This module contains the Gaffer Graph object and related utilities. This is the entry point (or proxy) for your chosen Gaffer store.

The Graph separates the user from the underlying store. It holds a connection which acts as a proxy, delegating operations to the store. It provides users with a single point of entry for executing operations on a store. This allows the underlying store to be swapped and the same operations can still be applied.

When you instantiate a Graph, this doesn't mean you are creating an entirely new graph with its own data, you are simply creating a connection to a store where some data is held.

To create an instance of Graph, we recommend you use the Graph.Builder class. This has several helpful methods to create the graph from various different sources. But, essentially a graph requires just 3 things: some store properties, a schema and some graph specific configuration.

Store Properties

The store properties tells the graph the type of store to connect to along with any required connection details. See Stores for more information on the different Stores for Gaffer.


The schema is passed to the store to instruct the store how to store and process the data. See Schemas for more information.

Graph Configuration

The graph configuration allows you to apply special customisations to the Graph instance. The only required field is the graphId.

To create an instance of GraphConfig you can use the GraphConfig.Builder class, or create it using a json file.

The GraphConfig can be configured with the following:

  • graphId - The graphId is a String field that uniquely identifies a Graph. When backed by a Store like Accumulo, this graphId is used as the name of the Accumulo table for the Graph.
  • description - a string describing the Graph.
  • view - The Graph View allows a graph to be configured to only returned a subset of Elements when any Operation is executed. For example if you want your Graph to only show data that has a count more than 10 you could add a View to every operation you execute, or you can use this Graph View to apply the filter once and it would be merged into to all Operation Views so users only ever see this particular view of the data.
  • library - This contains information about the Schema and StoreProperties to be used.
  • hooks - A list of GraphHooks that will be triggered before, after and on failure when operations are executed on the Graph. See GraphHooks for more information.

Here is an example of a GraphConfig:

new GraphConfig.Builder()
    .description("Example Graph description")
    .view(new View.Builder()
            .globalElements(new GlobalViewElementDefinition.Builder()
                    .postAggregationFilter(new ElementFilter.Builder()
                        .execute(new IsLessThan("10"))
    .library(new FileGraphLibrary())
    .addHook(new Log4jLogger())

and in json:

  "graphId": "exampleGraphId",
  "description": "Example Graph description",
  "view": {
    "globalElements": [
        "postAggregationFilterFunctions": [
            "predicate": {
              "class": "",
              "orEqualTo": false,
              "value": "10"
            "selection": ["ExamplePropertyName"]
  "library": {
      "class": ""
  "hooks": [
      "class": ""

Graph Hooks

The Graph class is final and must be used when creating a new connection to a store. We want to ensure that all users have a common point of entry to Gaffer, so all users have to start by instantiating a Graph. Initially this seems quite limiting, but to allow custom logic for different types of graphs we have added graph hooks. These graph hooks allow custom code to be run before and after an operation chain is executed.

You can use hooks to do things like custom logging or special operation chain authorisation. To implement your own hook, just implement the GraphHook interface and register it with the graph when you build a Graph instance. GraphHooks should be json serialisable and each hook should have a unit test that extends GraphHookTest.

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