Introducing tartiflette-starlette

A new library for building GraphQL APIs and serving them over HTTP via ASGI, powered by the Tartiflette Python asynchronous GraphQL engine.

Logo of tartiflette-starlette.
Logo of tartiflette-starlette.

For some reason, my recent open source work has been focusing on the Python asynchronous GraphQL ecosystem. A few months ago, I stumbled upon Tartiflette, a Python 3.6+ async GraphQL engine built on top of libgraphqlparser. I got hooked up, and decided to contribute. Mix this with my previous experience with ASGI gained from building Bocadillo, and the result is tartiflette-starlette.

# Features

tartiflette-starlette allows you to build GraphQL APIs with Python and Tartiflette and then serve it using any ASGI web server. The API design is inspired by the design principles behind Starlette and ASGI — clean, explicit, and composable.

Here, take a look:

import asyncio
from tartiflette import Resolver, Subscription
from tartiflette_starlette import TartifletteApp


sdl = """
type Query {
  hello: String
}

type Subscription {
  timer(seconds: Int!): Timer
}

enum Status {
  RUNNING
  DONE
}

type Timer {
  remainingTime: Int!
  status: Status!
}
"""

@Resolver("Query.hello")
async def hello(parent, args, context, info):
    name = args["name"]
    return f"Hello, {name}!"


@Subscription("Subscription.timer")
async def on_timer(parent, args, context, info):
    seconds = args["seconds"]
    for i in range(seconds):
        yield {"remainingTime": seconds - i, "status": "RUNNING"}
        await asyncio.sleep(1)
    yield {"remainingTime": 0, "status": "DONE"}


app = TartifletteApp(sdl=sdl, subsriptions=True)

If you save this as graphql.py, you get a production-ready GraphQL API with the following features:

  • Compatibility with any ASGI web server. For example, run $ uvicorn graphql:app to serve it using uvicorn.
  • Built-in GraphiQL client for in-browser interactive queries:

There are many more options to TartifletteApp, including passing a custom Tartiflette Engine, or customizing the GraphiQL configuration. You can learn about all the available features in the documentation on GitHub.

# Embracing ASGI

tartiflette-starlette embraces ASGI as a standard interface between Python asynchronous web servers and applications.

The introduction example works because TartifletteApp is an ASGI3-compliant application, and as such it can be served by any ASGI web server, including uvicorn, hypercorn and daphne.

Besides, tartiflette-starlette is dead-easy to integrate against any ASGI web framework. For example, Bocadillo has a GraphQL with Tartiflette guide that shows how to mount a TartifletteApp as a sub-application, serving it along with the main Bocadillo application.

(Don't let the name fool you — tartiflette-starlette is not particularly tied to Starlette, which it only uses as a lightweight ASGI toolkit.)

# Roadmap

I started working on tartiflette-starlette in April 2019. The initial goal was to add ASGI support to Tartiflette, which could then only be served using aiohttp using the tartiflette-aiohttp official wrapper. The first version was literally built in a few hours, but it was rather rudimentary.

Since then, feature parity has been reached — all features available in tartiflette-aiohttp are now also available in tartiflette-starlette.

The latest addition is GraphQL subscriptions over WebSocket. tartiflette-starlette implements the subscriptions-transport-ws protocol, a generic and reusable implementation of which has been extracted into subscriptions-transport-ws-python and should be ported back into tartiflette-starlette very soon.

I feel like there's not much left to be done with tartiflette-starlette. Although it will require maintenance (as all software projects), it is already very much a finished product. Still, feel free to try it out and share feedback!

# Wrapping up

I feel proud of what has been achieved so far, mostly because I managed to pull all of this off without initial knowledge about GraphQL or its ecosystem. I learnt a lot in the process, which has definitely been one of the key motivation drivers.

Besides, tartiflette-starlette is the result of a collaboration with the engineers who work on Tartiflette full-time, and I want to thank Stan, Aurélien and Maxime (yep, all people involved in this story are French) for their support and feedback.

I started my final year internship about the time when I began working on tartiflete-starlette. Yet, my open source activity has been at an almost all-time high. Bocadillo is still under development, and I also manage to find some time for djangorestframework-api-key. Lots of exciting open source work ahead!

Stay in touch!

If you enjoyed this post, you can find me on Twitter for updates, announcements and news. 🐤

© 2019 · Made with ❤️ by Florimond Manca