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How Do I Handle Server Exceptions on the Client?

SAFE Stack makes it easy to catch and handle exceptions raised by the server on the client. Though the way we make a call to the server from the client is different between the standard and the minimal template, the way we handle server errors on the client is the same in principle.

1. Update the Model

Update the model to store the error details that we receive from the server. Find the Model type in src/Client/Index.fs and add it the following Errors field:

type Model =
    { ... // the rest of the fields
      Errors: string list }

Now, bind an empty list to the field record inside the init function:

let model =
    { ... // the rest of the fields
      Errors = [] }

2. Add an Error Message Handler

We now add a new message to handle errors that we get back from the server after making a request. Add the following case to the Msg type:

type Msg =
    | ... // other message cases
    | GotError of exn

3. Handle the new Message

In this simple example, we will simply capture the Message of the exception. Add the following line to the end of the pattern match inside the update function:

| GotError ex ->
    { model with Errors = ex.Message :: model.Errors }, Cmd.none

The following steps will vary depending on whether you’re using the standard template or the minimal one.

4. Connect Server Errors to Elmish

We now have to connect up the server response to the new message we created. Elmish has support for this through the either Cmd functions (instead of the perform functions). Make the following changes to your server call:

I Am Using the Standard Template
let cmd = Cmd.OfAsync.perform todosApi.getTodos () GotTodos

…and replace it with the following:

let cmd = Cmd.OfAsync.either todosApi.getTodos () GotTodos GotError
I Am Using the Minimal Template
let cmd = Cmd.OfPromise.perform getHello () GotHello

…and replace it with the following:

let cmd = Cmd.OfPromise.either getHello () GotHello GotError


Now, if you get an exception from the Server, its message will be added to the Errors field of the Model type. Instead of throwing the error, you can now display a meaningful text to the user like so:

[ for msg in errorMessages do
    p [] [ str msg ]