Redux Middleware


title: Redux Middleware

## Introduction
In this guide it will be presented to the reader the basic concept of Redux Middleware.
If the reader is already experienced with node.js and it’s server side libraries like Express or Koa, it should by now be familiar with the concept of middleware.
Either in any of the above libraries, middleware is a piece of code that resides between the framework’s incoming request and the response sent.

For example some third party middlewares that can be applied to both these frameworks are :

  • Helmet – For some measure of security to applications
  • Wiston – For logging purposes
  • Compression – For compression of HTTP responses Redux Middleware In Redux, the middleware works in a similar pattern as described above, but addresses different problems. Here the middleware is a piece of code that intercepts every single action that comes through and modifies that specific action or cancel it altogether.
    All of this before reaching the reducer. One of the most common middleware packages used in conjunction with Redux is Thunk. More information on what are thunks and how to set it up is located here Simple Example The code bellow ilustrates a simple redux application and it will be used as an example on how a middleware could be implemented.
import {createStore} from "redux"; // the reducer const reducer=(initialState=0,action)=>{ if (action.type==="INC"){ return initialState+1; } else if (action.type==="DEC"){ return initialState-1; } return initialState; } // the redux store const store= createStore(reducer,1); // some actions that will be dispatched store.dispatch({type:"INC"}); store.dispatch({type:"INC"}); store.dispatch({type:"INC"}); store.dispatch({type:"DEC"}); store.dispatch({type:"DEC"}); store.dispatch({type:"DEC"});

Now to add a simple logging middleware some changes need to be made to the code.

import {createStore, applyMiddleware} from "redux"; // the reducer const reducer=(initialState=0,action)=>{ if (action.type==="INC"){ return initialState+1; } else if (action.type==="DEC"){ return initialState-1; } return initialState; } // the logging middleware const logger=(store)=>(next)=>(action)=>{ console.log("action fired",action) next(action); // moves along the pipeline to the next middleware or if no more middleware defined to the reducer } const middleware=applyMiddleware(logger); // the redux store const store= createStore(reducer,1,middleware); // adds the defined middleware to the application // some actions that will be dispatched store.dispatch({type:"INC"}); store.dispatch({type:"INC"}); store.dispatch({type:"INC"}); store.dispatch({type:"DEC"}); store.dispatch({type:"DEC"}); store.dispatch({type:"DEC"});

When the code finishes running the browser console should output something like the following.

action fired Object {type: "INC"} action fired Object {type: "INC"} action fired Object {type: "INC"} action fired Object {type: "DEC"} action fired Object {type: "DEC"} action fired Object {type: "DEC"}

Chaining multiple pieces of middleware

Here like in Express , it’s possible to chain multiple pieces of middlewares that will work together.

The code bellow extends the basic logger already implemented and creates a new one for error handling.

import {createStore, applyMiddleware} from "redux"; // the reducer const reducer=(initialState=0,action)=>{ if (action.type==="INC"){ return initialState+1; } else if (action.type==="DEC"){ return initialState-1; } else if (action.type==="ERROR"){ throw new Error("There was an error on your application") } return initialState; } // the middleware const logger=(store)=>(next)=>(action)=>{ console.log("action fired",action) next(action) // moves along the pipeline to the next middleware or if no more middleware defined to the reducer }; // the new logging error logger middleware const error=(store)=>(next)=>(action)=>{ try{ next(action); // moves along the pipeline to the next middleware or if no more middleware defined to the reducer } catch (e){ console.log("An error ocurred",e) } }; const middleware=applyMiddleware(logger,error); // the redux store const store= createStore(reducer,1,middleware) // adds the defined middleware to the application // some actions that will be dispatched store.dispatch({type:"INC"}); store.dispatch({type:"INC"}); store.dispatch({type:"INC"}); store.dispatch({type:"DEC"}); store.dispatch({type:"DEC"}); store.dispatch({type:"DEC"}); store.dispatch({type:"ERROR"})

When the code finishes running the browser console should output something like the following.

action fired Object {type: "INC"} action fired Object {type: "INC"} action fired Object {type: "INC"} action fired Object {type: "DEC"} action fired Object {type: "DEC"} action fired Object {type: "DEC"} action fired Object {types:"ERROR"} An error ocurred: There was an error on your application

Creating Middleware

Redux middleware are just functions with the signature

const reduxMiddleware = store => next => action => { // do some middleware stuff }

Side Note – The fact that this is a function that takes a store and returns a function that takes a next callback and returns a function that takes an action and performs some middlware operations might look a bit odd. why do that instead of three parameters? Well this is actually a very helpful technique from functional programming called currying and it enables a lot of goodness like partial application. The main difference though is how you call the middleware function.

// calling an uncurried version - NOT how you call the function above reduxMiddleware(store, next, action) // vs calling the curried version - how you call the function above reduxMiddleware(store)(next)(action)

The parameters here are:

1.) store – your redux store and calling its “getState” method returns the current state of your store.

let currentState = store.getState()

2.) next – a callback that you pass an action to continue with the flow of your redux middleware / reducers.

next(action)

3.) action – the action dispatched to the store to update state

Let’s use the information above to create a simple logging middleware that will log “User Updated!” to the console every time an action with type “UPDATE_USER” is dispatched.

const updateUserLogger = store => next => action => { if (action.type === "UPDATE_USER") { console.log("User Updated!"); } next(action); };

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