Migrating from v5.x to v7.x

Note that v6 was skipped to align GraphQL.NET version with versions of packages from server project. The historically established discrepancy in one major version constantly caused problems among the developers.

See issues and pull requests done in v7.

New Features

1. Reduced memory usage for data loader results

Especially noteworthy when a data loader is configured with caching enabled and a singleton lifetime, memory usage is reduced by freeing unnecessary references after obtaining the results.

2. Async support for validation rules

Particularly useful for authentication checks, now validation rules are asynchronous.

3. Add UseApolloTracing builder method (added in 5.3.0 as AddApolloTracing)

This method adds the InstrumentFieldsMiddleware to the schema, and conditionally enables metrics during execution via ExecutionOptions.EnableMetrics. It also appends the Apollo Tracing results to the execution result if metrics is enabled during execution.

4. Add ConfigureExecution builder method (added in 5.3.0)

ConfigureExecution allows a delegate to both alter the execution options and the execution result. For example, to add total execution time to the results, you could write:

services.AddGraphQL(b => b
    // other builder methods here
    .ConfigureExecution(async (options, next) => {
        var timer = Stopwatch.StartNew();
        var result = await next(options);
        result.Extensions ??= new Dictionary<string, object?>();
        result.Extensions["elapsedMs"] = timer.ElapsedMilliseconds;
        return result;

You can also use the method to add logging of any execution errors; not just unhandled errors.

Note: you can access options.RequestServices for access to the scoped DI service provider for the request.

5. Complexity analyzer allows configuration of each field's impact towards the total complexity factor

With this change the complexity analyzer could be configured to operate in terms of 'database calls' or similar means which more closely represent the complexity of the request.

To set the impact on a field, call .WithComplexityImpact(value) on the field type, such as:


For more details, please review the PR here: https://github.com/graphql-dotnet/graphql-dotnet/pull/3159

6. AutoRegisteringObjectGraphType recognizes inherited methods

Inherited methods are now recognized by AutoRegisteringObjectGraphType and fields are built for them.

7. GraphQL attributes can be applied globally

GraphQL attributes (GraphQLAttribute) can now be applied at the module or assembly level, which will apply to all applicable CLR types within the module or assembly.

This allow global changes to how the schema builder or auto-registering graph type builds graph types, field types or field arguments.

For an example use case, users could add a global attribute which converts query arguments of type DbContext to pull from services, like this:

public class DbContextFromServicesAttribute : GraphQLAttribute
    public override void Modify<TParameterType>(ArgumentInformation argumentInformation)
        if (typeof(TParameterType) == typeof(DbContext))
            argumentInformation.SetDelegate(context => (context.RequestServices ?? throw new MissingRequestServicesException())

// in AssemblyInfo.cs or whereever in your code at assembly level
[assembly: DbContextFromServices]

Similar code could be used to pull your user context class into a method argument.

If it is necessary for a custom global GraphQL attribute to execute prior to or after other attributes, adjust the return value of the Priority property of the attribute.

Note that global attributes may also be added to the GlobalSwitches.GlobalAttributes collection.

8. ExecutionOptions.User property added and available to validation rules and field resolvers

You may pass a ClaimsPrincipal instance into ExecutionOptions and it will be fed through to ValidationContext.User, IExecutionContext.User and IResolveFieldContext.User so the value is accessible by validation rules, document listeners, field middleware and field resolvers.

This property is similar in nature to the ASP.NET Core HttpContext.User property, not being used by the GraphQL.NET engine internally but merely being a convenience property similar to RequestServices and UserContext for use by separate authentication packages.

