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GraphQL is an emerging web service technology with significant momentum in the developer community. Aside from its growing popularity, there are several technical reasons why GraphQL is a good fit for a Apache Cassandra™ or DataStax Enterprise backed application.

This application shows how to build a working application on Cassandra or DSE with GraphQL and a modern javascript based frontend.

Contributor(s): Sebastián Estévez


  • Demonstrate how to build a GraphQL API with Cassandra and DSE

Project Layout

The asset includes both frontend and backend components:

  • API project - Java application that uses Dropwizard to generate a GraphQL web service that writes and reads data in Cassandra or DSE
  • index.html - Javascript single page app hosted by the java app that interacts with the GraphQL service to perform CRUD operations (based on

How this Sample Works

Take Aways

This asset looks to improve outcomes for projects that involve custom built Cassandra or DSE Applications by:

  • reducing the learning curve required to build an GraphQL app that interacts with Cassandra or DSE
  • accelerating time to value by providing a quick way to build a UI that leverages a Cassandra or DSE backend
  • minimize project risk by encouraging developers to follow application building best practices such as by only sending the data needed to paint the UI
  • future proof their applications by handling application changes and new requirements seamlessly through leveraging relationships in the GraphQL schema


  • GraphQL requires developers to lay out their logical data models and access patterns up front in a strongly typed structure known as the GraphQL schema. This is makes it a great match for Cassandra or DSE, since we tend to create data models based on access patterns.
  • GraphQL does not make any assumptions about the persistence layer. Instead it allows developers to generate a custom Data Access Object for each access pattern.


CRUDL is a javascript library that leverages React and Redux to build a single page admin UI for REST or GraphQL frontends.


Dropwizard is a Java framework that focuses on production readiness and ships out of the box with metrics, multi-threading, etc. so that developers can focus on their business logic. This is a popular tool to build microservices and is more performant and production ready than many alternatives including spring.

Setup and Running


  • Java 8
  • A Cassandra, DDAC, DSE cluster or Apollo database ( docker is a nice option for local install - see docs )

This application requires that you specify and environment variable IP which is the contact point of your DSE cluster. If you need to change this it is located in the eightfour.yaml file.


Once you load this file into IntelliJ there is a pre-configured configuration named run. Once you start this then a scroll of text will go by and once you see a line similar to the following:

INFO  [2019-11-06 23:48:56,613] org.eclipse.jetty.server.Server: Started @3725ms

the server is now running. It can be reached at: