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How to wait for a promise to finish before returning the variable of a function?

  • Difficulty Level : Medium
  • Last Updated : 11 Oct, 2019

Here a promise is a returned object from an asynchronous function, to that callback methods can be added based on the previous function’s result. It is done for back-to-back execution of functions acting like a queue or chain of functions. So as the functions are in the queue, the functions following it must wait for the previous function’s result. To do that there is two popular way described below.

Use of setTimeout() function: In order to wait for a promise to finish before returning the variable, the function can be set with setTimeout(), so that the function waits for a few milliseconds.

Below program will illustrate the approach:
Program :

const wait=ms=>new Promise(resolve => setTimeout(resolve, ms));
function failureCallback(){
    console.log("This is failure callback");
wait(4*1000).then(() => {
    console.log("waited for 4 seconds");
    throw new Error("error occurred");
}).catch(() => {
wait(2*1000).then(() => console.log("waited for 2 seconds"));                    


waited for 2 seconds
waited for 4 seconds
This is failure callback

Use of async or await() function: This method can be used if the exact time required in setTimeout() cannot be specified. The async keyword is used to create an asynchronous function that returns a promise that is either rejected or resolved. The promise is rejected when there is an uncaught exception thrown from that function or it is resolved otherwise. The await keyword is used inside an async function to pause its execution and wait for the promise.

Below program will illustrate the approach:
program :

//This function returns promise after 2 seconds
var first_function = function() {
console.log("Entered first function");
return new Promise(resolve => {
    setTimeout(function() {
    resolve("\t\t This is first promise");
    console.log("Returned first promise");
    }, 2000);
//This function executes returns promise after 4 seconds
var second_function = function() {
console.log("Entered second function");
return new Promise(resolve => {
    setTimeout(function() {
    resolve("\t\t This is second promise");
    console.log("Returned second promise");
    }, 4000);
var async_function = async function() {
console.log('async function called');
const first_promise= await first_function();
console.log("After awaiting for 2 seconds," +
"the promise returned from first function is:");
const second_promise= await second_function();
console.log("After awaiting for 4 seconds, the"
"promise returned from second function is:");

Output :

async function called
Entered first function
Returned first promise
After awaiting for 2 seconds, the promise returned from first function is:
                 This is first promise
Entered second function
Returned second promise
After awaiting for 4 seconds, the promise returned from second function is:
                 This is second promise

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