How to return many Promises in a loop and wait for them all to do other stuff


I have a loop which calls a method that does stuff asynchronously. This loop can call the method many times. After this loop, I have another loop that needs to be executed only when all the asynchronous stuff is done. So this illustrates what I want:

for (i = 0; i < 5; i++) {
    doSomeAsyncStuff();    
}

for (i = 0; i < 5; i++) {
    doSomeStuffOnlyWhenTheAsyncStuffIsFinish();    
}

I'm not very familiar with promises, so could anyone help me to achieve this?

This is how my doSomeAsyncStuff() behaves:

function doSomeAsyncStuff() {
    var editor = generateCKEditor();
    editor.on('instanceReady', function(evt) {
        doSomeStuff();
        // There should be the resolve() of the promises I think.
    })
}

Maybe I have to do something like this:

function doSomeAsyncStuff() {
    var editor = generateCKEditor();
    return new Promise(function(resolve,refuse) {
        editor.on('instanceReady', function(evt) {
            doSomeStuff();
            resolve(true);
        });
    });
}

But I'm not sure of the syntax.

You can use Promise.all (spec, MDN) for that: It accepts a bunch of individual promises and gives you back a single promise that is resolved when all of the ones you gave it are resolved, or rejected when any of them is rejected.

So if you make doSomeAsyncStuff return a promise, then:

var promises = [];

for(i=0;i<5;i+){
    promises.push(doSomeAsyncStuff());
}

Promise.all(promises)
    .then(() => {
        for(i=0;i<5;i+){
            doSomeStuffOnlyWhenTheAsyncStuffIsFinish();    
        }
    })
    .catch((e) => {
        // handle errors here
    });

Axel Rauschmayer has a good article on promises here.

Here's an example - live copy on Babel's REPL:

 function doSomethingAsync(value) {
      return new Promise((resolve) => {
        setTimeout(() => {
          console.log("Resolving " + value);
          resolve(value);
        }, Math.floor(Math.random() * 1000));
      });
    }
    
    function test() {
      let i;
      let promises = [];
      
      for (i = 0; i < 5; ++i) {
        promises.push(doSomethingAsync(i));
      }
      
      Promise.all(promises)
          .then((results) => {
            console.log("All done", results);
          })
          .catch((e) => {
              // Handle errors here
          });
    }
    
    test();

(Didn't bother with .catch on that, but you do want .catch on your real-world ones, as shown earlier.)

Sample output (because of the Math.random, what finishes first may vary):

Resolving 3
Resolving 2
Resolving 1
Resolving 4
Resolving 0
All done [0,1,2,3,4]

A reusable function works nicely for this pattern:

function awaitAll(count, asyncFn) {
  const promises = [];

  for (i = 0; i < count; ++i) {
    promises.push(asyncFn());
  }

  return Promise.all(promises);
}

OP example:

awaitAll(5, doSomeAsyncStuff)
  .then(results => console.log('doSomeStuffOnlyWhenTheAsyncStuffIsFinished', results))
  .catch(e => console.error(e));

A related pattern, is iterating over an array and performing an async operation on each item:

function awaitAll(list, asyncFn) {
  const promises = [];

  list.forEach(x => {
    promises.push(asyncFn(x));
  });

  return Promise.all(promises);
}

Example:

const books = [{ id: 1, name: 'foo' }, { id: 2, name: 'bar' }];

function doSomeAsyncStuffWith(book) {
  return Promise.resolve(book.name);
}

awaitAll(books, doSomeAsyncStuffWith)
  .then(results => console.log('doSomeStuffOnlyWhenTheAsyncStuffIsFinished', results))
  .catch(e => console.error(e));

const doSomeAsyncStuff = async (funcs) => {
  const allPromises = funcs.map(func => func());
  return await Promise.all(allPromises);
}

doSomeAsyncStuff([
  () => new Promise(resolve => setTimeout(() => resolve(), 100)),
  () => new Promise(resolve => setTimeout(() => resolve(), 100)),
  () => new Promise(resolve => setTimeout(() => resolve(), 100)),
  () => new Promise(resolve => setTimeout(() => resolve(), 100)),
  () => new Promise(resolve => setTimeout(() => resolve(), 100)),
]);

Here is code that I wrote for myself in order to understand the answers stated here. I have mongoose queries in a for loop, so I put here the asyncFunction to take its place. Hope it helps anyone. You can run this script in node or any of many Javascript runtimes.

let asyncFunction = function(value, callback)
{
        setTimeout(function(){console.log(value); callback();}, 1000);
}



// a sample function run without promises

asyncFunction(10,
    function()
    {
        console.log("I'm back 10");
    }
);


//here we use promises

let promisesArray = [];

let p = new Promise(function(resolve)
{
    asyncFunction(20,
        function()
        {
            console.log("I'm back 20");
            resolve(20);
        }
    );
});

promisesArray.push(p);


for(let i = 30; i < 80; i += 10)
{
    let p = new Promise(function(resolve)
    {
        asyncFunction(i,
            function()
            {
                console.log("I'm back " + i);
                resolve(i);
            }
        );
    });
    promisesArray.push(p);
}


// We use Promise.all to execute code after all promises are done.

Promise.all(promisesArray).then(
    function()
    {
        console.log("all promises resolved!");
    }
)

/*** Worst way ***/
for(i=0;i<10000;i++){
  let data = await axios.get(
    "https://yourwebsite.com/get_my_data/"
  )
  //do the statements and operations
  //that are dependant on data
}

//Your final statements and operations
//That will be performed when the loop ends

//=> this approach will perform very slow as all the api call
// will happen in series


/*** One of the Best way ***/

const yourAsyncFunction = async (anyParams) => {
  let data = await axios.get(
    "https://yourwebsite.com/get_my_data/"
  )
  //all you statements and operations here
  //that are dependant on data
}
var promises = []
for(i=0;i<10000;i++){
  promises.push(yourAsyncFunction(i))
}
await Promise.all(promises)
//Your final statement / operations
//that will run once the loop ends

//=> this approach will perform very fast as all the api call
// will happen in parallal