Micronaut GraphQL

Learn how to use Micronaut GraphQL.

Authors: Iván López

Micronaut Version: 3.2.7

1. Getting Started

In this guide, we will create a Micronaut application written in Java that uses GraphQL to expose some data.

GraphQL is a query language for APIs and a runtime for fulfilling those queries with your existing data. GraphQL provides a complete and understandable description of the data in your API, gives clients the power to ask for exactly what they need and nothing more, makes it easier to evolve APIs over time, and enables powerful developer tools.

2. What you will need

To complete this guide, you will need the following:

  • Some time on your hands

  • A decent text editor or IDE

  • JDK 1.8 or greater installed with JAVA_HOME configured appropriately

3. Solution

We recommend that you follow the instructions in the next sections and create the application step by step. However, you can go right to the completed example.

4. Writing the Application

Create an application using the Micronaut Command Line Interface or with Micronaut Launch.

mn create-app example.micronaut.micronautguide --build=gradle --lang=java
If you don’t specify the --build argument, Gradle is used as the build tool.
If you don’t specify the --lang argument, Java is used as the language.

The previous command creates a Micronaut application with the default package example.micronaut in a directory named micronautguide.

4.1. Enable annotation Processing

If you use Java or Kotlin and IntelliJ IDEA, make sure to enable annotation processing.


5. GraphQL

Add the following dependency:


By default GraphQL endpoint /graphql is enabled so you don’t need to add any extra configuration.

5.1. Describe your schema

Create the file schema.graphqls in src/main/resources directory:

type Query {
    bookById(id: ID): Book (1)

type Book { (2)
    id: ID
    name: String
    pageCount: Int
    author: Author

type Author { (3)
    id: ID
    firstName: String
    lastName: String
1 Declare a bookById query
2 Declare a Book type
3 Declare an Author type

5.2. Book and Author classes

Create Book and Author classes that will mimic the data we want to expose:

package example.micronaut;

import io.micronaut.core.annotation.Introspected;

public class Book {

    private final String id;
    private final String name;
    private final int pageCount;
    private final Author author;

    public Book(String id, String name, int pageCount, Author author) {
        this.id = id;
        this.name = name;
        this.pageCount = pageCount;
        this.author = author;

    public String getId() {
        return id;

    public String getName() {
        return name;

    public int getPageCount() {
        return pageCount;

    public Author getAuthor() {
        return author;
package example.micronaut;

import io.micronaut.core.annotation.Introspected;

public class Author {

    private final String id;
    private final String firstName;
    private final String lastName;

    public Author(String id, String firstName, String lastName) {
        this.id = id;
        this.firstName = firstName;
        this.lastName = lastName;

    public String getId() {
        return id;

    public String getFirstName() {
        return firstName;

    public String getLastName() {
        return lastName;

5.3. Data repository

To keep this example simple, instead of retrieving the information from a database we will keep it in memory and just return it from there. In a real-world example you will use any external storage: relational database, SQL database, etc.

Create DbRepository

package example.micronaut;

import jakarta.inject.Singleton;
import java.util.Arrays;
import java.util.List;
import java.util.stream.Collectors;

public class DbRepository {

    private static final List<Book> books = Arrays.asList( (1)
            new Book("book-1", "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone", 223, new Author("author-1", "Joanne", "Rowling")),
            new Book("book-2", "Moby Dick", 635, new Author("author-2", "Herman", "Melville")),
            new Book("book-3", "Interview with the vampire", 371, new Author("author-3", "Anne", "Rice"))

    List<Book> findAllBooks() {
        return books;

    List<Author> findAllAuthors() {
        return books.stream()
1 These are the only books we have in our system.

5.4. Data Fetchers

With a Data Fetcher we bind the GraphQL schema, and our domain model and execute the appropiate queries in our datastore to retrieve the requested data.

