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Quick Vue Tip: Cleaner Data Fetching

Miguel
Aspiring web dev and passionate Vue developer.
Updated on ・2 min read

Quick Vue Tip: Fetching Data

A common use-case we encounter is needing to show data fetched from an API using a Vue component.

For example, say we have a Vue component called ViewAvenger.vue which shows the information of an Avenger based on its id. A common way of doing this is by passing an id prop to our component. The actual API call is then handled by the component itself via a method call getData.

Loading data upon mount

Say we want to get our data immediately when the component mounts. We then add the mounted lifecycle method into our component.

Re-load data if the id changes

This works fine, but what if our id prop changes? There would be no way for us to call getData. To do that, we would need to watch the id prop for changes.

By defining a watcher, we tell our component to call the getData method whenever the id prop is changed.

Refactoring for simplification!

Our component works just fine as it is right now. However, how can we rewrite it to be more concise?
We use watch props!

Watchers can have the immediate prop, which tells the component to fire the handler method immediately. This means that we can get rid of the mounted method, saving us some lines of code.

Finally, we can simplify this even further! We can move our whole getData function into the watch handler. As an added bonus to readability, we can remove the this. prefix from the API call since we can simply use the id argument of the handler function!

And just like that, we effectively saved ourselves some more lines of code.
I hope you found this tip useful, and thanks for reading!

Discussion (8)

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therealdanvega profile image
Dan Vega • Edited

Great tip Miguel. You can also use this to watch the route or route params if your avenger id was coming from the route (/avengers/3). You just need to put it in quotes like this:

watch: {
  '$route.params.id': {
    immediate: true,
    ...
  }
}
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mccabiles profile image
Miguel Author

Yes! Applying this to your Vue routes is the logical extension for this pattern, and is how I use it in my apps as well. Thank you for sharing, Dan!

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imtiyaz profile image
Mohammed Imtiyaz

Great Tip!!

Thanks for sharing it. Just like you read my mind.

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julianalmandos profile image
Julian Luis Almandos

Thanks for sharing this Dan, sometimes var manipulation can be very tricky

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pholly profile image
Philip Holly

Thanks for this. For routing params, I made them component props and watch the props. I found this article because I wanted to confirm if it's good practice to fetch data in just the watcher and not in created as well. Makes sense to do it in just the watcher using immediate, unless other setup needs to be done when the component is created before making the api call.

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mccabiles profile image
Miguel Author

Happy to hear it helped!

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codestuff2 profile image
Adam Whitlock

Very nice. I haven't used watchers that much, but this pattern seems like a great way to simplify this fetching of data. Thanks for writing :)

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mccabiles profile image
Miguel Author

You're very welcome, thank you for reading!