ASP.NET Core Blazor synchronization context

Blazor uses a synchronization context (SynchronizationContext) to enforce a single logical thread of execution. A component's lifecycle methods and event callbacks raised by Blazor are executed on the synchronization context.

Blazor's server-side synchronization context attempts to emulate a single-threaded environment so that it closely matches the WebAssembly model in the browser, which is single threaded. This emulation is scoped only to an individual circuit, meaning two different circuits can run in parallel. At any given point in time within a circuit, work is performed on exactly one thread, which yields the impression of a single logical thread. No two operations execute concurrently within the same circuit.

Avoid thread-blocking calls

Generally, don't call the following methods in components. The following methods block the execution thread and thus block the app from resuming work until the underlying Task is complete:

Note

Blazor documentation examples that use the thread-blocking methods mentioned in this section are only using the methods for demonstration purposes, not as recommended coding guidance. For example, a few component code demonstrations simulate a long-running process by calling Thread.Sleep.

Invoke component methods externally to update state

In the event a component must be updated based on an external event, such as a timer or other notification, use the InvokeAsync method, which dispatches code execution to Blazor's synchronization context. For example, consider the following notifier service that can notify any listening component about updated state. The Update method can be called from anywhere in the app.

TimerService.cs:

namespace BlazorSample;

public class TimerService(NotifierService notifier, 
    ILogger<TimerService> logger) : IDisposable
{
    private int elapsedCount;
    private readonly static TimeSpan heartbeatTickRate = TimeSpan.FromSeconds(5);
    private readonly ILogger<TimerService> logger = logger;
    private readonly NotifierService notifier = notifier;
    private PeriodicTimer? timer;

    public async Task Start()
    {
        if (timer is null)
        {
            timer = new(heartbeatTickRate);
            logger.LogInformation("Started");

            using (timer)
            {
                while (await timer.WaitForNextTickAsync())
                {
                    elapsedCount += 1;
                    await notifier.Update("elapsedCount", elapsedCount);
                    logger.LogInformation("ElapsedCount {Count}", elapsedCount);
                }
            }
        }
    }

    public void Dispose()
    {
        timer?.Dispose();

        // The following prevents derived types that introduce a
        // finalizer from needing to re-implement IDisposable.
        GC.SuppressFinalize(this);
    }
}
public class TimerService : IDisposable
{
    private int elapsedCount;
    private readonly static TimeSpan heartbeatTickRate = TimeSpan.FromSeconds(5);
    private readonly ILogger<TimerService> logger;
    private readonly NotifierService notifier;
    private PeriodicTimer? timer;

    public TimerService(NotifierService notifier,
        ILogger<TimerService> logger)
    {
        this.notifier = notifier;
        this.logger = logger;
    }

    public async Task Start()
    {
        if (timer is null)
        {
            timer = new(heartbeatTickRate);
            logger.LogInformation("Started");

            using (timer)
            {
                while (await timer.WaitForNextTickAsync())
                {
                    elapsedCount += 1;
                    await notifier.Update("elapsedCount", elapsedCount);
                    logger.LogInformation($"elapsedCount: {elapsedCount}");
                }
            }
        }
    }

    public void Dispose()
    {
        timer?.Dispose();
    }
}
public class TimerService : IDisposable
{
    private int elapsedCount;
    private readonly static TimeSpan heartbeatTickRate = TimeSpan.FromSeconds(5);
    private readonly ILogger<TimerService> logger;
    private readonly NotifierService notifier;
    private PeriodicTimer? timer;

    public TimerService(NotifierService notifier,
        ILogger<TimerService> logger)
    {
        this.notifier = notifier;
        this.logger = logger;
    }

    public async Task Start()
    {
        if (timer is null)
        {
            timer = new(heartbeatTickRate);
            logger.LogInformation("Started");

            using (timer)
            {
                while (await timer.WaitForNextTickAsync())
                {
                    elapsedCount += 1;
                    await notifier.Update("elapsedCount", elapsedCount);
                    logger.LogInformation($"elapsedCount: {elapsedCount}");
                }
            }
        }
    }

    public void Dispose()
    {
        timer?.Dispose();
    }
}
using System;
using System.Timers;
using Microsoft.Extensions.Logging;

public class TimerService : IDisposable
{
    private int elapsedCount;
    private readonly ILogger<TimerService> logger;
    private readonly NotifierService notifier;
    private Timer timer;

    public TimerService(NotifierService notifier, ILogger<TimerService> logger)
    {
        this.notifier = notifier;
        this.logger = logger;
    }

