Accessing Redux state in an action creator?

Say I have the following:

export const SOME_ACTION = 'SOME_ACTION';
export function someAction() {
  return {
    type: SOME_ACTION,
  }
}

And in that action creator, I want to access the global store state (all reducers). Is it better to do this:

import store from '../store';

export const SOME_ACTION = 'SOME_ACTION';
export function someAction() {
  return {
    type: SOME_ACTION,
    items: store.getState().otherReducer.items,
  }
}

or this:

export const SOME_ACTION = 'SOME_ACTION';
export function someAction() {
  return (dispatch, getState) => {
    const {items} = getState().otherReducer;

    dispatch(anotherAction(items));
  }
}

Answers:

Answer

There are differing opinions on whether accessing state in action creators is a good idea:

  • Redux creator Dan Abramov feels that it should be limited: "The few use cases where I think it’s acceptable is for checking cached data before you make a request, or for checking whether you are authenticated (in other words, doing a conditional dispatch). I think that passing data such as state.something.items in an action creator is definitely an anti-pattern and is discouraged because it obscured the change history: if there is a bug and items are incorrect, it is hard to trace where those incorrect values come from because they are already part of the action, rather than directly computed by a reducer in response to an action. So do this with care."
  • Current Redux maintainer Mark Erikson says it's fine and even encouraged to use getState in thunks - that's why it exists. He discusses the pros and cons of accessing state in action creators in his blog post Idiomatic Redux: Thoughts on Thunks, Sagas, Abstraction, and Reusability.

If you find that you need this, both approaches you suggested are fine. The first approach does not require any middleware:

import store from '../store';

export const SOME_ACTION = 'SOME_ACTION';
export function someAction() {
  return {
    type: SOME_ACTION,
    items: store.getState().otherReducer.items,
  }
}

However you can see that it relies on store being a singleton exported from some module. We don’t recommend that because it makes it much harder to add server rendering to your app because in most cases on the server you’ll want to have a separate store per request. So while technically this approach works, we don’t recommend exporting a store from a module.

This is why we recommend the second approach:

export const SOME_ACTION = 'SOME_ACTION';
export function someAction() {
  return (dispatch, getState) => {
    const {items} = getState().otherReducer;

    dispatch(anotherAction(items));
  }
}

It would require you to use Redux Thunk middleware but it works fine both on the client and on the server. You can read more about Redux Thunk and why it’s necessary in this case here.

Ideally, your actions should not be “fat” and should contain as little information as possible, but you should feel free to do what works best for you in your own application. The Redux FAQ has information on splitting logic between action creators and reducers and times when it may be useful to use getState in an action creator.

Answer

When your scenario is simple you can use

import store from '../store';

export const SOME_ACTION = 'SOME_ACTION';
export function someAction() {
  return {
    type: SOME_ACTION,
    items: store.getState().otherReducer.items,
  }
}

But sometimes your action creator need to trigger multi actions

for example async request so you need REQUEST_LOAD REQUEST_LOAD_SUCCESS REQUEST_LOAD_FAIL actions

export const [REQUEST_LOAD, REQUEST_LOAD_SUCCESS, REQUEST_LOAD_FAIL] = [`REQUEST_LOAD`
    `REQUEST_LOAD_SUCCESS`
    `REQUEST_LOAD_FAIL`
]
export function someAction() {
    return (dispatch, getState) => {
        const {
            items
        } = getState().otherReducer;
        dispatch({
            type: REQUEST_LOAD,
            loading: true
        });
        $.ajax('url', {
            success: (data) => {
                dispatch({
                    type: REQUEST_LOAD_SUCCESS,
                    loading: false,
                    data: data
                });
            },
            error: (error) => {
                dispatch({
                    type: REQUEST_LOAD_FAIL,
                    loading: false,
                    error: error
                });
            }
        })
    }
}

Note: you need redux-thunk to return function in action creator

Answer

I would like to point out that it is not that bad to read from the store -- it might be just much more convenient to decide what should be done based on the store, than to pass everything to the component and then as a parameter of a function. I agree with Dan completely, that it is much better not to use store as a singletone, unless you are 100% sure that you will use only for client-side rendering (otherwise hard to trace bugs might appear).

I have created a library recently to deal with verbosity of redux, and I think it is a good idea to put everything in the middleware, so you have everyhing as a dependency injection.

So, your example will look like that:

import { createSyncTile } from 'redux-tiles';

const someTile = createSyncTile({
  type: ['some', 'tile'],
  fn: ({ params, selectors, getState }) => {
    return {
      data: params.data,
      items: selectors.another.tile(getState())
    };
  },
});

However, as you can see, we don't really modify data here, so there is a good chance that we can just use this selector in other place to combine it somewhere else.

