npm i redux-simple-resource


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by James

2.0.0-beta1 (see all)License:MITTypeScript:Not Found
npm i redux-simple-resource


A Redux framework for interacting with remote resources.

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Table of Contents


Use this project to reduce Redux boilerplate when CRUD'ing remote resources.


✓ Reducers, action types, and initial state created for you
✓ All features are opt-out: pick and choose what works for you
✓ Store "metadata" for resources and resource lists
✓ Works well with most APIs
✓ Unopinionated technology decisions
✓ Zero dependencies

Why this project?

There are numerous projects with the same goal as this library. The primary difference between this library and other options is that this library stores metadata about resources separately from the resource itself.

Getting started

Install this library through npm ⇗.

npm install redux-simple-resource

Then, import it and create a resource.

import {createStore, combineReducers, applyMiddleware} from 'redux';
import createResource from 'redux-simple-resource';

// `options` is optional, and is documented in the "API" section of this README
const book = createResource('book', options);

// Include its reducers in your store
const reducers = combineReducers({

const store = createStore(reducers);


The default export of this library is createResource. There are several named exports, which are utilities that may help you when working with redux-simple-resource.

createResource( resourceName, [options] )

This is the default export of this library. Be sure to pass a singular version of your resource as resourceName. For instance, if this resource is for "books", then resourceName should be "book".

For multi-word resource names, use camel case. For instance, "cat person" should be input as "catPerson".

The resourceName is used to generate action types. For more, read the guide on Resource Names.

This method returns an object with the following properties:

reducerA reducer that manages CRUD'ing the resource
pluralFormThe pluralized name of resourceName (Read more)
actionTypesThe CRUD action types to be used in user-defined action creators (Read more)
initialStateThe initial state to be returned by reducer

The second parameter, options, is an optional object that can be used to customize all of the default behavior. All options are optional. Read about the different options below:


Pass the pluralized version of your resource's name. By default, an "s" is appended to your resource's name. This name is used in action types for actions that affect more than one resource.

const person = createResource('person', {
  pluralForm: 'people'

// => `people`
const cat = createResource('cat');

// => `cats`

The plural form of a resource is used for action types that affect more than one resource. For more, read the guide on resource names.


Action types will be created for all CRUD actions, and the generated reducer supports all of those actions. Sometimes, you won't need to support all CRUD actions on a resource. In those situations, you can use this to disable the creation of particular action types. The five CRUD actions are:

  • read
  • readMany
  • create
  • update
  • delete

Pass false as the value for any of these to prevent those action types and reducers from being created.

Keep in mind that you may not choose to use this option, even if your resource only supports a subset of CRUD. You could simply choose to not use the other generated action types, and there would be no issues with you doing that. It's up to you.

// Only "READ_MANY" action types and reducers will be created for this
// "cat" resource.
const cat = createResource('cat', {
  supportedActions: {
    read: false,
    readMany: true,
    del: false,
    update: false,
    create: false

The id property of a resource is special, as it is used to uniquely identify that resource within your list of resources. This allows redux-simple-resource to keep your resources up-to-date as you make changes to them.

By default, redux-simple-resource looks for an attribute called "id". If your resource has an ID by some other value, you have two choices: you can either rename it to be ID, or use this option to update what redux-simple-resource will look for.

const movie = createResource('movie', {
  idAttribute: 'movieId'

Additional initial state to add to the default initial state. The default initial state is:

  // These are the actual resources that the server sends back.
  resources: [],
  // This is metadata about _specific_ resources. For instance, if a DELETE
  // is in flight for a book with ID 24, then you could find that here.
  // For more, see the Resource Meta guide in this README.
  resourceMeta: {},
  // This is metadata about the entire collection of resources. For instance,
  // on page load, you might fetch all of the resources. The XHR status for
  // that request would live here.
  // For more, see the Resource Meta guide in this README.
  resourceListMeta: {
    readXhrStatus: xhrStatuses.NULL,
    createXhrStatus: xhrStatuses.NULL

Example usage is below:

const food = createResource('food', {
  initialState: {
    // Add this property to the default initial state. Custom action reducers
    // could be used to modify this property. For more, see the `actionReducers`
    // option.
    peopleAreHungry: true

You will likely need to handle more action types than the built-in CRUD action types. You can add in custom reducers to handle individual action types with this option.

