Official Javascript client for Dgraph
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Official Dgraph client implementation for javascript (Node.js v6 and above), using grpc.

This client follows the Dgraph Go client closely.

Before using this client, we highly recommend that you go through, and understand how to run and work with Dgraph.

Table of contents


Install using npm:

npm install dgraph-js grpc --save
# If you are using Typescript, you might also need:
# npm install @types/google-protobuf @types/protobufjs --save-dev

or yarn:

yarn add dgraph-js grpc
# If you are using Typescript, you might also need:
# yarn add @types/google-protobuf @types/protobufjs --dev


Build and run the simple project in the examples folder, which contains an end-to-end example of using the Dgraph javascript client. Follow the instructions in the README of that project.

Using a client

Create a client

A DgraphClient object can be initialised by passing it a list of DgraphClientStub clients as variadic arguments. Connecting to multiple Dgraph servers in the same cluster allows for better distribution of workload.

The following code snippet shows just one connection.

const dgraph = require("dgraph-js");
const grpc = require("grpc");

const clientStub = new dgraph.DgraphClientStub(
  // addr: optional, default: "localhost:9080"
  // credentials: optional, default: grpc.credentials.createInsecure()
const dgraphClient = new dgraph.DgraphClient(clientStub);

To facilitate debugging, debug mode can be enabled for a client.

Alter the database

To set the schema, create an Operation object, set the schema and pass it to DgraphClient#alter(Operation) method.

const schema = "name: string @index(exact) .";
const op = new dgraph.Operation();
await dgraphClient.alter(op);

NOTE: Many of the examples here use the await keyword which requires async/await support which is available on Node.js >= v7.6.0. For prior versions, the expressions following await can be used just like normal Promise instances.

Operation contains other fields as well, including drop predicate and drop all. Drop all is useful if you wish to discard all the data, and start from a clean slate, without bringing the instance down.

// Drop all data including schema from the Dgraph instance. This is useful
// for small examples such as this, since it puts Dgraph into a clean
// state.
const op = new dgraph.Operation();
await dgraphClient.alter(op);

Create a transaction

To create a transaction, call DgraphClient#newTxn() method, which returns a new Txn object. This operation incurs no network overhead.

It is good practise to call Txn#discard() in a finally block after running the transaction. Calling Txn#discard() after Txn#commit() is a no-op and you can call Txn#discard() multiple times with no additional side-effects.

const txn = dgraphClient.newTxn();
try {
  // Do something here
  // ...
} finally {
  await txn.discard();
  // ...

Run a mutation

Txn#mutate(Mutation) runs a mutation. It takes in a Mutation object, which provides two main ways to set data: JSON and RDF N-Quad. You can choose whichever way is convenient.

We define a person object to represent a person and use it in a Mutation object.

// Create data.
const p = {
    name: "Alice",

// Run mutation.
const mu = new dgraph.Mutation();
await txn.mutate(mu);

For a more complete example with multiple fields and relationships, look at the simple project in the examples folder.

Sometimes, you only want to commit a mutation, without querying anything further. In such cases, you can use Mutation#setCommitNow(true) to indicate that the mutation must be immediately committed.

Mutation#setIgnoreIndexConflict(true) can be applied on a Mutation object to not run conflict detection over the index, which would decrease the number of transaction conflicts and aborts. However, this would come at the cost of potentially inconsistent upsert operations.

Run a query

You can run a query by calling Txn#query(string). You will need to pass in a GraphQL+- query string. If you want to pass an additional map of any variables that you might want to set in the query, call Txn#queryWithVars(string, object) with the variables object as the second argument.

The response would contain the method Response#getJSON(), which returns the response JSON.

Let’s run the following query with a variable $a:

query all($a: string) {
  all(func: eq(name, $a))

Run the query, deserialize the result from Uint8Array (or base64) encoded JSON and print it out:

// Run query.
const query = `query all($a: string) {
  all(func: eq(name, $a))
const vars = { $a: "Alice" };
const res = await dgraphClient.newTxn().queryWithVars(query, vars);
const ppl = res.getJson();

// Print results.
console.log(`Number of people named "Alice": ${ppl.all.length}`);
ppl.all.forEach((person) => console.log(;

This should print:

Number of people named "Alice": 1

Commit a transaction

A transaction can be committed using the Txn#commit() method. If your transaction consisted solely of calls to Txn#query or Txn#queryWithVars, and no calls to Txn#mutate, then calling Txn#commit() is not necessary.

An error will be returned if other transactions running concurrently modify the same data that was modified in this transaction. It is up to the user to retry transactions when they fail.

const txn = dgraphClient.newTxn();
try {
  // ...
  // Perform any number of queries and mutations
  // ...
  // and finally...
  await txn.commit();
} catch (e) {
  if (e === dgraph.ERR_ABORTED) {
    // Retry or handle exception.
  } else {
    throw e;
} finally {
  // Clean up. Calling this after txn.commit() is a no-op
  // and hence safe.
  await txn.discard();

Cleanup Resources

To cleanup resources, you have to call DgraphClientStub#close() individually for all the instances of DgraphClientStub.

const SERVER_ADDR = "localhost:9080";
const SERVER_CREDENTIALS = grpc.credentials.createInsecure();

// Create instances of DgraphClientStub.
const stub1 = new dgraph.DgraphClientStub(SERVER_ADDR, SERVER_CREDENTIALS);
const stub2 = new dgraph.DgraphClientStub(SERVER_ADDR, SERVER_CREDENTIALS);

// Create an instance of DgraphClient.
const dgraphClient = new dgraph.DgraphClient(stub1, stub2);

// ...
// Use dgraphClient
// ...

// Cleanup resources by closing all client stubs.

Debug mode

Debug mode can be used to print helpful debug messages while performing alters, queries and mutations. It can be set using theDgraphClient#setDebugMode(boolean?) method.

// Create a client.
const dgraphClient = new dgraph.DgraphClient(...);

// Enable debug mode.
// OR simply dgraphClient.setDebugMode();

// Disable debug mode.


Building the source

npm run build

If you have made changes to the proto/api.proto file, you need need to regenerate the source files generated by Protocol Buffer tools. To do that, install the Protocol Buffer Compiler and then run the following command:

npm run build:protos

Running tests

Make sure you have a Dgraph server running on localhost before you run this task.

npm test