Avoid canceled requests when using RxJS combineLatest()

If you work with Angular in your project, then you can’t avoid the reactive framework RxJS. This offers a lot of of operators. While some are rarely used, combinedLatest is certainly one of the great favorites of any Angular developer. It is used to combine multiple observable streams. It emits a value as soon as all incoming observables emit at least one value.

Example with backend request

Our example is quite simple. We have two observables: day and month. These are combined with combineLatest. As soon as the combined observable changes, a request is executed against a backend. The request is in a switchMap(). In the UI we have three buttons to change the day, the month and both at the same time (day + month).

  public day$ = new BehaviorSubject(0);
  public dayCount = 0;
  public month$ = new BehaviorSubject(0)
  public monthCount = 0;

  public result$ = combineLatest([this.day$, this.month$]).pipe(
    switchMap( ([day, month]) => this.dataService.apiCall(day, month))

  increaseDay() {

  increaseMonth() {

  increaseDayAndMonth() {

If you click on the button in the UI to trigger changeDay(), a request is sent to the backend. With increaseMonth() it is the same. So far everything is fine.

But if we now use the method increaseDayAndMonth() to change both at the same time, i.e. day and month, then we see that a canceled request is displayed in our console.

The request is canceled because we use switchMap, which ensures that only the most recent request is active.

So the problem is that in a very short time our incoming observables are changing and therefore triggering the backend request twice in a row.


To avoid the problem, the debounceTime operator with the value 0 can be used. The value 0 means that 0 milliseconds are waited until the emitted values pass through.

However, it also says that this will only happen at the end of the call stack. This can be considered as a kind of loop, only when the loop has run through, the request is executed. Since within the loop is not only the change of “days”, but also the change of “month”, the request is executed only once.

About the author: Fabian Birke

Fabian joined MaibornWolff GmbH in 2019 and has several years of experience as a full-stack developer. Currently he focuses on the development of dynamic frontend applications.