You may be used to createReducers() in Redux, which associates a reducer with a particular "slice" of your store. This is similar, except each reducer is for a particular action type.

Pass in an Array of objects that define an actionType and reducer, where the actionType is the type to associate with reducer.

The reducer is like any other reducer in Redux: it receives two arguments, and should return the new state.

(state, action) => newState

If you use switch statements in your reducers, then this feature is just like defining a new case block in your switch statement.

const pet = createResource('pet', {
  actionReducers: [
      actionType: 'SELECT_PET',
      reducer(state, action) {
        // Modify the state as necessary...
        var newState = generateNewState(state);

        // Then return it.
        return newState;


This is a named export from this library. It is an Object that represents the different states that an XHR request can be in.

// xhrStatuses

For an explanation of what each of these means, refer to the XHR Statuses guide.

You will usually use this object to determine the state of XHR requests for your resources. Let's see what this might look like:

import React, {Component} from 'react';
import {xhrStatuses} from 'redux-simple-resource';

// Within a component's render, you may use it to conditionally render some JSX.
class MyComponent extends Component {
  constructor(props) {

  render() {
    // This is a value that is pulled from the store, and automatically kept
    // up-to-date for you. For more, see the Guides section below.
    const {resourceMeta} = this.props;

    // Render loading text if a retrieve request is in flight
    if (resourceMeta.readXhrStatus === xhrStatuses.PENDING) {
      return (<div>Loading data</div>);
    } else {
      return (<div>Not loading data</div>);

updateResourceMeta({ resourceMeta, newMeta, id, replace })

Use this method to update the metadata for a single resource. resourceMeta is all of the existing meta, newMeta is the new meta to assign to the resource, and id is the ID of the resource that you are updating.

This does not directly modify the resourceMeta object; instead, it returns a shallow clone.

resourceMetaYesThe current meta object for all resources
newMetaYesThe new metadata
idYesThe ID of the resource to update
replaceNoWhether or not to replace any existing meta for this resource. Defaults to false

updateManyResourceMetas({ resourceMeta, newMeta, ids, replace })

Similar to updateResourceMeta, but this enables you to update a list of ids with the same newMeta. resourceMeta is all of the existing meta.

If replace: true is passed, then the existing meta is discarded, and what you pass in will be all of the meta in the store.

Pass replace: false to keep all existing meta, and to merge in newMeta with any existing metadata for each resource. (default behavior)

This method does not enable you to update multiple IDs with different metadata.

resourceMetaYesThe current meta object for all resources.
newMetaYesThe new metadata
idsYesAn array of IDs to update
replaceNoWhether or not to replace the current list, or to merge in the new data. Defaults to false

upsertResource({ resources, resource, id, idAttribute, replace })

Insert or update a resource to the list of resources.

resourcesYesThe current list of resources from the store
resourceYesThe new resource to add
idYesThe id value of the new resource
idAttributeNoThe id key of the new resource. Defaults to "id"
replaceNoWhether or not to replace the resource (if it already exists). Defaults to false

upsertManyResources({ resources, newResources, idAttribute, replace })

Insert or update a list of resources to the list of resources.

resourcesYesThe current list of resources from the store
newResourcesYesThe new resources to add
idAttributeNoThe id key of the new resources. Defaults to "id"
replaceNoWhether or not to replace the existing resource list, or to merge new with old. Defaults to false


Resource Names

The first argument to createResource is resourceName, which is used to build the CRUD action types for your resource. Under-the-hood, a plural version of the name is generated, which is returned to you as pluralForm on the resource object (The default pluralized version is just ${resourceName}s, although you can customize this with the pluralForm option).

