Tasker - a task manager with async await and url session management

Warning: This is alpha software right now and is open to wiledly breaking suggestions

CocoaPods Version Carthage compatible Swift Build Status codecov license

Full API docs

Tasker is a task manager that’s built on top of OperationQueue and GCD that has notions of interception and reaction. Interceptors allow you to modify a task before it’s executed and also allow you to control the execution of a task (e.g. batch them, hold them, cancel them, etc.). Reactors allow you do something in reaction to the a task’s completion before the result is passed to the caller (e.g. run a job, requeue the task, cancel the task, etc).

Tasker also provides task managerment of URLSession and async/await functionality


  • Concurrent task management system
  • Task interception and enrichment
  • Task requeing and reaction functionnality
  • Spcialized URLSession handling to intercept and reactor to URLRequests
  • Async and await functionality
  • Async/await on an arrays of tasks

Quick look

// Create a task object
class MyTask: Task {
    typealias SuccessValue = (data: Data?, response: URLResponse?)
    func execute(completion: @escaping CompletionCallback) {
        URLSession.shared.dataTask(with: request) { (data, response, error) in
            if let error = error {
            } else {
                completion(.success(data, response))

// Or create a task out of anything else
let t = task(someLongRunningFunction())

// Run it in one of three ways:

// Await
do {
    let a: MyTask.SuccessValue = try MyTask().await()
    let b = t.await()
} catch {
    // error

// Async
MyTask().async { result in
    // got result

// TaskManager
TaskManager.shared.add(task: MyTask()) {result in
    // got result


A task is any unit of work that is to be carried out. It is protocol based and has a main function called execute that is called when the task is supposed to be executed. When a task is completed, a callback with a Result<T, Error> is called by the implementation of the Task.


class DecodeImage: Task {
    func execute(completion: @escaping Result<DecodedData, Error>) {
        fetchImageData { data in
            do {
                let decodedData = data.decode()
            } catch {

Note that tasks are reference types. They must be because they are easier to reason about and they can be intercepted and reacted to so if we made copies and passed them around you’d have to be very careful with state. When a task is finished, the completion callback is called with the result of the task.

If for any reason, the task is cancelled, the task’s didCancel function is called and you are free to handle that as you see fit. For e.g.

class DecodeImage: Task {
    var task: URLSessionTask
    func execute(completion: @escaping Result<Data, Error>) {
        task = URLSession.shared.dataTask(...)
    func didCancel(with error: Error) {
        // Cancel your URLSessionTask

Creating a task

There’re a number of ways you can create a task. One is by implementing the Task protocol, as we’ve seen above. And then there’re a number of other ways:

  1. AnyTask: This type can be used to create a task out of a block swift AnyTask { 5 } // Task that returns 5, no failure value AnyTask { Result<Int, Error>.success(5) } // Task that returns Result<T, Error> AnyTask { cb in cb(.success(5)) } // Task that calls the done callback
  2. task(closingOver:): This creates a task closing over it’s value swift let t = task(closingOver: someLongOperation())
  3. task(executing:): Creates a task out of functions that have a compatable done callback: swift let f1: (() -> T) -> Void = //... let t1 = task(executing: f1) let f2: (() -> Result<T, Error>) -> Void = //... let t2 = task(executing: f2)

Starting a task

To start a task you can either

  1. create a TaskManager instance
  2. use the default one provided
  3. call async(...) or await(...) on it
// Create a task
let manager = TaskManager()
manager.add(task: DecodeImage())

// Use the default
TaskManager.shared.add(task: DecodeImage())

Tasks are started as soon as you add them. You can also choose to start one later, or after a specific interval:

// Start a task later:
let handle = TaskManager.shared.add(task: DecodeImage(), startImmediately: false)
// ...

// Start a task after some interval
TaskManager.shared.add(task: DecodeImage(), after: .seconds(30))

Everytime you add a task you get back a handle that can start or cancel a task. You can also query the state of a task, each task is given an incremented identifier.

Intercepting a task

Every task is intercepted before it is executed by the TaskManager that owns it. You can control how a task is intercepted by implementing a Interceptor, which has one method:

func intercept<T: Task>(task: inout T, currentBatchCount: Int) -> InterceptCommand

Intercept is called with a reference to the task that is about to be executed. You can modify the reference to the task and the command you return will determine what happens to the task. One of the parameters is a currentBatchCount; this is there because you can hold a task, so this tells you how many is held. Useful for batching events to an analytics system for e.g. See the docs for details on InterceptCommand.

You enable an interceptor by passing an array of interceptors to a TaskManager object upon creation only.

Reacting to a task

After a task is done executing, it’s time for reactors to be called. Reactors allow you to re-process a task if the need arises, or cancel a task that you deem unworthy to complete. You enable reactors by passing an array of them to a TaskManager object upon creation (just like interceptors).

