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Builtin Effects

re-frame supplies a small number of built-in effects which contribute to the API.

What Are Effects?

Event handlers, such as those registered using reg-event-fx, compute and return a map of effects which might look like this:

{:db  new-db
 :fx  [ [:dispatch [:some-id]]
        [:full-screen true]
        [:http     {:method :GET  :url ""}]]}

That's a map with two keys: :db and :fx. Which means there are two effects in this example. In another case, there could be more or less.

Each effect consists of an id and a payload pair. The id identifies the effect required and the payload carries additional information which will parameterise the action taken.

So, if an effect map was {:db new-value}, it would contain only one effect with an id of :db and a payload of new-value.

In the example above, the effect :fx has a vector payload. That vector is a sequence of other effects, each captured as a 2-vector: [id payload] - for example [:full-screen true]. :fx is an effect which actions other effects in sequence - the ones in its payload.

The two effects :db and :fx are a powerful combination, and both of these effects are built-in. That means re-frame itself uses reg-fx to register effect handlers for these two ids. Other effects, like :http, might come from a third-party library or from within your own application code.

This page lists the built-in effects.


reset! app-db to be a new value. The associated value is expected to be a map.

The :db effect has a special status. It will always be actioned before others. (Prior to v1.1.0 this guarantee did not exist. There were no ordering guarantees).


{:db  some-map}   

In the wild, real usage might look like this:

  (fn [{:keys [db]} event]
    {:db  (assoc db :some-key some-val)}))     ;; <-- new value computed


Added in v1.1.0

An effect which actions other effects, sequentially.

Expects a value which is a sequence, typically a vector. Each element in the sequence represents one effect. Each element is a 2-tuple of (1) an effect id and (2) the payload of the effect (the value ultimately given to the registered effect handler as an argument).

For example:

{:db  new-db 
 :fx  [ [:dispatch   [:some-id "extra"]]
        [:http-xhrio {:method :GET  :url ""}]
        (when (> 2 3) [:full-screen true])]}

Notice the use of when to conditionally include or exclude an effect. Any nil found in a :fx sequence will be ignored.


dispatch one event. Expects a single vector.


{:fx [[:dispatch [:event-id "param1" :param2]]] }

To dispatch multiple events:

{:fx [[:dispatch [:event1 "param1" :param2]]
      [:dispatch [:second]]}

Effects in :fx are actioned in order, so the dispatched events will be queued and, later handled, in order supplied. FIFO.


dispatch one or more events after a given delay. Expects a payload which is a map with two keys :ms (milliseconds) and :dispatch (the event).


{:fx [ [:dispatch-later {:ms 200 :dispatch [:event-id1 "param"]}]
       [:dispatch-later {:ms 100 :dispatch [:event-id2 "param"]}]]}

Prior to re-frame v1.1.1 :dispatch-later required a seq of maps, since v1.1.1 it can also accept a single map.


Removes a previously registered event handler. Expects the event id for a previously registered event handler.


{:db new-db
 :fx [[:deregister-event-handler :my-id]])}


From v1.1.0 onwards, this effect is deprecated in favour of using :fx with multiple :dispatch tuples.

dispatch more than one event. Expects a seq of event vectors (typically a list of them).


{:db new-db
 :fx [[:dispatch-n (list [:do :all] [:three :of] [:these])]]}


  1. The events will be dispatched in the order provided. And, because events are handled FIFO, the events will subsequently be processed in the order provided.
  2. nils in the event collection are ignored which means events can be added conditionally:

    clojure {:db new-db :fx [[:dispatch-n (list (when (> 3 5) [:conditioned-out]) [:another-one])]]}