Subscription support for Relay

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Relay Subscriptions !npmnpm-badgenpm
Subscription support for Relay Classic.




$ npm i -S react react-relay babel-relay-plugin
$ npm i -S relay-subscriptions

Network layer (API)

To use Relay Subscriptions, you need to provide a network layer with subscription support. This network layer needs to implement a sendSubscription method that takes a subscription request, calls the observer methods on the request when the subscription updates, and returns a disposable for tearing down the subscription.
A simple network layer that uses Socket.IO as the underlying transport looks like:
import Relay from 'react-relay/classic';
import io from '';

export default class NetworkLayer extends Relay.DefaultNetworkLayer {
  constructor(...args) {

    this.socket = io();
    this.requests = Object.create(null);

    this.socket.on('subscription update', ({ id, data, errors }) => {
      const request = this.requests[id];
      if (errors) {
      } else {

  sendSubscription(request) {
    const id = request.getClientSubscriptionId();
    this.requests[id] = request;

    this.socket.emit('subscribe', {
      query: request.getQueryString(),
      variables: request.getVariables(),

    return {
      dispose: () => {
        this.socket.emit('unsubscribe', id);

For a full example, see the network layer in the TodoMVC example.
If your server uses GraphQL.js, graphql-relay-subscription provides helpers for implementing subscriptions. For a basic example, see the server and the schema in the TodoMVC example.

Environment (API)

Instead of using a standard Relay.Environment, use a RelaySubscriptions.Environment. This environment class adds subscription support to the standard Relay environment.
import RelaySubscriptions from 'relay-subscriptions';

import NetworkLayer from './NetworkLayer';

const environment = new RelaySubscriptions.Environment();
environment.injectNetworkLayer(new NetworkLayer());

Subscriptions (API)

Subclass the Subscription class to define subscriptions. This base class is similar to Relay.Mutation. A basic subscription looks like:
import Relay from 'react-relay/classic';
import { Subscription } from 'relay-subscriptions';

import Widget from '../components/Widget';

export default class WidgetSubscription extends Subscription {
  static fragments = {
    widget: () => Relay.QL`
      fragment on Widget {

  getSubscription() {
    return Relay.QL`
      subscription {
        updateWidget(input: $input) {
          widget {

  getConfigs() {
    return [{
      type: 'FIELDS_CHANGE',
      fieldIDs: {

  getVariables() {
    return {

Due to an open issue (#12), for a RANGE_ADD subscription, you must manually request the __typename field on the edge in the payload.
For full examples, see the subscriptions in the TodoMVC example.

Containers (API)

For components with subscriptions, use RelaySubscriptions.createContainer instead of Relay.createContainer. Define your Relay fragments normally, including the fragments for any subscriptions you need, then define a subscriptions array of functions that create the desired subscriptions from the component's props.
import React from 'react';
import Relay from 'react-relay/classic';
import RelaySubscriptions from 'relay-subscriptions';

import WidgetSubscription from '../subscriptions/WidgetSubscription';

class Widget extends React.Component { /* ... */ }

export default RelaySubscriptions.createContainer(Widget, {
  fragments: {
    widget: () => Relay.QL`
      fragment on Widget {
        # ...

  subscriptions: [
    ({ widget }) => new WidgetSubscription({ widget }),

If you want to manually manage your subscription, the container also adds a subscribe method on props.relay, which takes a Subscription and an optional observer, and returns a disposable for tearing down the subscription.


  • Add tests (#1)
  • Automatically add __typename to query for RANGE_ADD subscriptions (#12)


Big thanks to @taion for cleaning up my mess, creating a really nice API and these amazing docs :tada: