Vaccano Vaccano - 1 year ago 79
Javascript Question

Throttle amount of promises open at a given time

The following Typescript performs each call to

one at a time. (Meaning the second item in the list does not get a call made until the first one is done).

async performActionsOneAtATime() {
for (let action of listOfActions) {
const actionResult = await doSomethingOnServer(action);
console.log(`Action Done: ${actionResult}`);

This one will send all the requests to the server right away (without waiting for any responses):

async performActionsInParallel() {
for (let action of listOfActions) {
const actionResultPromise = doSomething(action);
actionResultPromise.then((actionResult) => {
console.log(`Action Done: ${actionResult}`);

But what I really need is a way to throttle them. Maybe have 10 or 20 calls open at a time. (One at at a time is too slow, but all 600 will overload the server.)

But I am having a hard time figuring this out.

Any suggestions on how I can throttle the number of calls to X open at a time?

(This question uses TypeScript, but I would be fine with an ES6 JavaScript answer.)

Answer Source

You can do this in one short function.

 * Performs a list of callable actions (promise factories) so that only a limited
 * number of promises are pending at any given time.
 * @param listOfCallableActions An array of callable functions, which should
 *     return promises.
 * @param limit The maximum number of promises to have pending at once.
 * @returns A Promise that resolves when everything is done.
function throttleActions(listOfCallableActions, limit) {
  // We'll need to store which is the next promise in the list.
  let i = 0;

  // Now define what happens when any of the actions completes. Javascript is
  // (mostly) single-threaded, so only one completion handler will call at a
  // given time. Because we return doNextAction, the Promise chain continues as
  // long as there's an action left in the list.
  function doNextAction() {
    if (i < listOfCallableActions.length) {
      let nextAction = listOfCallableActions[i++];
      return Promise.resolve(nextAction()).then(doNextAction);

  // Now start up the original <limit> number of promises.
  // i advances in calls to doNextAction.
  let listOfPromises = [];
  while (i < limit && i < listOfCallableActions.length) {
  return Promise.all(listOfPromises);
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