Ben Foster Ben Foster - 1 month ago 17
C# Question

Using async/await for multiple tasks

I'm using an API client that is completely asynchrounous, that is, each operation either returns

Task
or
Task<T>
, e.g:

static async Task DoSomething(int siteId, int postId, IBlogClient client)
{
await client.DeletePost(siteId, postId); // call API client
Console.WriteLine("Deleted post {0}.", siteId);
}


Using the C# 5 async/await operators, what is the correct/most efficient way to start multiple tasks and wait for them all to complete:

int[] ids = new[] { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 };
Parallel.ForEach(ids, i => DoSomething(1, i, blogClient).Wait());


or:

int[] ids = new[] { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 };
Task.WaitAll(ids.Select(i => DoSomething(1, i, blogClient)).ToArray());


Since the API client is using HttpClient internally, I would expect this to issue 5 HTTP requests immediately, writing to the console as each one completes.

Answer
int[] ids = new[] { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 };
Parallel.ForEach(ids, i => DoSomething(1, i, blogClient).Wait());

Although you run the operations in parallel with the above code, this code blocks each thread that each operation runs on. For example, if the network call takes 2 seconds, each thread hangs for 2 seconds w/o doing anything but waiting.

int[] ids = new[] { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 };
Task.WaitAll(ids.Select(i => DoSomething(1, i, blogClient)).ToArray());

On the other hand, the above code with WaitAll also blocks the threads and your threads won't be free to process any other work till the operation ends.

Recommended Approach

I would prefer WhenAll which will perform your operations asynchronously in Parallel.

public async Task DoWork() {

    int[] ids = new[] { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 };
    await Task.WhenAll(ids.Select(i => DoSomething(1, i, blogClient)));
}

In fact, in the above case, you don't even need to await, you can just directly return from the method as you don't have any continuations:

public Task DoWork() 
{
    int[] ids = new[] { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 };
    return Task.WhenAll(ids.Select(i => DoSomething(1, i, blogClient)));
}

To back this up, here is a detailed blog post going through all the alternatives and their advantages/disadvantages: How and Where Concurrent Asynchronous I/O with ASP.NET Web API

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