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Last Updated: October 13, 2018
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Angular - Promises basics ($q service for $http)

AngularJs Meetup South London Collection | this article

Angular promises

While using Angular and generally when using JavaScript in a middle sized project you will find yourself dealing with a lot of callback functions and/or asynchronous calls to retrieve data from the backend.
To keep things smooth promises come to our rescue.

In this protip I will provide a basic skeleton to get started with angular $q service so you will know how to approach promises.

Features shown in this protip:

- promise basic infrastructure
- basic promise usage with $http
- advanced scenario using promises with $http

Promise introduction

1) Create deferred object

The deferred object controls the state of the promise. We can trigger three resolutions: resolve, reject and notify. In the following steps we will see how it relates to the promise setup.

This is how you create a deferred object:

var deferred = $q.defer();

2) Setup Promise

In order to use the deferred object we need to setup the promise handlers before. This will be the code executed for each situation. The scenarios are: success, failure and progress notification. The promise object is a property of the deferred object.

var promise = deferred.promise;

//basic version
promise.then(fnSuccess)
  .catch(fnFailure) //optional
  .finally(fnAlways) //optional

//advanced version
promise.then(fnSuccess, fnFailure, fnNotification)
  .catch(fnFailure) //optional
  .finally(fnAlways) //optional

3) Deferred resolution

Once we have created the deferred object and setup the promise, we can execute our asynchronous processing and trigger the promise with the final resolution.

deferred.resolve(resultObj); //triggers fnSuccess
deferred.reject(reasonObj); //triggers fnFailure
deferred.notify(progressObj); //triggers fnNotification 

Basic $http promise usage

This example uses a promise returned by a get $http call.

$http.get('movies.json')
.then(function(response){
   $scope.movies= response.data;
})
.catch(function(response){
  console.log(response.status);
});

plunker

Advanced $http promise usage

This example uses promises to handle $http calls behind a Service. More complex handling can be added to the Service afterwards.

app.factory("Movies", function($http, $q) {
  return {
    get: function() {
        var deferred = $q.defer();
        $http.get('movies.json')
        .then(function(response){
           deferred.resolve(response.data);
        })
        .catch(function(response){
          deferred.reject(response);
        });
        return deferred.promise;
    }
  }
})
...
app.controller("MoviesCtrl", function($scope, Movies) {
   Movies.get().then(function(data){
      $scope.movies = data;
   })
   .catch(function(response){
      console.log(response.status);
   }); 
})
...

plunker

Resources

Angular $q service is inspired by the q library.

$q service, $http service

AngularJs Meetup South London Collection | this article

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