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Writing and Consuming Extensions

The main purpose of GraphQL Config Extensions is to pass information to extension’s consumer to extend the behavior of GraphQL Config’s logic.

GraphQL Config ships TypeScript declaration files so let’s make use of them in the following examples.

How to Write Extensions

To make sure you write extensions correctly, import and use the GraphQLExtensionDeclaration type from graphql-config package. Thanks to TypeScript, you get autocompletion and in-editor validation.

The main requirement of an extension is its name. Providing a name lets GraphQL Config match the extension with its namespace in the config file.

import { GraphQLExtensionDeclaration } from 'graphql-config'
const InspectorExtension: GraphQLExtensionDeclaration = api => {
  return {
    name: 'inspector'

Schema Middlewares

GraphQL Config lets you intercept the GraphQL Schema loading process which may be helpful when dealing with custom directives like in Relay or Apollo Federation. We call it Middlewares.

import { GraphQLExtensionDeclaration } from 'graphql-config'
const RelayExtension: GraphQLExtensionDeclaration = api => {
  api.loaders.schema.use(document => {
    // The middleware receives a DocumentNode object
    // Adds relay directives
    // Returns a new DocumentNode
    return addRelayToDocumentNode(document)
  return {
    name: 'relay'

Consuming Extension

As a GraphQL tool author, you will likely want to load the config and register your extension to understand the user’s configuration.

import { loadConfig } from 'graphql-config'
import { InspectorExtension } from './extension'
async function main() {
  const config = await loadConfig({
    extensions: [InspectorExtension]
For synchronous use loadConfigSync

Now that everything is ready, GraphQL Config understands there’s the Inspector extension.

To access information stored in the config file, do the following:

async function main() {
  // ... code from previous steps
  // Reads configuration of a default project
  const project = config.getDefault()
  // Reads configuration of a named project
  const project = config.getProject('admin')
  // Reads extension's configuration defined in a project
  const inspectorConfig = project.extension('inspector')
  // Given the following config file:
  // schema: './schema.graphql'
  // extensions:
  //  inspector:
  //    validate: true
  // You're able to get `validate`:
  if (inspectorConfig.validate === true) {
    // ...

Getting GraphQLSchema is straightforward: each project has getSchema(): Promise<GraphQLSchema> method.

async function main() {
  // ... code from the previous example
  if (inspectorConfig.validate === true) {
    const schema = await project.getSchema()

GraphQL Config can generate a schema not only as GraphQLSchema object but also as a DocumentNode. (For more info, read the API reference of GraphQLProjectConfig.) It’s also capable of loading operations and fragments.

Registering Loaders

In previous examples, we pointed GraphQL Config to the schema.graphql file. GraphQL Config, by default, understands the Introspection result stored in JSON file, GraphQL files (.graphql, .gql, .graphqls and .gqls) and the document returned by any functioning GraphQL endpoint (specified by URL).

In some cases, you may want to extend that behavior and teach GraphQL Config how to look for GraphQL SDL (modularized schema for example) across many JavaScript or TypeScript files.

It’s now possible thanks to loaders.

The GraphQL Tools library has a few already written loaders that GraphQL Config uses. We mentioned the default loaders, but the repo contains a few extra ones.

For simplicity, we’re going to use only the one responsible for extracting GraphQL SDL from code files.

import { GraphQLExtensionDeclaration } from 'graphql-config'
import { CodeFileLoader } from '@graphql-tools/code-file-loader'
const InspectorExtension: GraphQLExtensionDeclaration = api => {
  // For schema
  api.loaders.schema.register(new CodeFileLoader())
  // For documents
  api.loaders.documents.register(new CodeFileLoader())
  return { name: 'inspector' }

Let’s say you have GraphQL SDL modularized across multiple TypeScript files, written like this:

import { gql } from 'graphql-tag'
export const typeDefs = gql`
  type User {
    id: ID!
    name: String!
  extend type Query {
    user(id: ID!): User!

With CodeFileLoader you can extract those GraphQL pieces:

schema: './src/modules/*.ts' # uses a glob pattern to look for files
    validate: true

There are two kinds of loaders. One is responsible for handling schemas, and the other covers Operations and Fragments (we call them both Documents).

To read more about loaders, please check “Loaders” chapter.