Create class GraphQLDataFetchers

package example.micronaut;

import graphql.schema.DataFetcher;

import jakarta.inject.Singleton;

public class GraphQLDataFetchers {

    private final DbRepository dbRepository;

    public GraphQLDataFetchers(DbRepository dbRepository) { (1)
        this.dbRepository = dbRepository;

    public DataFetcher<Book> getBookByIdDataFetcher() {
        return dataFetchingEnvironment -> { (2)
            String bookId = dataFetchingEnvironment.getArgument("id"); (3)
            return dbRepository.findAllBooks() (4)
                    .filter(book -> book.getId().equals(bookId))

    public DataFetcher<Author> getAuthorDataFetcher() {
        return dataFetchingEnvironment -> {
            Book book = dataFetchingEnvironment.getSource(); (5)
            Author authorBook = book.getAuthor(); (6)
            return dbRepository.findAllAuthors() (7)
                    .filter(author -> author.getId().equals(authorBook.getId()))

1 Constructor injection for the DbRepository bean
2 Return a GraphQL dataFetchingEnvironment with the information about the query
3 Get the id parameter from the query
4 Access the repository to find the book. Remember that this should be backed by a real datastore
5 Get the Book related to a specific author
6 Get the Author
7 Access the repository to find the Author.

5.5. Factory

Create the following factory that will bind the GraphQL schema to the code and types.

package example.micronaut;

import graphql.GraphQL;
import graphql.schema.GraphQLSchema;
import graphql.schema.idl.RuntimeWiring;
import graphql.schema.idl.SchemaGenerator;
import graphql.schema.idl.SchemaParser;
import graphql.schema.idl.TypeDefinitionRegistry;
import io.micronaut.context.annotation.Bean;
import io.micronaut.context.annotation.Factory;
import io.micronaut.core.io.ResourceResolver;
import org.slf4j.Logger;
import org.slf4j.LoggerFactory;

import jakarta.inject.Singleton;
import java.io.BufferedReader;
import java.io.InputStream;
import java.io.InputStreamReader;
import java.util.Optional;

import static graphql.schema.idl.TypeRuntimeWiring.newTypeWiring;

@Factory (1)
public class GraphQLFactory {

    private static final Logger LOG = LoggerFactory.getLogger(GraphQLFactory.class);

    public GraphQL graphQL(ResourceResolver resourceResolver,
                           GraphQLDataFetchers graphQLDataFetchers) {
        SchemaParser schemaParser = new SchemaParser(); (2)

        TypeDefinitionRegistry typeRegistry = new TypeDefinitionRegistry();
        Optional<InputStream> graphqlSchema = resourceResolver.getResourceAsStream("classpath:schema.graphqls"); (3)

        if (graphqlSchema.isPresent()) {
            typeRegistry.merge(schemaParser.parse(new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(graphqlSchema.get())))); (4)

            RuntimeWiring runtimeWiring = RuntimeWiring.newRuntimeWiring() (5)
                            .dataFetcher("bookById", graphQLDataFetchers.getBookByIdDataFetcher())) (6)
                            .dataFetcher("author", graphQLDataFetchers.getAuthorDataFetcher())) (7)

            SchemaGenerator schemaGenerator = new SchemaGenerator();
            GraphQLSchema graphQLSchema = schemaGenerator.makeExecutableSchema(typeRegistry, runtimeWiring); (8)

            return GraphQL.newGraphQL(graphQLSchema).build(); (9)

        } else {
            LOG.debug("No GraphQL services found, returning empty schema");
            return new GraphQL.Builder(GraphQLSchema.newSchema().build()).build();
1 Annotate the class with @Factory so the Micronaut framework knows that this class will create beans
2 Create a new SchemaParser
3 Get the previously created schema.graphqls file from the classpath
4 Parse the schema
5 Create the runtime wiring
6 Bind a data fetcher for the bookById query
7 Bind a data fetcher to retrieve the author related to a book
8 Create the executable schema
9 Return the GraphQL bean

6. Running the Application

To run the application, use the ./gradlew run command which starts the application on port 8080.

We want to execute a GraphQL query to retrieve a book by its id:

query {
  bookById(id:"book-1") {
    author {

Run the following curl request:

curl -X POST 'http://localhost:8080/graphql' \
     -H 'content-type: application/json' \
     --data-binary '{"query":"{ bookById(id:\"book-1\") { name, pageCount, author { firstName, lastName} } }"}'
{"data":{"bookById":{"name":"Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone","pageCount":223,"author":{"firstName":"Joanne","lastName":"Rowling"}}}}

One of the nice features about GraphQL is that the client can decide the fields, and the order they want to retrieve. Now we send the following request:

curl -X POST 'http://localhost:8080/graphql' \
     -H 'content-type: application/json' \
     --data-binary '{"query":"{ bookById(id:\"book-1\") { pageCount, name, id } }"}'
{"data":{"bookById":{"pageCount":223,"name":"Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone","id":"book-1"}}}

Notice that now the application only responds with pageCount, name and id fields, in that order.

