JavaScript function that returns AJAX call data

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I would like to create a JavaScript function which returns the value of a jQuery AJAX call. I would like something like this.

function checkUserIdExists(userid){ return $.ajax({ url: 'theurl', type: 'GET', cache: false, data: { userid: userid }, success: function(data){ return data; } }); } 

I know I can do this by setting async to false but I would rather not.

This Question Has 6 Answeres | Orginal Question | Timothy Ruhle

You can't return data returned by an AJAX call unless you want to call it synchronously (and you don't – trust me). But what you can return is a promise of a data returned by an AJAX call and you can do it actually in a very elegant way.

(UPDATE: Please note that currently jQuery Promises are not compatible with the Promises/A+ specification - more info in this answer.)

Basically you can return the return value of your $.ajax(...) call:

function checkUserIdExists(userid){ return $.ajax({ url: 'theurl', type: 'GET', cache: false, data: { userid: userid } }); } 

and someone who calls your function can use it like this:

checkUserIdExists(userid).success(function (data) { // do something with data }); 

See this post of mine for a better explanation and demos if you are interested.

With jQuery 1.5, you can use the brand-new $.Deferred feature, which is meant for exactly this.

// Assign handlers immediately after making the request, // and remember the jqxhr object for this request var jqxhr = $.ajax({ url: "example.php" }) .success(function() { alert("success"); }) .error(function() { alert("error"); }) .complete(function() { alert("complete"); }); // perform other work here ... // Set another completion function for the request above jqxhr.complete(function(){ alert("second complete"); }); 


As of jQuery 1.8, the "success", "error" and "complete" callback are deprecated. Instead you should be using "done", "fail" and "always".

So you could have:

function checkUserIdExists(userid, callback) { return $.ajax({ url: 'theurl', type: 'GET', cache: false, data: { userid: userid } }) .done(callback) .fail(function(jqXHR, textStatus, errorThrown) { // Handle error }); } checkUserIdExists(2, function(data) { console.log(data); // Do what you want with the data returned }); 

Tim, the two scenarios are mutually exclusive; an asynchronous operation will not serve any purpose for, nor will it be able to retrieve returned data.

You should look at an event-enabled infrastructure for your ajax calls

you can pass in a callback function:

function checkUserIdExists(userid, callback) { $.ajax({ ... success: callback }); } checkUserIdExists(4, function(data) { }); 

This isn't how JavaScript asynchronous programming was really meant to be done. Instead, use a callback in your success function to call another function to use your data returned from the server.

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Sajjad Hossain

I have five years of experience in web development sector. I love to do amazing projects and share my knowledge with all.

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