Answer

I agree with @Bloomca. Passing the value needed from the store into the dispatch function as an argument seems simpler than exporting the store. I made an example here:

import React from "react";
import {connect} from "react-redux";
import * as actions from '../actions';

class App extends React.Component {

  handleClick(){
    const data = this.props.someStateObject.data;
    this.props.someDispatchFunction(data);
  }

  render(){
    return (
      <div>       
      <div onClick={ this.handleClick.bind(this)}>Click Me!</div>      
      </div>
    );
  }
}


const mapStateToProps = (state) => {
  return { someStateObject: state.someStateObject };
};

const mapDispatchToProps = (dispatch) => {
  return {
    someDispatchFunction:(data) => { dispatch(actions.someDispatchFunction(data))},

  };
}


export default connect(mapStateToProps, mapDispatchToProps)(App);
Answer

Presenting an alternative way of solving this. This may be better or worse than Dan's solution, depending on your application.

You can get the state from the reducers into the actions by splitting the action in 2 separate functions: first ask for the data, second act on the data. You can do that by using redux-loop.

First 'kindly ask for the data'

export const SOME_ACTION = 'SOME_ACTION';
export function someAction() {
    return {
        type: SOME_ACTION,
    }
}

In the reducer, intercept the ask and provide the data to the second stage action by using redux-loop.

import { loop, Cmd } from 'redux-loop';
const initialState = { data: '' }
export default (state=initialState, action) => {
    switch(action.type) {
        case SOME_ACTION: {
            return loop(state, Cmd.action(anotherAction(state.data))
        }
    }
}

With the data in hand, do whatever you initially wanted

export const ANOTHER_ACTION = 'ANOTHER_ACTION';
export function anotherAction(data) {
    return {
        type: ANOTHER_ACTION,
        payload: data,
    }
}

Hope this helps someone.

Answer

I know I'm late to the party here, but I came here for opinions on my own desire to use state in actions, and then formed my own, when I realized what I think is the correct behavior.

This is where a selector makes the most sense to me. Your component that issues this request should be told wether it's time to issue it through selection.

export const SOME_ACTION = 'SOME_ACTION';
export function someAction(items) {
  return (dispatch) => {
    dispatch(anotherAction(items));
  }
}

It might feel like leaking abstractions, but your component clearly needs to send a message and the message payload should contain pertinent state. Unfortunately your question doesn't have a concrete example because we could work through a 'better model' of selectors and actions that way.

Answer

I would like to suggest yet another alternative that I find the cleanest, but it requires react-redux or something simular - also I'm using a few other fancy features along the way:

// actions.js
export const someAction = (items) => ({
    type: 'SOME_ACTION',
    payload: {items},
});
// Component.jsx
import {connect} from "react-redux";

const Component = ({boundSomeAction}) => (<div
    onClick={boundSomeAction}
/>);

const mapState = ({otherReducer: {items}}) => ({
    items,
});

const mapDispatch = (dispatch) => bindActionCreators({
    someAction,
}, dispatch);

const mergeProps = (mappedState, mappedDispatches) => {
    // you can only use what gets returned here, so you dont have access to `items` and 
    // `someAction` anymore
    return {
        boundSomeAction: () => mappedDispatches.someAction(mappedState.items),
    }
});

export const ConnectedComponent = connect(mapState, mapDispatch, mergeProps)(Component);
// (with  other mapped state or dispatches) Component.jsx
import {connect} from "react-redux";

const Component = ({boundSomeAction, otherAction, otherMappedState}) => (<div
    onClick={boundSomeAction}
    onSomeOtherEvent={otherAction}
>
    {JSON.stringify(otherMappedState)}
</div>);

const mapState = ({otherReducer: {items}, otherMappedState}) => ({
    items,
    otherMappedState,
});

const mapDispatch = (dispatch) => bindActionCreators({
    someAction,
    otherAction,
}, dispatch);

const mergeProps = (mappedState, mappedDispatches) => {
    const {items, ...remainingMappedState} = mappedState;
    const {someAction, ...remainingMappedDispatch} = mappedDispatch;
    // you can only use what gets returned here, so you dont have access to `items` and 
    // `someAction` anymore
    return {
        boundSomeAction: () => someAction(items),
        ...remainingMappedState,
        ...remainingMappedDispatch,
    }
});

export const ConnectedComponent = connect(mapState, mapDispatch, mergeProps)(Component);

If you want to reuse this you'll have to extract the specific mapState, mapDispatch and mergeProps into functions to reuse elsewhere, but this makes dependencies perfectly clear.

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