Callbacks

Vulcan uses a system of hooks and callbacks for many of its operations.

A hook is a specific point in the code where callbacks can be attached and executed. These callbacks are middleware-like functions that take in an argument, then pass it on to the next callback attached to the same hook.

They are a handy way to inject your own code into other, pre-existing operations without having to modify the code of these operations directly.

Callback functions can take more than one arguments, but the first argument is special in that - for sync callbacks – it will be updated each time to reflect the return value of each successive function, letting you progressively iterate over a value or object.

Debugging

If you’ve got the debug package enabled, a callback debugging UI is available at http://localhost:3000/debug/callbacks.

Collection Callbacks

The most common place to use callbacks is after CRUD operations on your collections (in other words creating or updating a document).

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const Movies = createCollection({

collectionName: 'Movies',

//...

callbacks: {
create: {
validate: [(validationErrors, properties) => { return validationErrors; }],
before: [(document, properties) => { return document; }],
after: [(document, properties) => { return document; }],
async: [(properties) => { /* no return value */ }],
}
update: {
validate: [(validationErrors, properties) => { return validationErrors; }],
before: [(data, properties) => { return data; }],
after: [(document, properties) => { return document; }],
async: [(properties) => { /* no return value */ }],
}
delete: {
validate: [(validationErrors, properties) => { return validationErrors; }],
before: [(document, properties) => { return document; }],
after: [(document, properties) => { return document; }],
async: [(properties) => { /* no return value */ }],
}
},

});

Note that the update.before callback functions take data as iterator argument, and not document.

Each hook takes an array of callback functions. Note that you don’t need to specify all hooks:

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const Movies = createCollection({

collectionName: 'Movies',

//...

callbacks: {
create: {
async: [ sendPostCreateNotification, createNewComment ],
}
update: {
before: [ addAuthorId ],
async: [ sendPostUpdateNotification ],
}
},

});

Callback Hooks

The four hooks correspond to the following events in the lifecycle of a mutator:

  • validate: when the data received from the client undergoes validation. Note that this can be skipped, for example if you are calling the mutator from the server and already trust the data.
  • before: a hook that can modify the data before it is submitted to the database.
  • after a hook that runs after the database operation; but before the document is returned to the client.
  • async: a hook that runs after the database operation in an asynchronous manner, meaning it will not return anything or affect the mutation’s return value; but also won’t hold back the mutation from returning while it executes.

Arguments

validationErrors

validationErrors is an array that starts empty and then gets populated by each successive validation callback. If that array is not empty, the mutation will throw an error regrouping all the issues encounted during validation.

document

The document argument is the document being inserted or updated in the database.

data

data is a modifier object used to figure out what changes to perform in the database. It can be equal to the entire document, or simply contain a subset of the fields to update.

Additionally, any field set to null in the data object will be deleted from that document in the database.

properties

The properties object contains properties that are optionally passed to each callback function, but are not affected by said functions (and should generally not be mutated by them).

All properties objects for all callbacks of all operations share these common properties:

  • currentUser: the user performing the operation (can be undefined).
  • collection: the collection affected by the operation.
  • schema: the collection schema.
  • context the GraphQL context of the mutation.

In addition, each operation receives a few additional specific properties.

create
  • document: the document to create received from the client.
  • originalDocument: the original document before going through callbacks.
update
  • data: the object received from the client (that will be inserted in the database).
  • originalData: a copy of the original data (before it is mutated by callbacks).
  • document: the document resulting from the mutation.
  • originalDocument: the original document before the mutation being applied.

Note that for validate and before callbacks, document will be a simulated preview of the mutation result.

delete
  • document: the document being deleted.

Global Callbacks

In addition to collection-specific callbacks, you can also define global callbacks that will run for every collections:

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addGlobalCallbacks({
create: {
// same as above
}
update: {
// same as above
}
delete: {
// same as above
}
});

Note that if you call addGlobalCallbacks() multiple times, the callback object will be merged together. This can be useful to add global callbacks from more than one place in your code.

Error Handling

By default, any error in a callback function will be swallowed to avoid affecting other callbacks or the mutation itself. You can pass break on your Error object to cause the chain of callbacks to stop when using a sync callback.

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function mySyncCallback() {
try {
const value = Posts.callingAFunctionThatDoesNotExistThisThrowsAnError();
} catch (error) {
console.error(error);
// Cause Vulcan to halt execution of resolver and throw the error to Apollo
error.break = true;
throw error;
}
}

addCallback('post.create.before', mySyncCallback);
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