9. Field<TReturnType> and Argument<TArgumentClrType> overloads to create field and argument builders with inferred graph types

To define a field with a field builder, previously the graph type was always required, like this:

    .Resolve(_ => 123);

// or

Field<IntGraphType, int>("test")
    .Resolve(_ => 123);

Now you can simply specify the return type, and the graph type will be inferred:

Field<int>("test")        // by default assumes not-null
    .Resolve(_ => 123);

// or

Field<int>("test", true)  // specify true or false to indicate nullability
    .Resolve(_ => 123);

This is similar to the expression syntax (Field(x => x.Name)) which does not require the graph type to be specified in order to define a field.

Similarly, you can now define an argument by specifying the CLR type:

    .Argument<string>("name")              // required
    .Argument<string>("description", true) // optional
    .Resolve(ctx => {
        var name = ctx.GetArgument<string>("name");
        var desc = ctx.GetArgument<string>("description");
        return 123;

As with the expression syntax or the AutoRegisteringObjectGraphType, CLR type mappings can be tailored via the schema.RegisterTypeMapping() methods.

10. Interface graph types can be automatically built from CLR types

Similar to how input and output types can be inferred from their CLR counterparts, now interface graph types can also be inferred from CLR types. This is possible with the new class AutoRegisteringInterfaceGraphType<TSourceType> which functions identically to AutoRegisteringObjectGraphType<TSourceType> except it creates an interface type rather than an object graph type. When using automatic CLR type mapping provided by AddAutoClrMappings() or AddAutoSchema(), any CLR interface type is automatically mapped to a interface graph type rather than an object graph type.

Note that auto-mapped CLR types do not automatically register or link to any GraphQL interfaces; such mapping needs to be specified via the new ImplementsAttribute. Similarly, CLR types not referenced directly in the schema need to be added to the schema manually or else no graph type will be generated for them.

Below is a typical example of how the new functionality can be used:

services.AddGraphQL(b => b

public class SampleQuery
    public static IAnimal Find(AnimalType type) => type switch
        AnimalType.Cat => Cat(),
        AnimalType.Dog => Dog(),
        _ => throw new ArgumentOutOfRangeException(nameof(type)),

    public static Cat Cat() => new Cat() { Name = "Fluffy", Lives = 9 };
    public static Dog Dog() => new Dog() { Name = "Shadow", IsLarge = true };

public interface IObject
    [Id] int Id { get; }

public interface IAnimal : IObject
    AnimalType Type { get; }
    string Name { get; }

public enum AnimalType { Cat, Dog }

public class Cat : IAnimal
    [Id] public int Id => 10;
    public AnimalType Type => AnimalType.Cat;
    public string Name { get; set; } = null!;
    public int Lives { get; set; }

public class Dog : IAnimal
    [Id] public int Id => 20;
    public AnimalType Type => AnimalType.Dog;
    public string Name { get; set; } = null!;
    public bool IsLarge { get; set; }

It is important to ensure that any GraphQL attributes applied to members of the CLR types are applied to both the interface and the classes alike, as the GraphQL.NET engine will build distinct graph types for the interface and classes which implement those interfaces. Regardless, fields will execute against the source object as expected.

When supported by the language in use, default interface methods are fully supported, including static methods defined on an interface. This functionality is available in C# 8.0 and later.

When building a graph type from an interface, methods are built for all inherited methods as well as the specified interface's methods. This is by design.

11. Add ErrorInfoProviderOptions.ExposeExceptionDetailsMode property

In v7 we introduced a new ErrorInfoProviderOptions.ExposeExceptionDetailsMode property that allows you to control location of exception details. By default in v7 exception details are located within "extensions.details" separately from exception message itself. Before v7 exception details were located along with exception message. To use old behavior set ExposeExceptionDetailsMode to Message or just do nothing if you have already set ExposeExceptionStackTrace property to true. To better reflect the meaning of these changes we have added a new ErrorInfoProviderOptions.ExposeExceptionDetails property and marked ErrorInfoProviderOptions.ExposeExceptionStackTrace property as obsolete.

12. Allow deprecation of input values

Since 7.4 you can also deprecate arguments on a field and input fields on an input type. It was done to conform the draft GraphQL spec. See https://github.com/graphql-dotnet/graphql-dotnet/pull/3571.

