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SubQuery TeamAbout 3 min

Module 1: Getting started


In this module, students will have the opportunity to become familiar with SubQuery with some hands-on experience creating a simple Hello World SubQuery project. This project will use the subql CLI to create an empty project shell, and then code will be provided to query the Polkadot mainnet for the blockheight. A Docker environment will be used to run this example for simplicity.



You will require the following:

  • NPM package manager
  • SubQuery CLI (@subql/cli)
  • Docker

NPM Package manager

Run the following command in your terminal:

brew update
brew install node

SubQuery CLI

npm install -g @subql/cli


Please visit in new window for instructions on how to install Docker for your specific operating system.

Exercise 1: Hello World

High level steps

  1. Initialise a project
  2. Update your mappings
  3. Update your manifest file
  4. Update your graphql schema file
  5. Generate your code
  6. Build your code
  7. Deploy your code in Docker

Detailed steps

Step 1: Initialise your project

The first step in creating a SubQuery project is to create a project with the following command:

~/Code/subQuery$ subql init
Project name [subql-starter]: HelloWorld
? Select a network Polkadot
? Select a template project subql-starter     Starter project for subquery
Cloning project... done
RPC endpoint: [wss://]:
Git repository []:
Fetching network genesis hash... done
Author [Ian He & Jay Ji]:
Description [This project can be use as a starting po...]:
Version [0.0.4]:
License [MIT]:
Preparing project... done
subqlHelloWorld is ready

Note that any text in the square brackets are the default values that will be used if nothing is provided.

This creates a framework and the following directory structure saving you time.

Step 2: Update the mappings file

The initialisation command pre-creates a sample mappings file with 3 functions, handleBlock, handleEvent and handleCall. For this exercise we will focus on the first function called handleBlock so delete the remaining functions. The mappingHandler.ts file should look like this:

import {SubstrateExtrinsic,SubstrateEvent,SubstrateBlock} from "@subql/types";
import {StarterEntity} from "../types";
import {Balance} from "@polkadot/types/interfaces";

export async function handleBlock(block: SubstrateBlock): Promise<void> {
    //Create a new starterEntity with ID using block hash
    let record = new StarterEntity(block.block.header.hash.toString());
    //Record block number
    record.field1 = block.block.header.number.toNumber();

Step 3: Update the manifest file (aka project.yaml)

The initialisation command also pre-creates a sample manifest file and defines 3 handlers. Because we have removed handleEvent and handleCall from the mappings file, we have to remove them from the manifest file as well.

The manifest file should look like this:

specVersion: 0.2.0
name: subqlHelloWorld
version: 0.0.4
description: >-
  This project can be use as a starting point for developing your SubQuery
repository: ''
  file: ./schema.graphql
  endpoint: 'wss://'
  genesisHash: '0x91b171bb158e2d3848fa23a9f1c25182fb8e20313b2c1eb49219da7a70ce90c3'
  - kind: substrate/Runtime
    startBlock: 1
      file: ./dist/index.js
        - handler: handleBlock
          kind: substrate/BlockHandler

Step 4: Update the graphql schema

The default schema.graphql file will contain 5 fields. We can remove fields 2 through to 5 because the handleBlock function in the mappings file only uses “field1”.

Extra: Rename field1 to something more meaningful. Eg blockHeight. Note that if you do this, don’t forget to update the reference to field1 in the mappings file appropriately.

The schema file should look like this:

type StarterEntity @entity {
  id: ID! #id is a required field
  blockHeight: Int!

Step 5: Install the dependencies

Install the node dependencies by running the following commands:

yarn install


npm install

Step 6: Generate the associated typescript

Next, we will generate the associated typescript with the following command:

yarn codegen


npm run-script codegen

You should see a new folder appear with 2 new files.

Step 7: Build the project

The next step is to build the project with the following command:

yarn build


npm run-script build

This bundles the app into static files for production.

Step 8: Start the Docker container

Run the docker command to pull the images and to start the container.

docker-compose pull && docker-compose up

Note: You need to have Docker installed as noted in the prerequisite for this to work.

Step 9: Run a query

Once the docker container is up and running, which could take a few minutes, open up your browser and navigate to www.localhost:3000.

This will open up a “playground” where you can create your query. Copy the example below.

    starterEntities(last:10, orderBy: FIELD1_ASC){

Note: If you renamed field1 something else, modify this query appropriately.