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How to use Relay style pagination in TypeGraphql

I am quite into Relay these days, for its opinionated, typesafe and performant approach. Especially for the effortless pagination.

For the backend, I use TypeGraphql, so easy to pick up if you already familiar with Typscript, typesafe, explicit, code-first, and very fast even it uses a js class approach. Today, I will show you how to define the Relay connection in TypeGraphql. I am using v1.0.0 here.

It’s not about actual implementation, since it is related to your data access layer. This blog is purely focused on defining the TypeGraphql class and how to use them.

Let’s cut to chase.

1. What do we need

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{
user {
id
name
friendsConnection(first: 10, after: "opaqueCursor") {
edges {
cursor
node {
id
name
}
}
pageInfo {
hasNextPage
hasPreviousPage
startCursor
endCursor
}
}
}
}

For the above example query, we need 4 type definition:

  1. ConnectinoArgs for the (first: 10, after: "opaqueCursor")
  2. PageInfo for the pageInfo
  3. A generic EdgeType for edges so you add your item type
  4. A generic ConnectionType for friendsConnection to combine edges and pageInfo

2. Define ConnectionArgs

This is for the arguments for querying the pagination, before, after, first and last.

The graphql-relay here is from @types/graphql-relay, install it if you havn’t.

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import * as Relay from "graphql-relay";
import { ObjectType, Field, ArgsType, ClassType } from "type-graphql";

@ArgsType()
export class ConnectionArgs implements Relay.ConnectionArguments {
@Field((type) => String, {
nullable: true,
description: "Paginate before opaque cursor",
})
before?: Relay.ConnectionCursor;

@Field((type) => String, {
nullable: true,
description: "Paginate after opaque cursor",
})
after?: Relay.ConnectionCursor;

@Field((type) => Number, { nullable: true, description: "Paginate first" })
first?: number;

@Field((type) => Number, { nullable: true, description: "Paginate last" })
last?: number;
}

3. Define the PageInfo

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import * as Relay from "graphql-relay";
import { ObjectType, Field, ArgsType, ClassType } from "type-graphql";

@ObjectType()
class PageInfo implements Relay.PageInfo {
@Field((type) => Boolean)
hasNextPage: boolean;

@Field((type) => Boolean)
hasPreviousPage: boolean;

@Field((type) => String, { nullable: true })
startCursor?: Relay.ConnectionCursor;

@Field((type) => String, { nullable: true })
endCursor?: Relay.ConnectionCursor;
}

4. Define the EdgeType

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import * as Relay from "graphql-relay";
import { ObjectType, Field, ArgsType, ClassType } from "type-graphql";

export function EdgeType<NodeType>(
nodeName: string,
nodeType: ClassType<NodeType>
) {
@ObjectType(`${nodeName}Edge`, { isAbstract: true })
abstract class Edge implements Relay.Edge<NodeType> {
@Field((type) => nodeType)
node: NodeType;

@Field((type) => String, {
description: "Used in `before` and `after` args",
})
cursor: Relay.ConnectionCursor;
}

return Edge;
}

You may wonder why EdgeType? It is because of the convenience of doing Relay Store update later. If you return a EdgeType after mutation, you can insert the response into the local connection directly, otherwise, you have to create the edge by yourself, which doesn’t sound very interesting.

Here, due to the limited reflection capabilities of TypeScript, you can’t use the normal Typescript type for generic. The documentation is here is you want to learn more. So every time you want to use generic in TypeGraphql, you have to use this way.

5. Define the ConntionType

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import * as Relay from "graphql-relay";
import { ObjectType, Field, ArgsType, ClassType } from "type-graphql";

type ExtractNodeType<EdgeType> = EdgeType extends Relay.Edge<infer NodeType>
? NodeType
: never;

export function ConnectionType<
EdgeType extends Relay.Edge<NodeType>,
NodeType = ExtractNodeType<EdgeType>
>(nodeName: string, edgeClass: ClassType<EdgeType>) {
@ObjectType(`${nodeName}Connection`, { isAbstract: true })
abstract class Connection implements Relay.Connection<NodeType> {
@Field((type) => PageInfo)
pageInfo: PageInfo;

@Field((type) => [edgeClass])
edges: EdgeType[];
}

return Connection;
}

6. How to use

I put all of the above code in a file named relaySpec.ts. The use it like this.

For the following type.

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@ObjectType()
export class User extends IdAndDates {
@Field((type) => String)
name: string;

@Field((type) => String)
email: string;

@Field((type) => Boolean)
emailVerified: boolean;
}

You can create its EdgeType and ConnectionType like this:

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import { EdgeType, ConnectionType } from "../../types/utils/relaySpec";

@ObjectType()
export class UserEdge extends EdgeType("user", User) {}

@ObjectType()
export class UserConnection extends ConnectionType<UserEdge>(
"user",
UserEdge
) {}

Now you can use the UserEdge and UserConnection along with the ConnectionArgs in your resolver.

7. End

That’s all, hope it helps.