Since this feature may be potentially breaking for your app, clients or tooling it was done as opt-in. Either set schema.Features.DeprecationOfInputValues = true; or call schema.EnableExperimentalIntrospectionFeatures() method before initializing a schema.

13. Add SchemaExporter to export schema to SDL with new schema.ToAST() and schema.Print() methods

Since 7.6 you can use schema.ToAST() to export a schema to a GraphQLDocument instance containing a SDL representation of the schema. You can also use schema.Print() and schema.PrintAsync() to print a schema to a string or TextWriter. These methods use the new SchemaExporter class along with the GraphQLParser library's SDLPrinter class to write the SDL representation of the schema. Some of the prior options for printing a schema via SchemaPrinter are still available, but the default values have changed as follows:

Option Old Default Value New Default Value
IncludeDescriptions false true
IncludeDeprecationReasons false true
IncludeFederationTypes n/a true
OldImplementsSyntax false n/a
PrintDescriptionsAsComments false n/a

In addition, the Comparer property has been removed and replaced with the StringComparison property to sort the schema. This is performed by the GraphQLParser library's SDLSorter class. Any custom sorting logic can be implemented by creating a custom AST vistior.

The new defaults will ensure a more accurate SDL representation of the schema, but may not be desired when using the schema printer to check for breaking schema changes. For those purposes, you may wish to set IncludeDescriptions and IncludeDeprecationReasons to false, and set the StringComparison property to sort the SDL.

With the removal of the OldImplementsSyntax and PrintDescriptionsAsComments properties, the new SDL printer is only compatible with the GraphQL June 2018 or newer specification.

Finally, federated schema subgraphs can be printed in Federation v1 format by setting the IncludeFederationTypes to false (defaults to true). This removes federation-specific types and fields from the printed SDL and is compatible with Apollo Federation v1 or v2 schemas. Note that Apollo Federation v2 does not require these types to be removed from the SDL. This replaces the need for the FederatedSchemaPrinter class.

Please note that the SchemaExporter class will export type defintions as type extensions (e.g. extend type MyType { ... }) only when it was read as such by the SchemaBuilder.

Please see the SchemaExtensions.PrintAsync source code implementation specifics.

Breaking Changes

1. DataLoaderPair<TKey, T>.Loader property removed

This property was not used internally and should not be necessary by user code or custom implementations. Removal was necessary as the value is released after the result is set.

2. INodeVisitor and IVariableVisitor members' signatures are asynchronous and end in Async.

Note that MatchingNodeVisitor has not changed, so many validation rules will not require any source code changes.

3. ExecutionOptions.ComplexityConfiguration has been removed

Complexity analysis is now a validation rule and has been removed from execution options. There is no change when using the IGraphQLBuilder.AddComplexityAnalyzer methods as shown below:

// GraphQL 5.x or 7.x
builder.AddComplexityAnalyzer(complexityConfig => {
    // set configuration here

However, when manually setting options.ComplexityConfiguration, you will need to instead add the ComplexityValidationRule validation rule to the validation rules.

// GraphQL 5.x
options.ComplexityConfiguration = complexityConfig;

// GraphQL 7.x
options.ValidationRules = GraphQL.Validation.DocumentValidator.CoreRules.Append(new ComplexityValidationRule(complexityConfig));

4. IComplexityAnalyzer and IDocumentCache have been removed from DocumentExecuter constructors

When not using the complexity analyzer, or when using the default complexity analyzer, simply remove the argument from calls to the constructor. The IDocumentCache argument was removed as well; see the next section for details.

