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Page updated Apr 29, 2024

Data modeling

Data modeling example

Studio now supports all Studio GraphQL APIs, with or without DataStore. Learn more below

In this example you will build a data model for a bookstore to maintain information about books, authors, and publishers with relationships and authorization rules. The schema template below is a starting point for the bookstore backend.

Amplify Studio

Clone in Sandbox A bookstore data model template with four models called Book, ISBN, Publisher, and Author

Skip ahead to relationships or read below on how data modeling works in Amplify Studio.

Data modeling in Amplify Studio

The Studio data model designer provides a visual way to define your app's data model, relationships, and authorization rules. Studio generates a schema.graphql GraphQL Transform for the data model you create, and adds this to your Amplify project. To learn more about how the GraphQl transform works, see GraphQL Transform Overview.

Screen recording of the process for adding a data model in data modelling page

The experience for modeling data is the same in the sandbox and in Studio. With an AWS account, you will have real-time data synchronization capabilities and you will also be able to set authorization rules on your models. For more information, see Authorization. All data models are provisioned in your account as AWS AppSync GraphQL APIs and Amazon DynamoDB tables. As with every feature of Studio, it can be further extended with the CLI.

DataStore and GraphQL

When you save and deploy your data model, Amplify Studio generates a GraphQL API for you using AWS AppSync. By default, all data models built with Studio are provisioned as GraphQL APIs without DataStore - however, Studio supports all Amplify GraphQL APIs, with and without DataStore.

DataStore is a wrapper for your GraphQL API that uses local, on-device storage to handle offline use. DataStore automatically synchronizes data between your mobile or web app and your database, and uses a Conflict Resolution strategy to handle data conflicts. DataStore is automatically added to your API when you select a Conflict Resolution method.

Impact of changing Conflict Resolution

You can change the settings for your GraphQL API at any time via Studio or the CLI. However, turning Conflict Resolution off or on is a significant app change.

Updating Syntax

To interface with your data while Conflict Resolution is enabled, you will likely be using DataStore syntax. However, if Conflict Resolution is disabled, any data interactions must be updated to use GraphQL syntax instead.

Inaccessible data

When a GraphQL API is created with Conflict Resolution enabled, several hidden fields are automatically added to each of your data models - these fields are required for querying and mutating data, and if any records have these values set to null, those records will be inaccessible.

If Conflict Resolution is disabled, these fields will no longer be populated when records are created or modified. This will have no immediate impact on your app, so long as you are using GraphQL syntax to interact with your data. However, if Conflict Resolution is later re-enabled, any existing data in the API will be inaccessible until the required fields are set for all existing records.

To avoid this situation, it's recommended to only enable/disable Conflict Resolution on APIs with no pre-existing data.

Changing GraphQL API settings

To use Studio to enable/disable Conflict Resolution, or to change your Conflict Resolution settings, take the following steps:

  1. Navigate to Amplify Studio > Data
  2. Select GraphQL API settings at the top of the page screenshot of the Data tab, highlighting the GraphQL API settings link
  3. Toggle Conflict Resolution off or on, or change your Conflict Resolution strategy screenshot of the GraphQL API settings, highlighting the Conflict Resolution switch, and dropdown with options
  4. Return to the Data Modeling screen and select Save and Deploy

To configure your API using the Amplify CLI, run amplify configure api in your terminal and follow the prompts.


Applications with Conflict Resolution disabled have some minor limitations:

To get access to these features, turn on DataStore and select a Conflict Resolution strategy.

Unsupported directives and field-level parameters

If a data model contains unsupported directives or field-level parameters, the Visual editor under Data modeling will not be available to use, and Data manager may have limited functionality. However, you can continue using other Amplify Studio features and use the Amplify CLI to make modifications to GraphQL schemas.

Unsupported directives in Studio include:

Data modeling only supports @index directive on a hasMany relationship.

Split GraphQL files

Your schema file could not be loaded
The schema.graphql file in your project could not be loaded. This may be because the file was moved, or because you are using a split schema, which is not supported.

This message occurs as Amplify Studio does not support splitting GraphQL schemas, such as saving as a set of .graphql files in the amplify/backend/api/<api-name>/schema/ directory. E.g. Query.graphql, User.graphql, and Post.graphql. To resolve the issue, you will need to combine the files using the following steps.

  1. Pull your Amplify project to a local directory
  2. In the amplify/backend/api/ directory, create a file named schema.graphql
  3. Copy all the contents of the amplify/backend/api/<api-name>/schema/ directory files and paste them into the schema.graphql file
  4. Remove the amplify/backend/api/<api-name>/schema/ directory.
  5. Run amplify push