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GraphQL interface on top of the Devise Token Auth (DTA) gem.

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This gem heavily relies on two gems, Devise Token Auth (DTA) and Devise which is a dependency of DTA. It provides a GraphQL interface on top of DTA which is designed to work with REST APIs. That's why things like token management, token expiration and everything up until using the actual GraphQL schema is still controlled by DTA. For that reason you will find that our generator runs these two gems generator and two initializer files are included. We'll provide more configuration details in the configuration section, but we recommend you get familiar with DTA and their docs in order to use this gem to its full potential.


Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'graphql_devise'

And then execute:

$ bundle

Next, you need to run the generator:

$ bundle exec rails generate graphql_devise:install

Graphql Devise generator will execute Devise and Devise Token Auth generators for you. These will make the required changes for the gems to work correctly. All configurations for Devise and Devise Token Auth are available, so you can read the docs there to customize your options. Configurations are done via initializer files as usual, one per gem.

The generator accepts 2 params: user_class and mount_path. The params will be used to mount the route in config/routes.rb. For instance the executing:

$ bundle exec rails g graphql_devise:install Admin api/auth

Will do the following:

  • Execute Devise install generator
  • Execute Devise Token Auth install generator with Admin and api/auth as params
    • Find or create Admin model
    • Add devise modules to Admin model
    • Other changes that you can find here
  • Add the route to config/routes.rb
    • mount_graphql_devise_for 'Admin', at: 'api/auth'

Admin could be any model name you are going to be using for authentication, and api/auth could be any mount path you would like to use for auth.

Important: Remember this gem mounts a completely separate GraphQL schema on a separate controller in the route provided by the at option in the mount_graphql_devise_for method in the config/routes.rb file. If no at option is provided, the route will be /graphql_auth. This has no effect on your own application schema. More on this in the next section.


Mounting Routes manually

Routes can be added using the initializer or manually. You can mount this gem's GraphQL auth schema in your routes file like this:

# config/routes.rb

Rails.application.routes.draw do
    at: 'api/v1',
    authenticatable_type: Types::MyCustomUserType,
    operations: {
      login: Mutations::Login
    skip: [:sign_up],
    additional_mutations: {
      # generates mutation { adminUserSignUp }
      admin_user_sign_up: Mutations::AdminUserSignUp
    additional_queries: {
      # generates query { publicUserByUuid }
      public_user_by_uuid: Resolvers::UserByUuid

Here are the options for the mount method:

  1. at: Route where the GraphQL schema will be mounted on the Rails server. In this example your API will have these two routes: POST /api/v1/graphql_auth and GET /api/v1/graphql_auth. If this option is not specified, the schema will be mounted at /graphql_auth.
  2. operations: Specifying this is optional. Here you can override default behavior by specifying your own mutations and queries for every GraphQL operation. Check available operations in this file mutations and queries. All mutations and queries are built so you can extend default behavior just by extending our default classes and yielding your customized code after calling super, example here.
  3. authenticatable_type: By default, the gem will add an authenticatable field to every mutation and an authenticatable type to every query. Gem will try to use Types::<model>Type by default, so in our example you could define Types::UserType and every query and mutation will use it. But, you can override this type with this option like in the example.
  4. skip: An array of the operations that should not be available in the authentication schema. All these operations are symbols and should belong to the list of available operations in the gem.
  5. only: An array of the operations that should be available in the authentication schema. The skip and only options are mutually exclusive, an error will be raised if you pass both to the mount method.
  6. additional_mutations: Here you can add as many mutations as you need, for those features that don't fully match the provided default mutations and queries. You need to provide a hash to this option, and each key will be the name of the mutation on the schema. Also, the value provided must be a valid mutation. This is similar to what you can accomplish with devise_scope.
  7. additional_queries: Here you can add as many queries as you need, for those features that don't fully match the provided default mutations and queries. You need to provide a hash to this option, and each key will be the name of the query on the schema. Also, the value provided must be a valid Resolver. This is also similar to what you can accomplish with devise_scope.

Additional mutations and queries will be added to the schema regardless of other options you might have specified like skip or only. Additional queries and mutations is usually a good place for other operations on your schema that require no authentication (like sign_up). Also by adding them through the mount method, your mutations and resolvers can inherit from our base mutation or base resolver respectively, to take advantage of some of the methods provided by devise just like with devise_scope

Available Operations

The following is a list of the symbols you can provide to the operations, skip and only options of the mount method:


Configuring Model

Just like with Devise and DTA, you need to include a module in your authenticatable model, so with our example, your user model will have to look like this:

# app/models/user.rb

class User < ApplicationRecord
  devise :database_authenticatable,

  # including after calling the `devise` method is important.
  include GraphqlDevise::Concerns::Model

The install generator can do this for you if you specify the user_class option. See Installation for details.

Customizing Email Templates

The approach of this gem is a bit different from DeviseTokenAuth. We have placed our templates in app/views/graphql_devise/mailer, so if you want to change them, place yours on the same dir structure on your Rails project. You can customize these two templates:

  1. app/views/graphql_devise/mailer/confirmation_instructions.html.erb
  2. app/views/graphql_devise/mailer/reset_password_instructions.html.erb

The main reason for this difference is just to make it easier to have both Standard Devise and this gem running at the same time. Check these files to see the available helper methods you can use in your views.


