PostGraphile will automatically map PostgreSQL enums into GraphQL enums; they'll be automatically renamed in order to make sure they conform to the GraphQL naming requirements and conventions.

create type animal_type as (
create table pets (
  id serial primary key,
  type animal_type not null,
  name text not null

Sometimes people prefer not to use PostgreSQL enums due to their technical limitations (e.g. you can never drop a value from a PostgreSQL enum, and you cannot add a value to it within a transaction). There are other ways to add enums to PostGraphile:

With enum tables

Since 4.8.0

We can leverage PostgreSQL's foreign key relations to enforce that a value is contained within a small set, defined by the values in some other table. To use this feature, we must have a table in which to contain our enums, and we must tell PostGraphile that it is an enum table using the @enum smart comment. You may also include a column named 'description' to provide the description for the enum value.

IMPORTANT: this is one of the few places where a smart tag and a smart comment is not equivalent, this must be achieved with a smart comment since smart tags have not yet loaded at this stage in introspection.

create table animal_type (
  type text primary key,
  description text
comment on table animal_type is E'@enum';
insert into animal_type (type, description) values
  ('CAT', 'A feline animal'),
  ('DOG', 'A canine animal'),
  ('FISH', 'An aquatic animal');

create table pets (
  id serial primary key,
  type text not null references animal_type,
  name text not null

We also support the @enum smart comment on unique constraints (not indexes) so you could use a single table to contain all your enums should you wish. We do not recommend this specific pattern, but it's sometimes used in the ecosystem.

Should you wish to use a column other than description for the description of the enum, put the smart comment @enumDescription on the desired column.

To set the name of the resulting enum, you may use the @enumName smart comment, e.g.:

comment on table animal_type is E'@enum\[email protected] TypeOfAnimal';

The name must conform to the GraphQL identifier restrictions.

With makeExtendSchemaPlugin

Use the standard enum GraphQL interface definition language (IDL/SDL) to define your enum:

import { gql, makeExtendSchemaPlugin } from "graphile-utils";

const myPlugin = makeExtendSchemaPlugin(() => ({
  typeDefs: gql`
    enum AnimalType {
      A feline animal

      A canine animal

      An aquatic animal

    extend type Pet {
      type: AnimalType!
  resolvers: {
    AnimalType: {
      CAT: "cat",
      DOG: "dog",
      FISH: "fish",
    Pet: {
      type() {
        /* TODO: add logic here */
        return "cat";

Other ways

You can also use the underlying Graphile Engine API to add a new GraphQLEnumType.