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Loaders (experimental)

Loaders (experimental) are asynchronous functions that load data for a story and its decorators. A story's loaders run before the story renders, and the loaded data injected into the story via its render context.

Loaders can be used to load any asset, lazy load components, or fetch data from a remote API. This feature was designed as a performance optimization to handle large story imports. However, args is the recommended way to manage story data. We're building up an ecosystem of tools and techniques around Args that might not be compatible with loaded data.

They are an advanced feature (i.e., escape hatch), and we only recommend using them if you have a specific need that other means can't fulfill. They are experimental in Storybook 6.1, and the APIs are subject to change outside of the normal semver cycle.

Fetching API data

Stories are isolated component examples that render internal data defined as part of the story or alongside the story as args.

Loaders are helpful when you need to load story data externally (e.g., from a remote API). Consider the following example that fetches a todo item to display in a todo list:

The response obtained from the remote API call is combined into a loaded field on the story context, which is the second argument to a story function. For example, in React, the story's args were spread first to prioritize them over the static data provided by the loader. With other frameworks (e.g., Angular), you can write your stories as you'd usually do.

Global loaders

We can also set a loader for all stories via the loaders export of your .storybook/preview.js file (this is the file where you configure all stories):

In this example, we load a "current user" available as loaded.currentUser for all stories.

Loader inheritance

Like parameters, loaders can be defined globally, at the component level, and for a single story (as we’ve seen).

All loaders, defined at all levels that apply to a story, run before the story renders in Storybook's canvas.

  • All loaders run in parallel
  • All results are the loaded field in the story context
  • If there are keys that overlap, "later" loaders take precedence (from lowest to highest):
    • Global loaders, in the order they are defined
    • Component loaders, in the order they are defined
    • Story loaders, in the order they are defined

Known limitations

Loaders have the following known limitations:

  • They are not yet compatible with the storyshots addon (#12703).
  • They are not yet compatible with inline-rendered stories in Storybook Docs (#12726).

If you're interested in contributing to this feature, read our contribution guide and submit a pull request with your work.

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