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Configure GraphQL types, fields, and arguments

Looking for Apollo Federation s? See Federation-specific GraphQL directives.

A directive decorates part of a GraphQL or with additional configuration. Tools like Apollo Server (and Apollo Client) can read a GraphQL document's s and perform custom logic as appropriate.

s are preceded by the @ character, like so:

type ExampleType {
oldField: String @deprecated(reason: "Use `newField`.")
newField: String

This example shows the @deprecated , which is a default directive (i.e., it's part of the GraphQL specification). It demonstrates the following about s:

  • s can take s of their own (reason in this case).
  • s appear after the declaration of what they decorate (the oldField in this case)

Valid locations

Each can only appear in certain locations within a GraphQL or . These locations are listed in the 's definition.

For example, here's the GraphQL spec's definition of the @deprecated :

directive @deprecated(
reason: String = "No longer supported"

This indicates that @deprecated can decorate any of the four listed locations. Also note that its reason is optional and provides a default value. Usage examples of each location are provided below:

# Note: @deprecated arguments _must_ be optional.
directive @withDeprecatedArgs(
deprecatedArg: String @deprecated(reason: "Use `newArg`"),
newArg: String
) on FIELD
type MyType {
# ARGUMENT_DEFINITION (alternate example on a field's args)
fieldWithDeprecatedArgs(name: String! @deprecated): String
deprecatedField: String @deprecated
enum MyEnum {
OLD_VALUE @deprecated(reason: "Use `NEW_VALUE`.")
input SomeInputType {
nonDeprecated: String
deprecated: String @deprecated

If @deprecated appears elsewhere in a GraphQL document, it produces an error.

If you create a custom , you need to define it (and its valid locations) in your . You don't need to define default directives like @deprecated.

Schema directives vs. operation directives

Usually, a given appears exclusively in GraphQL s or exclusively in GraphQL s (rarely both, although the spec allows this).

For example, among the default directives, @deprecated is a -exclusive and @skip and @include are -exclusive s.

The GraphQL spec lists all possible locations. locations are listed under TypeSystemDirectiveLocation, and locations are listed under ExecutableDirectiveLocation.

Default directives

The GraphQL specification defines the following default s:

@deprecated(reason: String)Marks the schema definition of a field or enum value as deprecated with an optional reason.
@skip(if: Boolean!)If true, the decorated field or fragment in an operation is not resolved by the GraphQL server.
@include(if: Boolean!)If false, the decorated field or fragment in an operation is not resolved by the GraphQL server.
Custom scalars
Creating directives
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