Node JS Promise.all and forEach

Node JS Promise.all and forEach

I have an array like structure that exposes async methods. The async method calls return array structures that in turn expose more async methods. I am creating another JSON object to store values obtained from this structure and so I need to be careful about keeping track of references in callbacks.
I have coded a brute force solution, but I would like to learn a more idiomatic or clean solution.

The pattern should be repeatable for n levels of nesting.
I need to use promise.all or some similar technique to determine when to resolve the enclosing routine.
Not every element will necessarily involve making an async call. So in a nested promise.all I can’t simply make assignments to my JSON array elements based on index. Nevertheless, I do need to use something like promise.all in the nested forEach to ensure that all property assignments have been made prior to resolving the enclosing routine.
I am using the bluebird promise lib but this is not a requirement

Here is some partial code –
var jsonItems = [];

items.forEach(function(item){

var jsonItem = {};
jsonItem.name = item.name;
item.getThings().then(function(things){
// or Promise.all(allItemGetThingCalls, function(things){

things.forEach(function(thing, index){

jsonItems[index].thingName = thing.name;
if(thing.type === ‘file’){

thing.getFile().then(function(file){ //or promise.all?

jsonItems[index].filesize = file.getSize();

Solutions/Answers:

Solution 1:

It’s pretty straightforward with some simple rules:

  • Whenever you create a promise in a then, return it – any promise you don’t return will not be waited for outside.
  • Whenever you create multiple promises, .all them – that way it waits for all the promises and no error from any of them are silenced.
  • Whenever you nest thens, you can typically return in the middlethen chains are usually at most 1 level deep.
  • Whenever you perform IO, it should be with a promise – either it should be in a promise or it should use a promise to signal its completion.

And some tips:

  • Mapping is better done with .map than with for/push – if you’re mapping values with a function, map lets you concisely express the notion of applying actions one by one and aggregating the results.
  • Concurrency is better than sequential execution if it’s free – it’s better to execute things concurrently and wait for them Promise.all than to execute things one after the other – each waiting before the next.

Ok, so let’s get started:

var items = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5];
var fn = function asyncMultiplyBy2(v){ // sample async action
    return new Promise(resolve => setTimeout(() => resolve(v * 2), 100));
};
// map over forEach since it returns

var actions = items.map(fn); // run the function over all items

// we now have a promises array and we want to wait for it

var results = Promise.all(actions); // pass array of promises

results.then(data => // or just .then(console.log)
    console.log(data) // [2, 4, 6, 8, 10]
);

// we can nest this of course, as I said, `then` chains:

var res2 = Promise.all([1, 2, 3, 4, 5].map(fn)).then(
    data => Promise.all(data.map(fn))
).then(function(data){
    // the next `then` is executed after the promise has returned from the previous
    // `then` fulfilled, in this case it's an aggregate promise because of 
    // the `.all` 
    return Promise.all(data.map(fn));
}).then(function(data){
    // just for good measure
    return Promise.all(data.map(fn));
});

// now to get the results:

res2.then(function(data){
    console.log(data); // [16, 32, 48, 64, 80]
});

Solution 2:

Here’s a simple example using reduce. It runs serially, maintains insertion order, and does not require Bluebird.

/**
 * 
 * @param items An array of items.
 * @param fn A function that accepts an item from the array and returns a promise.
 * @returns {Promise}
 */
function forEachPromise(items, fn) {
    return items.reduce(function (promise, item) {
        return promise.then(function () {
            return fn(item);
        });
    }, Promise.resolve());
}

And use it like this:

var items = ['a', 'b', 'c'];

function logItem(item) {
    return new Promise((resolve, reject) => {
        process.nextTick(() => {
            console.log(item);
            resolve();
        })
    });
}

forEachPromise(items, logItem).then(() => {
    console.log('done');
});

We have found it useful to send an optional context into loop. The context is optional and shared by all iterations.

function forEachPromise(items, fn, context) {
    return items.reduce(function (promise, item) {
        return promise.then(function () {
            return fn(item, context);
        });
    }, Promise.resolve());
}

Your promise function would look like this:

function logItem(item, context) {
    return new Promise((resolve, reject) => {
        process.nextTick(() => {
            console.log(item);
            context.itemCount++;
            resolve();
        })
    });
}

Solution 3:

I had through the same situation. I solved using two Promise.All().

I think was really good solution, so I published it on npm: https://www.npmjs.com/package/promise-foreach

I think your code will be something like this

var promiseForeach = require('promise-foreach')
var jsonItems = [];
promiseForeach.each(jsonItems,
    [function (jsonItems){
        return new Promise(function(resolve, reject){
            if(jsonItems.type === 'file'){
                jsonItems.getFile().then(function(file){ //or promise.all?
                    resolve(file.getSize())
                })
            }
        })
    }],
    function (result, current) {
        return {
            type: current.type,
            size: jsonItems.result[0]
        }
    },
    function (err, newList) {
        if (err) {
            console.error(err)
            return;
        }
        console.log('new jsonItems : ', newList)
    })