How to cache data with promises


You want to cache an asynchronous request and always want to work with a promise. The fetching of the data from the memory cache is synchronous. If the cache misses, it’s asynchronous.


The solution is to always return a promise. If the data is cached, we just immediately resolve the promise. We show you how to do this very easily.

Covert a value to a promise

The first question is how to convert a cached value into a promise.

A naive solution would be

var deferred = $q.defer();
return deferred.promise;

Because it’s such a common pattern, AngularJS has a shortcut for it:


T> $q.when is capable of a lot more, see convert 3rd party promises.

Promises all the time

To always return a promise, we check, if the return value is already cached. If it is, we return a resolved promise with $q.when. If not, we call our promise and on success we’ll cache the result.

if (cache) {
    return $q.when(cache);
} else {
    return promise.then(function(result) {
        cache = result;
        return result;

You’ll find a full working example in the code section.