/// GraphQL 5.x
public MyCustomDocumentExecuter(
    IDocumentBuilder documentBuilder,
    IDocumentValidator documentValidator,
    IComplexityAnalyzer complexityAnalyzer,
    IDocumentCache documentCache,
    IEnumerable<IConfigureExecutionOptions> configureExecutionOptions,
    IExecutionStrategySelector executionStrategySelector)
    : base(documentBuilder, documentValidator, complexityAnalyzer, documentCache, configureExecutionOptions, executionStrategySelector)

/// GraphQL 7.x
public MyCustomDocumentExecuter(
    IDocumentBuilder documentBuilder,
    IDocumentValidator documentValidator,
    IExecutionStrategySelector executionStrategySelector,
    IEnumerable<IConfigureExecution> configurations)
    : base(documentBuilder, documentValidator, documentCache, executionStrategySelector, configurations)

When using a custom complexity analyzer implementation added through the IGraphQLBuilder.AddComplexityAnalyzer methods, no change is required.

/// GraphQL 5.x or 7.x
builder.AddComplexityAnalyzer<MyComplexityAnalyzer>(complexityConfig => {
    // set configuration here

When using a custom complexity analyzer implementation configured through DI, and need to add the ComplexityValidationRule validation rule to the validation rules, pass the implementation from DI through to ComplexityValidationRule.

// GraphQL 5.x
options.ComplexityConfiguration = complexityConfig;

// GraphQL 7.x
options.ValidationRules = GraphQL.Validation.DocumentValidator.CoreRules.Append(
    new ComplexityValidationRule(

Using the IGraphQLBuilder interface to configure the GraphQL.NET execution engine is the recommended approach.

Note that the IComplexityAnalyzer has been deprecated and will be removed in v8. Please convert your custom complexity analyzer to a validation rule.

5. Changes in document caching

To make work with document cache more flexible and allow some advanced use-cases this component was moved out of the GraphQL.NET execution engine. There is no more IDocumentCache interface to implement and no more AddDocumentCache extension methods defined on IGraphQLBuilder. The recommended way to setup caching layer is to inherit from IConfigureExecution interface and register your class as its implementation. No change is required if you used AddMemoryCache extension methods before though AddMemoryCache method itself was marked as obsolete and you may want to switch to its replacement UseMemoryCache.

Other changes in MemoryDocumentCache that may affect you - GetMemoryCacheEntryOptions, GetAsync and SetAsync methods take ExecutionOptions options argument instead of string query.

6. Obsolete members have been removed

Member Replaced by
AuthorizationExtensions.RequiresAuthorization IsAuthorizationRequired
AuthorizationExtensions.AuthorizeWith AuthorizeWithPolicy
GraphQLAuthorizeAttribute AuthorizeAttribute
IConfigureExecutionOptions IConfigureExecution
GraphQLBuilderExtensions.AddMetrics AddApolloTracing
ApolloTracingDocumentExecuter AddApolloTracing

A few of the DocumentExecuter constructors have been removed that include IConfigureExecutionOptions. No changes to ConfigureExecutionOptions builder methods are required.

AddMetrics contains functionality not present in UseApolloTracing and vice versa. Please consider the operation of the new UseApolloTracing method (see 'New Features' section above) when replacing AddMetrics with UseApolloTracing. Remember that UseApolloTracing includes functionality previously within ApolloTracingDocumentExecuter and/or EnrichWithApolloTracing.

7. GlobalSwitches.MapAllEnumerableTypes has been removed; only specific types are detected as lists.

When auto detecting graph types from CLR types (usually within AutoRegisteringObjectGraphType or the expression syntax of Field(x => x.Member)), previously any type except string that implemented IEnumerable was considered a list type. This would includes types such as dictionary types, making it impossible to register a CLR type that derives from a dictionary for automatic mapping.

Now only the following types or generic types are considered list types:

  • Any array type
  • IEnumerable
  • IEnumerable<T>
  • IList<T>
  • List<T>
  • ICollection<T>
  • IReadOnlyCollection<T>
  • IReadOnlyList<T>
  • HashSet<T>
  • ISet<T>

There is no change as compared to when GlobalSwitches.MapAllEnumerableTypes was set to false.