GraphQL Devise supports locales. For example, the graphql_devise.confirmations.send_instructions locale setting supports the %{email} variable in case you would like to include it in the resend confirmation instructions for the user. Take a look at our locale file to see all of the available messages.

Keep in mind that if your app uses multiple locales, you should set the I18n.locale accordingly. You can learn how to do this here.

Authenticating Controller Actions

Just like with Devise or DTA, you will need to authenticate users in your controllers. For this you need to call authenticate_<model>! in a before_action hook of your controller. In our example our model is User, so it would look like this:

# app/controllers/my_controller.rb

class MyController < ApplicationController
  include GraphqlDevise::Concerns::SetUserByToken

  before_action :authenticate_user!

  def my_action
    render json: { current_user: current_user }

The install generator can do this for you because it executes DTA installer. See Installation for details.

Making Requests

Here is a list of the available mutations and queries assuming your mounted model is User.


  1. userLogin(email: String!, password: String!): UserLoginPayload

    This mutation has a second field by default. credentials can be fetched directly on the mutation return type. Credentials are still returned in the headers of the response.

  2. userLogout: UserLogoutPayload

  3. userSignUp(email: String!, password: String!, passwordConfirmation: String!, confirmSuccessUrl: String): UserSignUpPayload

    The parameter confirmSuccessUrl is optional unless you are using the confirmable plugin from Devise in your resource's model. If you have confirmable set up, you will have to provide it unless you have config.default_confirm_success_url set in config/initializers/devise_token_auth.rb.

  4. userSendResetPassword(email: String!, redirectUrl: String!): UserSendReserPasswordPayload

  5. userUpdatePassword(password: String!, passwordConfirmation: String!, currentPassword: String): UserUpdatePasswordPayload

    The parameter currentPassword is optional if you have config.check_current_password_before_update set to false (disabled by default) on your generated config/initializers/devise_token_aut.rb or if the resource model supports the recoverable Devise plugin and the resource's allow_password_change attribute is set to true (this is done in the userCheckPasswordToken query when you click on the sent email's link).

  6. userResendConfirmation(email: String!, redirectUrl: String!): UserResendConfirmationPayload

    The UserResendConfirmationPayload will return the authenticatable resource that was sent the confirmation instructions but also has a message: String! that can be used to notify a user what to do after the instructions were sent to them


  1. userConfirmAccount(confirmationToken: String!, redirectUrl: String!): User
  2. userCheckPasswordToken(resetPasswordToken: String!, redirectUrl: String): User

The reason for having 2 queries is that these 2 are going to be accessed when clicking on the confirmation and reset password email urls. There is no limitation for making mutation requests using the GET method on the Rails side, but looks like there might be a limitation on the Apollo Client.

We will continue to build better docs for the gem after this first release, but in the mean time you can use our specs to better understand how to use the gem. Also, the dummy app used in our specs will give you a clear idea on how to configure the gem on your Rails application.

More Configuration Options

As mentioned in the introduction there are many configurations that will change how this gem behaves. You can change this values on the initializer files generated by the installer.

Devise Token Auth Initializer

The generated initializer file config/initializers/devise_token_auth.rb has all the available options documented as comments. You can also use DTA's docs as a reference. In this section the most important configurations will be highlighted.

  • change_headers_on_each_request: This configurations defaults to false. This will allow you to store the credentials for as long as the token life_span permits. And you can send the same credentials in each request. Setting this to true means that tokens will change on each request you make, and the new values will be returned in the headers. So your client needs to handle this.
  • batch_request_buffer_throttle: When change_headers_on_each_request is set to true, you might still want your credentials to be valid more than once as you might send parallel request. The duration you set here will determine how long the same credentials work after the first request is received.
  • token_lifespan: This configuration takes a duration and you can set it to a value like 1.month, 2.weeks, 1.hour, etc.

Note: Remember this gem adds a layer on top of DTA, so some configurations might not apply.

Devise Initializer

The generated initializer file config/initializers/devise_token_auth.rb has all the available options documented as comments. You can also use Devise's docs as a reference. In this section the most important configurations will be highlighted.

  • password_length: You can change this value to validate password length on sign up and password update (must enable the validatable module).
  • mailer_sender: Set it to a string with the sender's email address like ''.
  • case_insensitive_keys: Setting a value like [:email] will make email field case insensitive on login, sign up, etc.
  • email_regexp: You can customize the regex that will validate the format of email addresses (must enable the validatable module).

Note: Remember this gem adds a layer on top of Devise, so some configurations might not apply.

Using Alongside Standard Devise

The DeviseTokenAuth gem allows experimental use of the standard Devise gem to be configured at the same time, for more information you can check this answer here.

This gem supports the same and should be easier to handle email templates due to the fact we don't override standard Devise templates.

Future Work

We will continue to improve the gem and add better docs.

  1. Add mount option that will create a separate schema for the mounted resource.
  2. Make sure this gem can correctly work alongside DTA and the original Devise gem.
  3. Improve DOCS.
  4. Add support for unlockable and other Devise modules.
  5. Add feature specs for confirm account and reset password flows.


Bug reports and pull requests are welcome on GitHub at


The gem is available as open source under the terms of the MIT License.