Using Multiple Fetch Statements with ComponentWillMount In React

Using Multiple Fetch Statements with ComponentWillMount In React

In this guide, you will see how componentWillMount and componentDidMount have been used to make HTTP requests in the past. You will also discover how to execute multiple HTTP fetch requests for data within them.

When writing code within your React app, you will most likely need to fetch data from an external API in order to render views based on that data. However, introducing asynchronous code into your app always comes with an overhead of complexity. To help combat this complexity, React introduces component lifecycle hooks. Component lifecycle hooks are methods that are triggered at certain phases in a component's "lifecycle." The two most common component lifecycle hooks that have been used in the past when it comes to HTTP requests are componentWillMount and componentDidMount.

In this guide, you will see how componentWillMount and componentDidMount have been used to make HTTP requests in the past. You will also discover how to execute multiple HTTP fetch requests for data within them.

The componentWillMount Lifecycle Hook

componentWillMount used to be an integral part of any component's lifecycle. I say "used to be" because now, componentWillMount is deprecated as of React v. 17! In a lot of apps, it was the lifecycle hook that was used to request data, as the name sort of suggests that this would be the place to do it! However, the problem with this approach was that a component render function was guaranteed to run before the HTTP request(s) was executed within componentWillMount. This often meant that your component had no data to show within its view layer if that data relied upon the HTTP request.

Because of this, you ultimately need to have some sort of default data or loading screen to show until the HTTP request comes back since the render function will end up running before the successful execution of the request. Ultimately, this means that you can drop the use of componentWillMount and simply set up some default data or a loading screen within the constructor of your class component. You can then move your HTTP request over to the componentDidMount lifecycle method. The componentDidMount lifecycle method is guaranteed to run directly after the execution of the first render function. This makes it a reliable choice for fetching data!

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