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Version: v11.0.0

Client Schema Extensions


See also the local data updates and client-only data sections of the guided tour.

Relay can be used to read and write local data, and act as a single source of truth for all data in your client application.

The Relay Compiler fully supports client-side extensions of the schema, which allows you to define local fields and types.

Table of Contents:

Extending the server schema

To extend the server schema, create a new .graphql file inside your --src directory. Let's call it ./src/clientSchema.graphql.

This schema describes what local data can be queried on the client. It can even be used to extend an existing server schema.

For example, we can create a new type called Note:

type Note {
id: ID!
title: String
body: String

And then extend the server schema type User, with a list of Note, called notes.

extend type User {
notes: [Note]

Querying local state

Accessing local data is no different from querying your GraphQL server, although you are required to include at least one server field in the query. The field can be from the server schema, or it can be schema agnostic, like an introspection field (e.g. __typename).

Here, we use useLazyLoadQuery to get the current User via the viewer field, along with their id, name and the local list of notes.

// Example.js
import * as React from 'react';
import { useLazyLoadQuery, graphql } from 'react-relay';

const Example = (props) => {
const data = useLazyLoadQuery(graphql`
query ExampleQuery {
viewer {
notes {
`, {});
// ...

Mutating local state

All local data lives in the Relay Store.

Updating local state can be done with any updater function.

The commitLocalUpdate function is especially ideal for this, because writes to local state are usually executed outside of a mutation.

To build upon the previous example, let's try creating, updating and deleting a Note from the list of notes on User.


import {commitLocalUpdate} from 'react-relay';

let tempID = 0;

function createUserNote(environment) {
commitLocalUpdate(environment, store => {
const user = store.getRoot().getLinkedRecord('viewer');
const userNoteRecords = user.getLinkedRecords('notes') || [];

// Create a unique ID.
const dataID = `client:Note:${tempID++}`;

//Create a new note record.
const newNoteRecord = store.create(dataID, 'Note');

// Add the record to the user's list of notes.
user.setLinkedRecords([...userNoteRecords, newNoteRecord], 'notes');

Note that since this record will be rendered by the ExampleQuery via useLazyLoadQuery, the query data will automatically be retained and won't be garbage collected.

If no component is rendering the local data and you want to manually retain it, you can do so by calling environment.retain():

import {createOperationDescriptor, getRequest} from 'relay-runtime';

// Create a query that references that record
const localDataQuery = graphql`
query LocalDataQuery {
viewer {
notes {

// Create an operation descriptor for the query
const request = getRequest(localDataQuery);
const operation = createOperationDescriptor(request, {} /* variables */);

// Tell Relay to retain this operation so any data referenced by it isn't garbage collected
// In this case, all the notes linked to the `viewer` will be retained
const disposable = environment.retain(operation);

// Whenever you don't need that data anymore and it's okay for Relay to garbage collect it,
// you can dispose of the retain


import {commitLocalUpdate} from 'react-relay';

function updateUserNote(environment, dataID, body, title) {
commitLocalUpdate(environment, store => {
const note = store.get(dataID);

note.setValue(body, 'body');
note.setValue(title, 'title')


import {commitLocalUpdate} from 'react-relay';

function deleteUserNote(environment, dataID) {
commitLocalUpdate(environment, store => {
const user = store.getRoot().getLinkedRecord('viewer');
const userNoteRecords = user.getLinkedRecords('notes');

// Remove the note from the list of user notes.
const newUserNoteRecords = userNoteRecords.filter(x => x.getDataID() !== dataID);

// Delete the note from the store.

// Set the new list of notes.
user.setLinkedRecords(newUserNoteRecords, 'notes');

Initial local state

All new client-side schema fields default to undefined value. Often however, you will want to set the initial state before querying local data. You can use an updater function via commitLocalUpdate to prime local state.

import {commitLocalUpdate} from 'react-relay';

commitLocalUpdate(environment, store => {
const user = store.getRoot().getLinkedRecord('viewer');

// initialize user notes to an empty array.
user.setLinkedRecords([], 'notes');

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