Skip to main content

Using Custom Scalars

GraphQL comes with the following scalars: Int, Float, String, Boolean and ID (see official documentation for more information). Outside of these GraphQL supports adding custom scalars.

Custom Scalars can be defined in your schema and then the implementation can be applied to the GraphQLHandler via a Scalar Map.

Defining Custom Scalars

Custom scalars can be specified in your GraphQL Schema, for example adding a custom JSON scalar and then using it with the arbitraryJSON field on the Query type.

# added to the schema!
scalar JSON

schema {
query: Query

type Query {
# used elsewhere in the schema
arbitraryJSON: JSON!

Providing the Scalar Implementation

This works for an initial definition but the actual parsing and serialization of the scalar has to be defined programatically. In GraphQL Mocks this is specified by passing a Scalar Map to the GraphQL Handler.

The keys for the scalar map are the name of the scalar and the value is either a GraphQLScalarType which can be imported from another library or by providing the required functions necessary for handling custom scalars.

This is an example of using a custom scalar imported from a package, in this case the JSON scalar from graphql-type-json.

import GraphQLJSON from 'graphql-type-json';

const scalarMap = {

Alternatively, for a quick way of creating a custom scalar provide the parseLiteral, parseValue, and serialize functions (see Apollo documentation for Custom Scalars for details on defining these functions):

const scalarMap = {
parseLiteral(outputValue) {
// implementation

parseValue(inputValue) {
// implementation

serialize(valueNode, variables) {
// implementation

Adding the Scalar Map to the GraphQLHandler

A custom scalar map is passed as one of the options to the GraphQLHandler:

import { GraphQLHandler } from 'graphql-mocks';
import { graphqlSchema } from './schema';
import { scalarMap } from './scalar-map';

const handler = new GraphQLHandler({
dependencies: {

Now the custom scalars can be used by the GraphQLHandler for any queries.