This documentation assumes your familiarity with GraphQL concepts. If it is not the case - first learn about GraphQL on the official website.


Using composer, run:

composer require webonyx/graphql-php


We try to keep library releases backwards compatible. But when breaking changes are inevitable they are explained in upgrade instructions.

Install Tools (optional)

While it is possible to communicate with GraphQL API using regular HTTP tools it is way more convenient for humans to use GraphiQL - an in-browser IDE for exploring GraphQL APIs.

It provides syntax-highlighting, auto-completion and auto-generated documentation for GraphQL API.

The easiest way to use it is to install one of the existing Google Chrome extensions:

Alternatively, you can follow instructions on the GraphiQL page and install it locally.

Hello World

Let's create a type system that will be capable to process following simple query:

query {
  echo(message: "Hello World")

To do so we need an object type with field echo:

use GraphQL\Type\Definition\ObjectType;
use GraphQL\Type\Definition\Type;

$queryType = new ObjectType([
    'name' => 'Query',
    'fields' => [
        'echo' => [
            'type' => Type::string(),
            'args' => [
                'message' => Type::nonNull(Type::string()),
            'resolve' => function ($root, $args) {
                return $root['prefix'] . $args['message'];

(Note: type definition can be expressed in different styles, but this example uses inline style for simplicity)

The interesting piece here is resolve option of field definition. It is responsible for returning a value of our field. Values of scalar fields will be directly included in response while values of composite fields (objects, interfaces, unions) will be passed down to nested field resolvers (not in this example though).

Now when our type is ready, let's create GraphQL endpoint file for it graphql.php:

use GraphQL\GraphQL;
use GraphQL\Type\Schema;

$schema = new Schema([
    'query' => $queryType

$rawInput = file_get_contents('php://input');
$input = json_decode($rawInput, true);
$query = $input['query'];
$variableValues = isset($input['variables']) ? $input['variables'] : null;

try {
    $rootValue = ['prefix' => 'You said: '];
    $result = GraphQL::executeQuery($schema, $query, $rootValue, null, $variableValues);
    $output = $result->toArray();
} catch (\Exception $e) {
    $output = [
        'errors' => [
                'message' => $e->getMessage()
header('Content-Type: application/json');
echo json_encode($output);

Our example is finished. Try it by running:

php -S localhost:8080 graphql.php
curl http://localhost:8080 -d '{"query": "query { echo(message: \"Hello World\") }" }'

Check out the full source code of this example which also includes simple mutation.

Obviously hello world only scratches the surface of what is possible. So check out next example, which is closer to real-world apps. Or keep reading about schema definition.

Blog example

It is often easier to start with a full-featured example and then get back to documentation for your own work.

Check out Blog example of GraphQL API. It is quite close to real-world GraphQL hierarchies. Follow instructions and try it yourself in ~10 minutes.