The singular version of the resource name is used for action types that operate on a single resource. The plural version is used for action types that operate on multiple resources.

For instance, these are the action types that represent kicking off a request for each of the built-in CRUD operations:

// This operates on many resources

// These operate on a single resource

redux-simple-resource will snake case any camel case name that you pass in. For instance, here's the read one action type for different resource names:

resourceNameread one action type

For now, redux-simple-resource only supports reads of multiple resources, although you can add actionReducers to manage multiple writes. In the future, redux-simple-resource may come with built-in write-many action types and reducers (like DELETE_BOOKS).

Resource Metadata

A resource typically has attributes associated with it. For instance, if your application displays cats, then maybe each "cat" resource has a name and age associated with it. This is the data for that resource.

In client side applications, it is frequently the case that there is a lot of other data associated with a particular resource, too. For instance, you may want to track if the user has "selected" a particular cat in the UI, or if they have made a request to delete a particular cat. This extra information is "metadata."

In redux-simple-resource, metadata for each resource is stored in a separate location in the store. There is also metadata associated with the entire list of resources.

redux-simple-resource comes with some built-in metadata for every resource out of the box. The metadata that it gives you are related to CRUD actions. If you fire off a request to delete a resource, for instance, then redux-simple-resource will take care of updating that resource's metadata with the status of that XHR request.

You can use this built-in metadata to easily show loading spinners, error messages, success messages, and other UI features that conditionally appear based on the status of XHR requests against a resource.

And, of course, you can add in your own metadata, too.

Individual Resource Metadata

The built-in metadata for individual resources is stored in each store slice as resourceMeta. This is an object, where each key is the ID of your object.

The built-in metadata for each resource is below:

  // The status of any existing request to update the resource
  updateXhrStatus: xhrStatuses.NULL,
  // The status of any existing request to fetch the resource
  readXhrStatus: xhrStatuses.NULL,
  // The status of an any existing request to delete the resource. Note that
  // this will never be "SUCCEEDED," as a successful delete removes the
  // resource, and its metadata, from the store.
  deleteXhrStatus: xhrStatuses.NULL

For instance, if we had two cats, and the first one had a request in flight to delete it, then a piece of the store might look like:

// store.cats
  resources: [
    {id: 1, name: 'sarah'},
    {id: 6, name: 'brian'},
  resourceMeta: {
    1: {
      updateXhrStatus: xhrStatuses.NULL,
      // The request is in flight!
      readXhrStatus: xhrStatuses.PENDING,
      deleteXhrStatus: xhrStatuses.NULL,
    6: {
      updateXhrStatus: xhrStatuses.NULL,
      readXhrStatus: xhrStatuses.NULL,
      deleteXhrStatus: xhrStatuses.NULL,

You are free to add custom metadata for every resource.

Note: We do not recommend modifying the built-in meta values directly. Let redux-simple-resource manage those for you.

Resource List Metadata

Sometimes, metadata needs to be associated with the entire list of resources. For instance, in REST, to create a resource you must make a POST request to the list of resources to. Following this pattern, the XHR status of create requests is stored in the list metadata in redux-simple-resource.

The default list metadata is:

resourceListMeta: {
  readXhrStatus: xhrStatuses.NULL,
  createXhrStatus: xhrStatuses.NULL

You can also store your own custom metadata on the list. For instance, if a user can select a series of items in a list, you may choose to keep an array of selected IDs in the resourceListMeta. Or, you might instead add a selected: true boolean to each resource's individual meta. Both solutions would work fine.

XHR Statuses

HTTP requests go through a series of states, such as being in flight, or succeeding, or being aborted. The metadata associated with each request reflects each of these statuses.

This library stores five possible states for each XHR request in Redux. These five states are available as a named export from the module.

The states are:


The request has been sent, but a response has not yet been received. This state is colloquially referred to as being "in flight."


A success response was returned.


An error response was returned.