7. Test the application

For testing the application we will use Micronaut HTTP Client to send a POST request to the /graphql endpoint. Create the following class:

package example.micronaut;

import io.micronaut.core.type.Argument;
import io.micronaut.http.HttpRequest;
import io.micronaut.http.HttpResponse;
import io.micronaut.http.HttpStatus;
import io.micronaut.http.client.HttpClient;
import io.micronaut.http.client.annotation.Client;
import io.micronaut.test.extensions.junit5.annotation.MicronautTest;
import org.junit.jupiter.api.Test;

import jakarta.inject.Inject;
import java.util.Map;

import static org.junit.jupiter.api.Assertions.assertEquals;
import static org.junit.jupiter.api.Assertions.assertNotNull;

class GraphQLControllerTest {

    HttpClient client;

    void testGraphQLController() {
        String query = "{ \"query\": \"{ bookById(id:\\\"book-1\\\") { name, pageCount, author { firstName, lastName} } }\" }";

        HttpRequest<String> request = HttpRequest.POST("/graphql", query);
        HttpResponse<Map> rsp = client.toBlocking().exchange(request, Argument.of(Map.class));
        assertEquals(HttpStatus.OK, rsp.status());

        Map bookInfo = (Map) rsp.getBody(Map.class).get().get("data");
        Map bookById = (Map) bookInfo.get("bookById");
        assertEquals("Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone", bookById.get("name"));
        assertEquals(223, bookById.get("pageCount"));

        Map author = (Map) bookById.get("author");
        assertEquals("Joanne", author.get("firstName"));
        assertEquals("Rowling", author.get("lastName"));

To run the tests:

./gradlew test

Then open build/reports/tests/test/index.html in a browser to see the results.

8. GraphiQL

As an extra feature that will help you during development, you can enable GraphiQL. GraphiQL is the GraphQL integrated development environment, and it helps to execute GraphQL queries.

It should only be used for development, so it’s not enabled by default. Add the following configuration to enable it:

    enabled: true

Start the application again and open http://localhost:8080/graphiql in your browser. You can write your GraphQL queries with integrated auto-completion and execute them to get the results in an easier and nicer way:

graphiql 01

9. Generate a Micronaut Application Native Image with GraalVM

We will use GraalVM, the polyglot embeddable virtual machine, to generate a native image of our Micronaut application.

Compiling native images ahead of time with GraalVM improves startup time and reduces the memory footprint of JVM-based applications.

Only Java and Kotlin projects support using GraalVM’s native-image tool. Groovy relies heavily on reflection, which is only partially supported by GraalVM.

9.1. Native image generation

The easiest way to install GraalVM on Linux or Mac is to use SDKMan.io.

Java 11
$ sdk install java 21.3.0.r11-grl
If you still use Java 8, use the JDK11 version of GraalVM.
Java 17
$ sdk install java 21.3.0.r17-grl

For installation on Windows, or for manual installation on Linux or Mac, see the GraalVM Getting Started documentation.

After installing GraalVM, install the native-image component, which is not installed by default:

gu install native-image

To generate a native image using Gradle, run:

./gradlew nativeCompile

The native image is created in build/native/nativeCompile directory and can be run with build/native/nativeCompile/application.

It is possible to customize the name of the native image or pass additional parameters to GraalVM:

graalvmNative {
    binaries {
        main {
            imageName.set('mn-graalvm-application') (1)
            buildArgs.add('--verbose') (2)
1 The native image name will now be mn-graalvm-application
2 It is possible to pass extra arguments to build the native image

Start the native image and execute the same curl request as before. You can also use the included GraphiQL browser to execute the queries.

10. Next steps

Take a look at the Micronaut GraphQL documentation.

11. Help with the Micronaut Framework

Object Computing, Inc. (OCI) sponsored the creation of this Guide. A variety of consulting and support services are available.