    public void Start()
    {
        if (timer is null)
        {
            timer = new();
            timer.AutoReset = true;
            timer.Interval = 10000;
            timer.Elapsed += HandleTimer;
            timer.Enabled = true;
            logger.LogInformation("Started");
        }
    }

    private async void HandleTimer(object source, ElapsedEventArgs e)
    {
        elapsedCount += 1;
        await notifier.Update("elapsedCount", elapsedCount);
        logger.LogInformation($"elapsedCount: {elapsedCount}");
    }

    public void Dispose()
    {
        timer?.Dispose();
    }
}
using System;
using System.Timers;
using Microsoft.Extensions.Logging;

public class TimerService : IDisposable
{
    private int elapsedCount;
    private readonly ILogger<TimerService> logger;
    private readonly NotifierService notifier;
    private Timer timer;

    public TimerService(NotifierService notifier, ILogger<TimerService> logger)
    {
        this.notifier = notifier;
        this.logger = logger;
    }

    public void Start()
    {
        if (timer is null)
        {
            timer = new Timer();
            timer.AutoReset = true;
            timer.Interval = 10000;
            timer.Elapsed += HandleTimer;
            timer.Enabled = true;
            logger.LogInformation("Started");
        }
    }

    private async void HandleTimer(object source, ElapsedEventArgs e)
    {
        elapsedCount += 1;
        await notifier.Update("elapsedCount", elapsedCount);
        logger.LogInformation($"elapsedCount: {elapsedCount}");
    }

    public void Dispose()
    {
        timer?.Dispose();
    }
}

NotifierService.cs:

namespace BlazorSample;

public class NotifierService
{
    public async Task Update(string key, int value)
    {
        if (Notify != null)
        {
            await Notify.Invoke(key, value);
        }
    }

    public event Func<string, int, Task>? Notify;
}
public class NotifierService
{
    public async Task Update(string key, int value)
    {
        if (Notify != null)
        {
            await Notify.Invoke(key, value);
        }
    }

    public event Func<string, int, Task>? Notify;
}
public class NotifierService
{
    public async Task Update(string key, int value)
    {
        if (Notify != null)
        {
            await Notify.Invoke(key, value);
        }
    }

    public event Func<string, int, Task>? Notify;
}
using System;
using System.Threading.Tasks;

public class NotifierService
{
    public async Task Update(string key, int value)
    {
        if (Notify != null)
        {
            await Notify.Invoke(key, value);
        }
    }

    public event Func<string, int, Task> Notify;
}
using System;
using System.Threading.Tasks;

public class NotifierService
{
    public async Task Update(string key, int value)
    {
        if (Notify != null)
        {
            await Notify.Invoke(key, value);
        }
    }

    public event Func<string, int, Task> Notify;
}

Register the services:

  • For client-side development, register the services as singletons in the client-side Program file:

    builder.Services.AddSingleton<NotifierService>();
    builder.Services.AddSingleton<TimerService>();
    
  • For server-side development, register the services as scoped in the server Program file:

    builder.Services.AddScoped<NotifierService>();
    builder.Services.AddScoped<TimerService>();
    

Use the NotifierService to update a component.

Notifications.razor:

@page "/notifications"
@implements IDisposable
@inject NotifierService Notifier
@inject TimerService Timer

<PageTitle>Notifications</PageTitle>

<h1>Notifications Example</h1>

<h2>Timer Service</h2>

<button @onclick="StartTimer">Start Timer</button>

<h2>Notifications</h2>

<p>
    Status:
    @if (lastNotification.key is not null)
    {
        <span>@lastNotification.key = @lastNotification.value</span>
    }
    else
    {
        <span>Awaiting notification</span>
    }
</p>

@code {
    private (string key, int value) lastNotification;

    protected override void OnInitialized()
    {
        Notifier.Notify += OnNotify;
    }

    public async Task OnNotify(string key, int value)
    {
        await InvokeAsync(() =>
        {
            lastNotification = (key, value);
            StateHasChanged();
        });
    }

    private void StartTimer()
    {
        _ = Task.Run(Timer.Start);
    }

    public void Dispose() => Notifier.Notify -= OnNotify;
}

ReceiveNotifications.razor:

@page "/receive-notifications"
@implements IDisposable
@inject NotifierService Notifier
@inject TimerService Timer

<h1>Receive Notifications</h1>

<h2>Timer Service</h2>

<button @onclick="StartTimer">Start Timer</button>

<h2>Notifications</h2>

<p>
    Status:
    @if (lastNotification.key is not null)
    {
        <span>@lastNotification.key = @lastNotification.value</span>
    }
    else
    {
        <span>Awaiting notification</span>
    }
</p>

