ArcGIS JavaScript Promises

ArcGIS JavaScript Promises

Rene Rubalcava | August 2, 2015

Something not exactly new to the ArcGIS API for JavaScript 4.0beta1 is the increased usage of Promises within the API. You can read more details about the use of Promises here.

I've talked before about Promises in the ArcGIS API for JavaScript here and about how in the 4.0beta1, you would uses Accessors to really manage when the state of your application has changed. However, Promises are now also used to let you know when creation of certain moving parts in the API are complete. For example, as discussed here, the Map, the Views and Layers are all Promises, meaning that if you need to act on them when they are finished being created you can just treat them like a Promise, there is no need to listen for load events.

Use them as needed

You may not always need to worry about using the Promise of the Map or View, but you may find certain situations when maybe you are trying to use Accessors to monitor the state of the Map or View and you find you get errors about undefined variables. This can be alleviated by using Promises to wait for everything to be ready. It can be as simple as this:

view.then(function() {'center', function(val) {
    console.log('', val);

This guarantees that the center of the View will be ready to be monitored for state changes. As shown in the guide, you can chain Promises for a number of purposes. Most of which would be to chain the flow of data and process it as shown in the guide. However, you can also chain promises to pass them around to different methods or modules that may handle different aspects of your application.

Perhaps you have a module that handles what happens when the center of the View is changed, and another that handles changes for the extent for the extent of the View. You can chain them like so. view.then(centerWatch).then(extentWatch);

That's pretty simple. You can see this demo below. Search widget - 3D - 4.0 beta 1 on

Make your life easier

There's a lot of info already out there about how to use Promises, but I just wanted to stress how they are used in the ArcGIS API for JavaScript 4.0beta1. There are still Promises used throughout the API for asynchronous operations, but they are also used a lot for constructors, so you know when something is completely done being loaded. Take advantage of it and you may find you can further modularize certain aspects of your application. I promise, you'll find it very useful.