8. Unification of namespaces for DI extension methods

All extension methods to configure GraphQL.NET services within a dependency injection framework were moved into GraphQL namespace. Also class names were changed:

  • GraphQL.DataLoader.GraphQLBuilderExtensions -> GraphQL.DataLoaderGraphQLBuilderExtensions
  • GraphQL.MemoryCache.GraphQLBuilderExtensions -> GraphQL.MemoryCacheGraphQLBuilderExtensions
  • GraphQL.MicrosoftDI.GraphQLBuilderExtensions -> GraphQL.MicrosoftDIGraphQLBuilderExtensions
  • GraphQL.NewtonsoftJson.GraphQLBuilderExtensions -> GraphQL.NewtonsoftJsonGraphQLBuilderExtensions
  • GraphQL.SystemTextJson.GraphQLBuilderExtensions -> GraphQL.SystemTextJsonGraphQLBuilderExtensions

This change was done for better discoverability and usability of extension methods when configuring DI.

9. IResolveFieldContext.User property added

Custom implementations of IResolveFieldContext must implement the new User property.

10. Errors do not serialize the Data property within the response by default.

This change was made because various .NET services add data to the Exception instance which may be unintentionally returned to the caller.

To revert to prior behavior, register a custom ErrorInfoProvider instance configured to return the data to the caller.

services.AddGraphQL(b => b
    // add schema, serializer, etc
    .AddErrorInfoProvider(o => o.ExposeData = true));

11. A bunch of FieldXXX APIs were deprecated

After upgrading to v7 you will likely notice many compiler warnings with a message similar to the following:

Please use one of the Field() methods returning FieldBuilder and the methods defined on it or just use AddField() method directly. This method may be removed in a future release. For now you can continue to use this API but we do not encourage this.

The goal of this change was to simplify APIs and guide developers with well-discovered APIs.

You will need to change a way of setting fields on your graph types. Instead of many FieldXXX overloads, start configuring your field with one of the Field methods defined on ComplexGraphType. All such methods define a new field and return an instance of FieldBuilder<T,U>. Then continue to configure the field with rich APIs provided by the returned builder.

// GraphQL 5.x
  "Argument name",
  resolve: context => context.Source!.Name);

// GraphQL 7.x
  .Description("Argument name")
  .Resolve(context => context.Source!.Name);

// GraphQL 5.x
FieldAsync<CharacterInterface>("hero", resolve: async context => await data.GetDroidByIdAsync("3"));

// GraphQL 7.x
Field<CharacterInterface>("hero").ResolveAsync(async context => await data.GetDroidByIdAsync("3"));

// GraphQL 5.x
  arguments: new QueryArguments(
      new QueryArgument<NonNullGraphType<StringGraphType>> { Name = "id", Description = "id of the human" }
  resolve: async context => await data.GetHumanByIdAsync(context.GetArgument<string>("id"))

// GraphQL 7.x
  .Argument<NonNullGraphType<StringGraphType>>("id", "id of the human")
  .ResolveAsync(async context => await data.GetHumanByIdAsync(context.GetArgument<string>("id"));

// GraphQL 5.x
Func<IResolveFieldContext<object>, Task<string?>> resolver = context => Task.FromResult("abc");
FieldAsync<StringGraphType, string>("name", resolve: resolver);

// GraphQL 7.x
Func<IResolveFieldContext<object>, Task<string?>> resolver = context => Task.FromResult("abc");
Field<StringGraphType, string>("name").ResolveAsync(resolver);

// GraphQL 5.x
Func<IResolveFieldContext, string, Task<Droid>> func = (context, id) => data.GetDroidByIdAsync(id);

  arguments: new QueryArguments(
    new QueryArgument<NonNullGraphType<StringGraphType>> { Name = "id", Description = "id of the droid" }
  resolve: func