The request was aborted by the client; a response will never be received.


This status is applied to a request that has not begun. For instance, when a resource is first created, its read, update, and delete request statuses are all NULL, because none of those requests have been made.

When requests have been made, there may also come a time when your application no longer cares about the result of a request. At that time, you have the option to set the XHR status to NULL by dispatching the RESET action type.

Not all applications will need to RESET requests. Many (if not most) of the time, you will not need to manually reset the status back to NULL. But the option is there if you need it.

Action Types

redux-simple-resource creates CRUD-related action types for you.

The action types for read one, for instance, are:


These five types reflect the five XHR Statuses, as each of these actions will update the XHR Status in the resource's metadata.

Actions that operate on a single resource must include an "id" attribute to uniquely identify the resource being acted upon (although the name of the attribute can be configured using the idAttribute option).

You can attach as many properties as you want to your action types, but the following properties have special meaning in redux-simple-resource:

NameUsed forDescription
typeallThe type of the action
idread one, delete, update, createUniquely identifies the resource. For more, see idAttribute
resourceread one, delete, update, createThe data for the resource
resourcesread manyAn array of resources being affected by this action
replaceread one, read many, updateWhether or not to replace existing data

The "replace" property

All SUCCEED action types support a replace property, which is whether or not the updated data should replace existing data in the store. replace is true by default.

For single resources, passing replace: false will merge in the new data with the existing data for that resource, if it exists. replace: true will

For multiple resources, replace: false will leave the existing list, but merge in new resources with their existing versions, if they exist. New items will be added at the end of the list. replace: true will completely remove the existing list of resources, and their metadata, and replace it with the new list.

"Start" action type

Each CRUD action has a start action type, which represents the start of a request. This will update the metadata for this particular action to be in an xhrStatuses.PENDING state.

These are the start action types:


An example start action type is:

  type: READ_BOOK,
  id: 5

FAIL action type

This will update the metadata for this particular action to be in an xhrStatuses.FAILED state.

These are the five FAIL action types:


An example fail action type is:

  id: 5

ABORT action type

This will update the metadata for this particular action to be in an xhrStatuses.ABORTED state.


An example fail abort action type is:


SUCCEED action type

This will update the metadata for this particular action to be in an xhrStatuses.SUCCEED state. It will also update the resources themselves in your store.

For reads and updates, the data that you pass in will replace existing data in the store unless you include replace: false in your action.

Example success actions are:

  id: 10,
  resource: {
    id: 10,
    name: 'Twilight',
    pages: 325
  resources: [
    {id: 2, name: 'Moby Dick'},
    {id: 10, name: 'Twilight'},
  replace: false
  id: 10

RESET action type

This action type is intended to be used to update a particular XHR status from a non-NULL value back to NULL. For instance, consider if a request fails, and you use the metadata in the store to conditionally render an alert to the user. If the user dismisses the alert, then you may wish to fire a RESET action type to reset the state back to NULL, which would cause the alert to disappear.

An example reset action is:

  id: 10

Custom Action Types

Custom action types are also supported by this library. For an explanation, and an example, refer to the API docs.

Example Action Creator

This is an example action creator to update a cat resource. It is an action creator thunk.

It uses the xhr module for making the request, although you can use any system that you want.

import xhr from 'xhr';
import cat from './cat-resource';

function updateCat(id, data) {
  return dispatch => {
      type: cat.actionTypes.UPDATE_CAT,

    const req = xhr.patch(
      {json: data},
      (err, res, body) => {
        if (req.aborted) {
            type: cat.actionTypes.UPDATE_CAT_ABORT,
        } else if (err || res.statusCode >= 400) {
            type: cat.actionTypes.UPDATE_CAT_FAIL,
        } else {
            type: cat.actionTypes.UPDATE_CAT_SUCCEED,
            resource: body,

    return req;

