Mutations

Most discussions of GraphQL focus on data fetching, but any complete data platform needs a way to modify server-side data as well. In REST, any request could end up causing side-effects on the server, but best practice suggests we should not modify data in GET requests. GraphQL is similar - technically any query could be implemented to cause a data write. However, like REST, it's recommended to observe the convention that any operations that cause writes should be sent explicitly via a mutation (read more here).

The official Apollo documentation uses an upvotePost() mutation example. This mutation implements a method to increase a post's votes property value. To create an equivalent mutation in Nest, we'll make use of the @Mutation() decorator.

Code first

Let's add another method to the AuthorResolver used in the previous section (see resolvers).

@Mutation(returns => Post)
async upvotePost(@Args({ name: 'postId', type: () => Int }) postId: number) {
return this.postsService.upvoteById({ id: postId });
}

info Hint All decorators (e.g., @Resolver, @ResolveField, @Args, etc.) are exported from the @nestjs/graphql package.

This will result in generating the following part of the GraphQL schema in SDL:

type Mutation {
upvotePost(postId: Int!): Post
}

The upvotePost() method takes postId (Int) as an argument and returns an updated Post entity. For the reasons explained in the resolvers section, we have to explicitly set the expected type.

If the mutation needs to take an object as an argument, we can create an input type. The input type is a special kind of object type that can be passed in as an argument (read more here). To declare an input type, use the @InputType() decorator.

import { InputType, Field } from '@nestjs/graphql';
@InputType()
export class UpvotePostInput {
@Field()
postId: number;
}

info Hint The @InputType() decorator takes an options object as an argument, so you can, for example, specify the input type's description. Note that, due to TypeScript's metadata reflection system limitations, you must either use the @Field decorator to manually indicate a type, or use a CLI plugin.

We can then use this type in the resolver class:

@Mutation(returns => Post)
async upvotePost(
@Args('upvotePostData') upvotePostData: UpvotePostInput,
) {}

Schema first

Let's extend our AuthorResolver used in the previous section (see resolvers).

@Mutation()
async upvotePost(@Args('postId') postId: number) {
return this.postsService.upvoteById({ id: postId });
}

Note that we assumed above that the business logic has been moved to the PostsService (querying the post and incrementing its votes property). The logic inside the PostsService class can be as simple or sophisticated as needed. The main point of this example is to show how resolvers can interact with other providers.

The last step is to add our mutation to the existing types definition.

type Author {
id: Int!
firstName: String
lastName: String
posts: [Post]
}
type Post {
id: Int!
title: String
votes: Int
}
type Query {
author(id: Int!): Author
}
type Mutation {
upvotePost(postId: Int!): Post
}

The upvotePost(postId: Int!): Post mutation is now available to be called as part of our application's GraphQL API.