// GraphQL 7.x
Func<IResolveFieldContext, string, Task<Droid>> func = (context, id) => data.GetDroidByIdAsync(id);

Field<DroidType, Droid>("droid")
  .Argument<NonNullGraphType<StringGraphType>>("id", "id of the droid")

// GraphQL 5.x
IObservable<object> observable = ...;
FieldSubscribe<MessageGraphType>("messages", subscribe: context => observable);

// GraphQL 7.x
IObservable<object> observable = ...;
Field<MessageGraphType>("messages").ResolveStream(context => observable);

// GraphQL 5.x
Task<IObservable<object>> observable = null!;
FieldSubscribeAsync<MessageGraphType>("messages", subscribeAsync: context => observable);

// GraphQL 7.x
Task<IObservable<object>> observable = null!;
Field<MessageGraphType>("messages").ResolveStreamAsync(context => observable);

Also ComplexGraphType.Field<IntGraphType>("name") now returns FieldBuilder instead of FieldType.

12. SortOrder property added to IConfigureExecution

If you have classes that implement IConfigureExecution, you will now need to also implement the added SortOrder property. The sort order determines the order that the IConfigureExecution instances are run, with the lowest value being run first.

The default sort order of configurations are as follows:

  • 100: Option configurations -- Add calls such as AddValidationRule, and ConfigureExecutionOptions calls
  • 200: Execution configurations -- Use calls such as UseApolloTracing, and ConfigureExecution calls

13. Interfaces mapped by the AutoRegisteringGraphTypeMappingProvider now generate interface graph types rather than object graph types.

If you use interfaces to contain your GraphQL attributes for your data models, or for any other reason rely on the generation of object graph types for interface CLR types, you may wish to revert this design choice. Simply reconfigure the mapping provider as follows and interfaces will be generated as object graph types as before:

services.AddGraphQL(b => b
    .AddGraphTypeMappingProvider(new AutoRegisteringGraphTypeMappingProvider(true, true, false))
    // other calls

14. Graph types cannot be used as data models

From version 7.1 on, graph types cannot be used as data models. This is because the graph types are designed to be used as schema definitions, and not as data models. The following classes will now throw an exception if a graph type is used as a data model:

  • ObjectGraphType<TSourceType>
  • InputObjectGraphType<TSourceType>
  • AutoRegisteringObjectGraphType<TSourceType>
  • AutoRegisteringInputObjectGraphType<TSourceType>
  • AutoRegisteringInterfaceGraphType<TSourceType>

If it is necessary to do so, you can derive from the ObjectGraphType or InputObjectGraphType classes instead of the generic version.

15. Different instances of the same graph type cannot be referenced in the same schema

From version 7.1.1 on, different instances of the same graph type cannot be referenced in the same schema. This prevents the situation where some graph types are not initialized and throw errors when used. If this is causing a problem (perhaps with graph types that are dynamically generated, for instance), create and pull from a dictionary of instantiated types, or use GraphQLTypeReference to reference the graph type by name.

16. Values returned from interface fields must resolve to an GraphQL object type

In certain situations, validation of values returned from fields returning interface types did not require them to resolve to GraphQL Object types. GraphQL.NET 7.2+ now enforces this validation in all cases.

17. AutoRegisteringInterfaceGraphType does not generate resolvers

Due to the above validation, resolvers defined on fields of interface types are never be used by GraphQL.NET. As such, resolvers are not generated for fields of AutoRegisteringInterfaceGraphTypes in version 7.2+.

18. SchemaValidationVisitor has more runtime checks

Starting with version 7.4, the StreamResolver property should be set exclusively for root fields in subscriptions, while the Resolver property should only be assigned to object output types' fields. Fields within interface types and input object types should not set these properties. This modification may lead to potential disruptions in your applications, as the schema may trigger an exception during initialization. To eliminate this exception, simply cease assigning these properties for the fields specified in the exception message.