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Using schema directives to implement permission checks
Implementing graphql schema directives in golang for permission checks.
Schema Directives

Directives are a bit like annotations in any other language. They give you a way to specify some behaviour without directly binding to the implementation. This can be really useful for cross cutting concerns like permission checks.

Note: The current directives implementation is still fairly limited, and is designed to cover the most common "field middleware" case.

Declare it in the schema

Directives are declared in your schema, along with all your other types. Lets define a @hasRole directive:

directive @hasRole(role: Role!) on FIELD_DEFINITION

enum Role {

When we next run go generate, gqlgen will add this directive to the DirectiveRoot

type DirectiveRoot struct {
	HasRole func(ctx context.Context, next graphql.Resolver, role Role) (res interface{}, err error)

Use it in the schema

We can call this on any field definition now:

type Mutation {
	deleteUser(userID: ID!): Bool @hasRole(role: ADMIN)

Implement the directive

Finally, we need to implement the directive, and pass it in when starting the server:

package main

func main() {
	c := Config{ Resolvers: &resolvers{} }
	c.Directives.HasRole = func(ctx context.Context, next graphql.Resolver, role Role) (interface{}, error) {
		if !getCurrentUser(ctx).HasRole(role) {
			// block calling the next resolver
			return nil, fmt.Errorf("Access denied")
		// or let it pass through
		return next(ctx)

	http.Handle("/query", handler.GraphQL(todo.NewExecutableSchema(c), ))
	log.Fatal(http.ListenAndServe(":8081", nil))