ScalarDB samples repository by running the following command:

$ git clone https://github.com/scalar-labs/scalardb-samples

Then, go to the directory with this sample by running the following command:

$ cd scalardb-samples/scalardb-graphql-sample

Start Cassandra

First, let’s start the Cassandra server with docker-compose:

docker-compose up -d cassandra

You need to wait for the Cassandra to start up. Checking the logs with the docker-compose logs -f command would be helpful.

Load schema

In this step, you will load the database schema for the sample app (emoney-schema.json) to the Cassandra database. To download the schema loader tool, scalardb-schema-loader-<VERSION>.jar, see the Releases of ScalarDB and download the version that you want to use. You can load the schema to the database by the following command:

$ java -jar scalardb-schema-loader-<VERSION>.jar --config database.properties --schema-file emoney-schema.json --coordinator

Start GraphQL server

Since the schema is ready, you can start the GraphQL server container. The docker-compose up command will start all services except for schema-loader (because the schema-loader has a different profile ). Since the cassandra service is already running, the command will start the scalardb-graphql service additionally:

docker-compose up -d

The next time you start these services, you will not need to load the schema, so you can start them with this command alone.

At this point, you can open the GraphQL endpoint http://localhost:8080/graphql with your web browser. The GraphiQL IDE allows you to play with the GraphQL schema for the account table and browse the schema document.

Build the client app

In this step, you will build the client app that will communicate with the GraphQL endpoint.

The npm install command will download and install the dependencies:

npm install

The application source code is located in the src directory. The tsc command will compile the source files into the dist directory:

npx tsc

Run the sample app


  • Charge the amount 10 to the account for user1.
  • Charge the amount 20 to the account for user2.
  • user1 pays an amount of 5 to user2.
  • Show the account balances for user1 and user2.

The following commands will do the tasks:

node dist/emoney.js charge user1 10
node dist/emoney.js charge user2 20
node dist/emoney.js pay user1 user2 5
node dist/emoney.js show user1
node dist/emoney.js show user2

Application structure

In this section, we will look at the application configuration in detail.

Files and directories

The following list is a description of the key files and directories in this application.

  • graphql/ - The GraphQL documents (queries and mutations) for the app functions are located here. The GraphQL Code Generator (graphql-codegen) reads them to generate the client TypeScript code. Read the next section about the generator.
  • src/ - All TypeScript code are located here.
    • src/generated/graphql.ts - The generated file with graphql-codegen based on the GraphQL endpoint and the local documents in the graphql/ directory.
    • emoney.ts - The main file of the client app
  • codegen.yml - The configuration file for graphql-codegen

GraphQL Code Generator

The client code for this app was generated with GraphQL Code Generator.

It is configured with the codegen.yml file. This file enables three plugins to generate src/generated/graphql.ts.

  • typescript - An essential plugin to generate the TypeScript types based on the GraphQL schema.
  • typescript-operations - Generates TypeScript types based on the schema and the documents in the graphql directory.
  • typescript-graphql-request - Generates the client code that is called “SDK”. With the functions provided by the SDK, we can call GraphQL operations defined in the document easily.

Note that the rawRequest: true configuration should be set for the typescript-graphql-request plugin as in codegen.yml. This is because we need to access the extensions key in the GraphQL response where the the transaction ID is returned from the server.

To generate the code again, you can run:

npm run generate

Clean up

To stop the services and remove the volume for the Cassandra data, run the following commands:

docker-compose down