Getting started: Creating your first GraphQL API - AWS AppSync

Getting started: Creating your first GraphQL API

You can use the AWS AppSync console to configure and launch a GraphQL API. GraphQL APIs generally require three components:

  1. GraphQL schema - Your GraphQL schema is the blueprint of the API. It defines the types and fields that you can request when an operation is executed. To populate the schema with data, you must connect data sources to the GraphQL API. In this quickstart guide, we'll be creating a schema using a predefined model.

  2. Data sources- These are the resources that contain the data for populating your GraphQL API. This can be a DynamoDB table, Lambda function, etc. AWS AppSync supports a multitude of data sources to build robust and scalable GraphQL APIs. Data sources are linked to fields in the schema. Whenever a request is performed on a field, the data from the source populates the field. This mechanism is controlled by the resolver. In this quickstart guide, we'll be creating a data source using a predefined model alongside the schema.

  3. Resolvers - Resolvers are responsible for linking the schema field to the data source. They retrieve the data from the source, then return the result based on what was defined by the field. AWS AppSync supports both JavaScript and VTL for writing resolvers for your GraphQL APIs. In this quickstart guide, the resolvers will be automatically generated based on the schema and the data source. We won't be delving into this in this section.

AWS AppSync supports the creation and configuration of all GraphQL components. When you open the console, you can use the following methods to create your API:

  1. Designing a customized GraphQL API by generating it through a predefined model and setting up a new DynamoDB table (data source) to support it.

  2. Designing a GraphQL API with a blank schema and no data sources or resolvers.

  3. Using a DynamoDB table to import data and generate your schema's types and fields.

  4. Using AWS AppSync's WebSocket capabilities and Pub/Sub architecture to develop real-time APIs.

  5. Using existing GraphQL APIs (source APIs) to link to a Merged API.


We recommend reviewing the Designing a schema section before working with more advanced tools. These guides will explain simpler examples that you can use conceptually to build more complex applications in AWS AppSync.

AWS AppSync also supports several non-console options to create GraphQL APIs. These include:

  1. AWS Amplify

  2. AWS SAM

  3. AWS CloudFormation

  4. The CDK

The following example will show you how to create the basic components of a GraphQL API using predefined models and DynamoDB.