A guide on working with the Aurelia State plugin.

This guide aims to help you become familiar with the Aurelia State plugin, a means of managing the state in your Aurelia applications.

When should you use state management?

Before we delve too deeply into Aurelia State and how it can help manage state in your Aurelia applications, we should discuss when to use state management and when not to.

  • When you need to reuse data in other parts of your application — State management shines when it comes to helping keep your data organized for cross-application reuse.

  • When dealing with complex data structures — Ephermal state is great for simple use cases. Still, when working with complex data structures (think multi-step forms or deeply structured data), state management can help keep it consistent.

Think about the state plugin as an event aggregator but customized for state management.

Aurelia State guides

Installing Aurelia State

To install the Aurelia State plugin, open up a Command Prompt/Terminal and install it:

npm i @aurelia/state

Setup the initial state

When registering the Aurelia State plugin, you must pass in your application's initial state. This is an object which defines the data structure of your application.

Create a new file in the src directory called initialstate.ts with your state object inside:

export const initialState = {
  keywords: '',
  items: []

As you can see, it's just a plain old Javascript object. In your application, your properties would be called something different, but you can see we have a mixture of empty values and some defaults.

This state will be stored in the global state container for bindings to use in the templates.

Setup the action handlers

The initial state above isn't meant to be mutated directly. In order to produce a state change, a mutation request should be dispatched instead. An action handler is a function that is supposed to combine the current state of the state container and the action parameters of the function call to produce a new state:

const actionHandler = (state, action) => newState

An example of an action handler that produces a new state with the updated keyword on a keyword action:

export function keywordsHandler(currentState, action) {
  return action.type === 'newKeywords'
    ? { ...currentState, keywords: action.value }
    : currentState

Create a new file in the src directory called action-handlers.ts with the above code.


To use the Aurelia State plugin in Aurelia, it needs to be imported and registered. Inside main.ts, the plugin can be registered as follows:

import Aurelia from 'aurelia';
import { StateDefaultConfiguration } from '@aurelia/state';

import { initialState } from './initialstate';
import { keywordsHandler } from './action-handlers';


The above imports the StateDefaultConfiguration object from the plugin and then calls init, passing the initial state object for your application.

If you are familiar with Redux, you'll find this plugin familiar. The most obvious difference will be around the action handler (similar to reducer in Redux) function signature.

Template binding

With .state and .dispatch commands

The Aurelia State Plugin provides state and dispatch binding commands that simplify binding with the global state. Example usages:

// bind value property of the input to `keywords` property on the global state
<input value.state="keywords">

// dispatch an action object `{ type: 'clearKeywords' }` to request state mutation
<button click.dispatch="{ type: 'clearKeywords' }">Clear keywords</button>

// bind value property of the input to `keywords` property on the global state
// and dispatch an action with type `newKeywords` on input event
<input value.state="keywords" input.dispatch="{ type: 'newKeywords', value: $ }">

With & state binding behavior

In places where it's not possible to use the .state binding command, the global state can be connected via & state binding behavior, like the following example:

<p>Found ${items.length & state} results for keyword: "${keyword & state}"</p>
<div repeat.for="item of items & state">

Accessing view model

Note: by default, bindings created from .state and .dispatch commands will only allow you to access the properties on the global state. If it's desirable to access the property of the view model containing those bindings, use $parent like the following example:

// access the property `prefix` on the view model, and `keywords` property on the global state
<input value.state="$parent.prefix + keywords">

View model binding

With @fromState decorator

Sometimes, it's also desirable to connect a view model property to the global state. The Aurelia State Plugin supports this via the @fromState decorator. An example usage is as follows:

export class AutoSuggest {
  @fromState(state => state.keywords)
  keywords: string;

With the above, whenever the state changes, it will ensure the keywords property of the view model stays in sync with the keywords property on the global state.

Authoring action handlers

As mentioned at the start of this guide, action handlers are the way to handle mutation of the global state. They are expected to return to a new state instead of mutating it. Even though normal mutation works, it may break future integration with devtool.

Action handlers can be either synchronous or asynchronous. An application may have one or more action handlers, and if one action handler is asynchronous, a promise will be returned for the dispatch call.

An action handler should return the existing state (first parameters) if the action is unnecessary.

Example of type declaration for application stores

Applications can enforce strict typings with view model-based dispatch calls via the 2nd type parameter of the store.

For example, if the store only accepts two types of actions, that has the following type:

export type EditAction = { type: 'edit'; value: string }
export type ClearAction = { type: 'clear' }

Then the store can be declared like this:

import { resolve } from 'aurelia';
import { IStore } from '@aurelia/state';

class MyEl {
  store: IStore<{}, EditAction | ClearAction> = resolve(IStore);

  onSomeUserAction() {{ type: 'edit', value: 'hi' }); // good{ type: 'edit' }); // error 💥{ type: 'clear' }); // good

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