Client APIs

Supported APIs

Graph APIs are an evolution of web service APIs that serve and manipulate data for mobile & web applications. They have a number of characteristics that make them well suited to this task:

  1. Most notably, they present a data model as an entity relationship graph and an accompanying schema.
    • A well defined model allows for a consistent view of the data and a centralized way to manipulate an instance of the model or to cache it.
    • The schema provides powerful introspection capabilities that can be used to build tools to help developers understand and navigate the model.
  2. The API allows the client to fetch or mutate as much or as little information in single roundtrip between client and server. This also shrinks payload sizes and simplifies the process of schema evolution.
  3. There is a well defined standard for the API that fosters a community approach to development of supporting tools & best practices.

Elide supports the two most widely adopted standards for graph APIs:

Common Concepts

All Elide APIs share a common set of concepts:

  1. The API exposes a set of related data models as an entity relationship graph.
  2. All models have a unique identifier.
  3. Models have attributes and relationships.
  4. Relationships are links to other models. They can be traversed in the API. If the relationship represents a collection, it can be sorted, filtered, and paginated.
  5. Attributes are properties of the model. They can be simple or complex (objects or collections).
  6. Filtering, sorting, and pagination share common languages and expressions.
  7. Text and numeric representation of complex attributes is common.
  8. API versioning works in the same manner.
  9. Custom error responses have the same configuration mechanism.

API Versioning

Elide allows multiple versions of the same models to coexist and for clients to request a particular instance. Elide JAX-RS endpoints (elide-standalone) and Spring conrollers (Spring) support an API version header (‘ApiVersion’) that can be set to match the model annotation (@ApiVersion) version.

If no version is specified by the client, Elide only exposes the models that lack an @ApiVersion annotation.

Swagger endpoints (JSON-API) and GraphQL schemas are also scoped by the ApiVersion header. They only return the schema corresponding to the requested API version.

Details of how to version Elide models can be found here. Details of how to configure versioned Swagger documents can be found here.

Type Coercion

Elide attempts to deserialize and coerce fields in the client payload into the underlying type defined in the data model. Similarly, Elide will serialize the data model fields into the text format defined by the schema of the client payload.

Beyond primitive, numeric, and String types, Elide can serialize and deserialize complex and user defined types.

User Type Registration

To register a new type for serialization and deserialization, define a Serde (short for Serializer/Deserializer):

 * Bidirectional conversion from one type to another.
 * @param <S> The serialized type
 * @param <T> The deserialized type
public interface Serde<S, T> {
     * Deserialize an instance of type S to type T.
     * @param val The thing to deserialize
     * @return The deserialized value
    T deserialize(S val);

     * Serializes an instance of type T as type S.
     * @param val The thing to serialize
     * @return The serialized value
    S serialize(T val);

At startup, Elide will automatically discover any Serde classes annotated with ElideTypeConverter:

@ElideTypeConverter(type = OffsetDateTime.class, name = "OffsetDateTime")
public class OffsetDateTimeSerde implements Serde<String, OffsetDateTime> {
    public OffsetDateTime deserialize(String val) {
        return OffsetDateTime.parse(val, DateTimeFormatter.ISO_OFFSET_DATE_TIME);

    public String serialize(OffsetDateTime val) {
        return val.format(DateTimeFormatter.ISO_OFFSET_DATE_TIME);

Date Coercion

Elide has built-in support for either:

  • Epoch based dates (serialized as a long)
  • ISO8601 based dates (serialized as a String `yyyy-MM-dd’T’HH:mm’Z’)
Spring Boot Configuration

Elide Spring Boot is configured by default to use IS08601 dates.

This can be toggled by overriding the Elide autoconfigure bean:

    public Elide initializeElide(EntityDictionary dictionary, DataStore dataStore, ElideConfigProperties settings) {

        ElideSettingsBuilder builder = new ElideSettingsBuilder(dataStore)

        return new Elide(;
Elide Standalone Configuration

Elide standalone defaults to ISO8601 dates. This can be toggled by overriding the following setting in ElideStandaloneSettings:

     * Whether Dates should be ISO8601 strings (true) or epochs (false).
     * @return
    default boolean enableISO8601Dates() {
        return true;
Elide Library Configuration

If using Elide as a library, the following date serdes can be registered:

  1. ISO8601 Serde
  2. Epoch Serde

UUID Coercion

Elide has built in support for converting between String and UUIDs. The conversion leverages UUID.fromString.

Enum Coercion

Elide has built in support for converting between Strings or Integers to enumeration types (by name or value respectively).

Custom Error Responses

For normal error handling, Elide throws runtime exceptions which are mapped to error responses. You can override any error response in Elide by providing a custom ErrorMapper:

 * The ErrorMapper allows mapping any RuntimeException of your choice into more meaningful
 * CustomErrorExceptions to improved your error response to the client.
public interface ErrorMapper {
     * @param origin any Exception not caught by default
     * @return a mapped CustomErrorException or null if you do not want to map this error
    @Nullable CustomErrorException map(Exception origin);

The mapper returns a CustomErrorException which allows the developer complete control over the error objects returned in the ‘errors’ array for both JSON-API and GraphQL.

        ErrorObjects.ErrorObjectsBuilder builder = ErrorObjects.builder()
                .with("customKey", "customValue")
                .withDetail("A detailed message")
        // Add a second error to the 'errors' array:
                .with("customKey", "customValue")
                .withDetail("A different message")
        throw new CustomErrorException(500, "Exception while doing something",;

You can configure a custom ErrorMapper as follows:

//Override the following bean:

public ErrorMapper getErrorMapper() {
    return error -> null;
//Override ElideStandaloneSettings

public ErrorMapper getErrorMapper() {
    return error -> null;