A reactor is first asked if it is supposed to execute. It is given the task that just completed, the result of that task’s execution, and the task handle that owns it. If Reactor.shouldExecute(...) returns true, then Reactor.execute(...) function is called.

Every reactor can have its own ReactorConfiguration, which can control how the TaskManager behaves while a reaction is in progress. For example if you want no more tasks to be executed while you are executing the reactor, or if you want to re-execute the task that caused this reaction, after the reactor is done.

Cancelling a task

Whenever you add a task to a task manager, you get back a handle that is unique to that task. The Handle can be used to cancel a task.

let handle = TaskManager.shared.add(task: DecodeImage(), startImmediately: false)
// ...

And then Task.didCancel(...) is called in response to that with TaskError.cancelled. The didCancel method could also be called as a result of other errors.

Reintercepting tasks after a reaction

An interceptor is only run once on a task by default. The case where you would want to re-reun an interceptor would be if a reaction caused a requeuing of the task. In that case, whether or not a task is reintercepted depends on the reactor configuration. You can set ReactorConfiguration.reinterceptOnRequeue to control this behavior.


Async await functionality comes out of the box with Tasker. You can execute a Task you create directly synchronously or asynchronously by calling the extension async or await functions on your task:

do {
    let data = try DecodeImage().await()
} catch {


DecodeImage().async { result in

As free functions over closures.

async can be called on any expression as an @autoclosure:

 async(loadVideoFileSync()) { result in
    switch result {
    case let .success(videoFile):
    case let .failure(error):

And await can be called on any closure that has the following signatures:

  • @escaping (@escaping (T) -> Void) -> Void
  • @escaping (@escaping () -> Void) -> Void
  • @escaping (@escaping (Result<T, Error>) -> Void) -> Void

Each of the closures has a single parameter. One that returns a T which is the result of the await operation. One that retuns nothing, i.e. await returns Void and one that returns a Result<T, Error> object. If the result is a failure, then await throws.


let number = try? await { (done: @escaping (Int) -> Void) -> Void in
    DispatchQueue.global(qos: .unspecified).async {
        // Do some long running calculation
        done(5) // return 5

 XCTAssertEqual(number, 5)

On an array of tasks

There are extensions available on the Array type that you can use to call async or await on an array of tasks of the same type.


var tasks: [Task] = []
for i in 0..<10 {
    tasks.append(AnyTask { i })
let results = try! tasks.await()

You can choose to execute the tasks in order or not.


The idea behind the URLTaskManager is that it creates a URLSession object that is tied to a TaskManager so that you can call interceptors and reactors on URLRequests. This is very useful for example if you need to add headers to all your requests that are going out. You simply add an interceptor that inserts an authorization header. If for e.g. you need to refresh any tokens after a URLRequest fails, a reactor can come in handy - requeue the task, fetch a new auth token, and done.

To create a URLTaskManager you can optionally pass in a URLSessionConfiguration (just as you would when creating a URLSession object), and an array of URLTaskInterceptors and URLTaskReactors:

let urlTaskManager = URLTaskManager(interceptors: [MyInterceptor()], reactors: [Myreactors()])

And then you use the internal URLSession object to make requests

urlTaskManager.session.dataTask(with: URL(...)) { data, response, error in
    // the URLTask that's associated with this will be intercepted and reacted to
    // by MyInterceptor and MyReactor

Intercepting and reacting

The URLTaskManager works with a type URLTask which encapsulates a URLRequest object. The URLTask is the Task object that you can intercept with a URLTaskInterceptor or react to with a URLTaskReactor:

Here we create a task interceptor that contains a hypothetical user object and adds an authorization header for the user object whenever the request is going to go out:

class Interceptor: URLTaskInterceptor {
    // ...
    func intercept(task: inout URLTask, currentBatchCount _: Int) -> InterceptCommand {
            .addValue(self.user.authorization, forHTTPHeaderField: "Authorization")
        return .execute

And here we have a reactor that also contains a hypothetical user object and performs a OAuth2 token refresh operation when the result is a 401 failure:

class Reactor: URLTaskReactor {
    func execute(done: @escaping (Error?) -> Void) {
        // For example one could refresh the authorization tokens here
        user.refreshAuthorizationToken { result in
            switch result {
            case .success:
            case let .failure(value):

        func shouldExecute(after result: URLT.Result, from task: URLTask, with _: Handle) -> Bool {
            // One can return true if there's a 401 UNAUTHORIZED http response code.
            if case let .success(value) = result {
                return value.(response as? HTTPURLResponse)?.statusCode == 401
            return false

Debugging and Logging

Logging facilities are provided by the library for debugging purposes mainly. To enable them you need to add a transport to the shared logger:

Logger.shared.addTransport { print($0) }

The above will log all messages to stdout. There’s also a number of filters that can be applied if you want to debug certain parts. The filters revolve around tags and there’re a number of redefined tags that the shared logger uses. See LogTags in the docs