This action type supports the full range of features in redux-simple-resource. Because it returns the XHR, the user can abort the request. For instance, in your component, you may have:

componentWillMount() {
  this.updateXhr = this.props.updateCat(2, {name: 'Felix'});

componentWillUnmount() {
  if (this.updateXhr) {

Structure of the Store

redux-simple-resource creates the overall structure of the store for resources. The default initial state that is created for you represents this overall structure:

  // These are the actual resources that the server sends back.
  resources: [],
  // This is metadata about _specific_ resources. For instance, if a DELETE
  // is in flight for a book with ID 24, then you could find that here.
  // For more, see the Resource Meta guide in this README.
  resourceMeta: {},
  // This is metadata about the entire collection of resources. For instance,
  // on page load, you might fetch all of the resources. The XHR status for
  // that request would live here.
  // For more, see the Resource Meta guide in this README.
  resourceListMeta: {
    readXhrStatus: xhrStatuses.NULL,
    createXhrStatus: xhrStatuses.NULL

For instance, if you're building a component that interacts with a particular book resource, then you may use the following mapStateToProps:

mapStateToProps(state, props) {
  // Grab our book
  const book = _.find(state.books.resources, {id: props.bookId});
  // Grab its metadata
  const bookMeta = state.resourceMeta[props.bookId];

  // Pass that into the component
  return {

Customizing the Default Reducers

Sometimes, the default reducers may not do exactly what you want. Maybe you want to handle a particular action in a different way. Or perhaps you want to add more metadata with a different type.

If the way a particular action type is reduced is not what you want, then you do not need to dispatch an action with that action type.

If you wish to add additional data to the store after a particular action, then we recommend that you fire a separate, custom action immediately after the default one. For instance,

// Dispatch the default action
dispatch({type: 'READ_BOOK_SUCCESS', id: 5});
// Dispatch your default action
dispatch({type: 'READ_BOOK_SUCCESS_EXTRA_THINGS', id: 5});

If you're worried about performance, give it a try. If you can demonstrate that this pattern causes performance issues, then we will consider alternative solutions.

tl;dr: we do not recommend attempting to modify the built-in reducers. Either don't dispatch those action types, or dispatch separate actions with custom types before or after the built-in types.

Shallow Cloning

redux-simple-resource makes updates to the store via shallow cloning. This system works well if you make it a habit to never modify data from your store.

There are tools like Immutable to strongly enforce this, but you can also work on teams on large products and not use Immutable.

If you absolutely need deep cloning, or Immutable support, rather than shallow cloning, then know that there are plans to add a hook to replace the shallow cloning with a custom cloning function. If this interests you, then follow along on this issue.

What is a simple resource?

The notion of "simple" refers to APIs that do not have a specification for compound documents. Compound documents are documents that contain primary resources, as well as resources that they have relationships with (one-to-one, many-to-one, etc.).

For instance, consider fetching a "cat" resource. If you also wish to fetch the cat's "owner" and its "location" in one request, what does the response look like? Your API may not support this at all. Or it may merge all of the attributes from all of these objects together, requiring the client to pick them apart. In both of those situations, the resource is what I am calling "simple."

On the other hand, your API may return these other resources in a "related" key, which has a list of other resources, as well as their type. This formal support for relationships enables you to build abstractions around them.

In summary, your API returns simple resources if:

  • it does not support returning compound documents at all. Every request is always against a single resource, and not the other resources it has relationships with.
  • it does support returning compound documents, but it is done in an ad hoc way. In other words, there is no specification or format that applies to every resource, and every relationship.

Building APIs that support relationships in a consistent way is more difficult, and therefore, most APIs return simple resources.

An example of a system that does provide a formal relationship definition is JSON API.

What if my API supports more than "simple" resources?

If you're using a system like JSON API, where relationships are formally defined by the API, then you still can use redux-simple-resource.

Just be aware that redux-simple-resource will treat every response, even ones containing compound documents, as a single resource.

You have two options to deal with this:

  1. build an abstraction on top of redux-simple-resource to manage relationships
  2. use a different, JSON API-specific Redux framework



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