shareReplay

signature: shareReplay(bufferSize?: number, windowTime?: number, scheduler?I IScheduler): Observable

Share source and replay specified number of emissions on subscription.

Why use shareReplay?

You generally want to use shareReplay when you have side-effects or taxing computations that you do not wish to be executed amongst multiple subscribers. It may also be valuable in situations where you know you will have late subscribers to a stream that need access to previously emitted values. This ability to replay values on subscription is what differentiates share and shareReplay.

For instance, suppose you have an observable that emits the last visited url. In the first example we are going to use share:

// simulate url change with subject
const routeEnd = new Subject<{data: any, url: string}>();

// grab url and share with subscribers
const lastUrl = routeEnd.pipe(
  pluck('url'),
  share()
);

// initial subscriber required
const initialSubscriber = lastUrl.subscribe(console.log);

// simulate route change
routeEnd.next({data: {}, url: 'my-path'});

// nothing logged
const lateSubscriber = lastUrl.subscribe(console.log);

In the above example nothing is logged as the lateSubscriber subscribes to the source. Now suppose instead we wanted to give access to the last emitted value on subscription, we can accomplish this with shareReplay:

import { Subject } from 'rxjs/Subject';
import { ReplaySubject } from 'rxjs/ReplaySubject';
import { pluck, share, shareReplay, tap } from 'rxjs/operators';

// simulate url change with subject
const routeEnd = new Subject<{data: any, url: string}>();

// grab url and share with subscribers
const lastUrl = routeEnd.pipe(
  tap(_ => console.log('executed')),
  pluck('url'),
  // defaults to all values so we set it to just keep and replay last one
  shareReplay(1)
);

// requires initial subscription
const initialSubscriber = lastUrl.subscribe(console.log);

// simulate route change
// logged: 'executed', 'my-path'
routeEnd.next({data: {}, url: 'my-path'});

// logged: 'my-path'
const lateSubscriber = lastUrl.subscribe(console.log);

Note that this is similar behavior to what you would see if you subscribed a ReplaySubject to the lastUrl stream, then subscribed to that Subject:

// simulate url change with subject
const routeEnd = new Subject<{data: any, url: string}>();

// instead of using shareReplay, use ReplaySubject
const shareWithReplay = new ReplaySubject();

// grab url and share with subscribers
const lastUrl = routeEnd.pipe(
  pluck('url')
)
.subscribe(val => shareWithReplay.next(val));

// simulate route change
routeEnd.next({data: {}, url: 'my-path'});

// subscribe to ReplaySubject instead
// logged: 'my path'
shareWithReplay.subscribe(console.log);

In fact, if we dig into the source code we can see a very similar technique is being used. When a subscription is made, shareReplay will subscribe to the source, sending values through an internal ReplaySubject:

( source )

  return function shareReplayOperation(this: Subscriber<T>, source: Observable<T>) {
    refCount++;
    if (!subject || hasError) {
      hasError = false;
      subject = new ReplaySubject<T>(bufferSize, windowTime, scheduler);
      subscription = source.subscribe({
        next(value) { subject.next(value); },
        error(err) {
          hasError = true;
          subject.error(err);
        },
        complete() {
          isComplete = true;
          subject.complete();
        },
      });
    }


    const innerSub = subject.subscribe(this);


    return () => {
      refCount--;
      innerSub.unsubscribe();
      if (subscription && refCount === 0 && isComplete) {
        subscription.unsubscribe();
      }
    };
  };
}

Examples

Example 1: Multiple subscribers sharing source

( Stackblitz )

import { Subject } from 'rxjs/Subject';
import { ReplaySubject } from 'rxjs/ReplaySubject';
import { pluck, share, shareReplay, tap } from 'rxjs/operators';

// simulate url change with subject
const routeEnd = new Subject<{data: any, url: string}>();
// grab url and share with subscribers
const lastUrl = routeEnd.pipe(
  tap(_ => console.log('executed')),
  pluck('url'),
  // defaults to all values so we set it to just keep and replay last one
  shareReplay(1)
);
// requires initial subscription
const initialSubscriber = lastUrl.subscribe(console.log)
// simulate route change
// logged: 'executed', 'my-path'
routeEnd.next({data: {}, url: 'my-path'});
// logged: 'my-path'
const lateSubscriber = lastUrl.subscribe(console.log);

Additional Resources


:file_folder: Source Code: https://github.com/ReactiveX/rxjs/blob/master/src/internal/operators/shareReplay.ts

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