@code {
    private (string key, int value) lastNotification;

    protected override void OnInitialized()
    {
        Notifier.Notify += OnNotify;
    }

    public async Task OnNotify(string key, int value)
    {
        await InvokeAsync(() =>
        {
            lastNotification = (key, value);
            StateHasChanged();
        });
    }

    private void StartTimer()
    {
        _ = Task.Run(Timer.Start);
    }

    public void Dispose()
    {
        Notifier.Notify -= OnNotify;
    }
}

ReceiveNotifications.razor:

@page "/receive-notifications"
@implements IDisposable
@inject NotifierService Notifier
@inject TimerService Timer

<h1>Receive Notifications</h1>

<h2>Timer Service</h2>

<button @onclick="StartTimer">Start Timer</button>

<h2>Notifications</h2>

<p>
    Status:
    @if (lastNotification.key is not null)
    {
        <span>@lastNotification.key = @lastNotification.value</span>
    }
    else
    {
        <span>Awaiting notification</span>
    }
</p>

@code {
    private (string key, int value) lastNotification;

    protected override void OnInitialized()
    {
        Notifier.Notify += OnNotify;
    }

    public async Task OnNotify(string key, int value)
    {
        await InvokeAsync(() =>
        {
            lastNotification = (key, value);
            StateHasChanged();
        });
    }

    private void StartTimer()
    {
        _ = Task.Run(Timer.Start);
    }

    public void Dispose()
    {
        Notifier.Notify -= OnNotify;
    }
}

ReceiveNotifications.razor:

@page "/receive-notifications"
@implements IDisposable
@inject NotifierService Notifier
@inject TimerService Timer

<h1>Receive Notifications</h1>

<h2>Timer Service</h2>

<button @onclick="StartTimer">Start Timer</button>

<h2>Notifications</h2>

<p>
    Status:
    @if (lastNotification.key is not null)
    {
        <span>@lastNotification.key = @lastNotification.value</span>
    }
    else
    {
        <span>Awaiting notification</span>
    }
</p>

@code {
    private (string key, int value) lastNotification;

    protected override void OnInitialized()
    {
        Notifier.Notify += OnNotify;
    }

    public async Task OnNotify(string key, int value)
    {
        await InvokeAsync(() =>
        {
            lastNotification = (key, value);
            StateHasChanged();
        });
    }

    private void StartTimer()
    {
        Timer.Start();
    }

    public void Dispose()
    {
        Notifier.Notify -= OnNotify;
    }
}

ReceiveNotifications.razor:

@page "/receive-notifications"
@implements IDisposable
@inject NotifierService Notifier
@inject TimerService Timer

<h1>Receive Notifications</h1>

<h2>Timer Service</h2>

<button @onclick="StartTimer">Start Timer</button>

<h2>Notifications</h2>

<p>
    Status:
    @if (lastNotification.key != null)
    {
        <span>@lastNotification.key = @lastNotification.value</span>
    }
    else
    {
        <span>Awaiting notification</span>
    }
</p>

@code {
    private (string key, int value) lastNotification;

    protected override void OnInitialized()
    {
        Notifier.Notify += OnNotify;
    }

    public async Task OnNotify(string key, int value)
    {
        await InvokeAsync(() =>
        {
            lastNotification = (key, value);
            StateHasChanged();
        });
    }

    private void StartTimer()
    {
        Timer.Start();
    }

    public void Dispose()
    {
        Notifier.Notify -= OnNotify;
    }
}

In the preceding example:

  • The timer is initiated outside of Blazor's synchronization context with _ = Task.Run(Timer.Start).
  • NotifierService invokes the component's OnNotify method. InvokeAsync is used to switch to the correct context and queue a render. For more information, see ASP.NET Core Razor component rendering.
  • The component implements IDisposable. The OnNotify delegate is unsubscribed in the Dispose method, which is called by the framework when the component is disposed. For more information, see ASP.NET Core Razor component lifecycle.
  • NotifierService invokes the component's OnNotify method outside of Blazor's synchronization context. InvokeAsync is used to switch to the correct context and queue a render. For more information, see ASP.NET Core Razor component rendering.
  • The component implements IDisposable. The OnNotify delegate is unsubscribed in the Dispose method, which is called by the framework when the component is disposed. For more information, see ASP.NET Core Razor component lifecycle.

Important

If a Razor component defines an event that's triggered from a background thread, the component might be required to capture and restore the execution context (ExecutionContext) at the time the handler is registered. For more information, see Calling InvokeAsync(StateHasChanged) causes page to fallback to default culture (dotnet/aspnetcore #28521).

To dispatch caught exceptions from the background TimerService to the component to treat the exceptions like normal lifecycle event exceptions, see the Handle caught exceptions outside of a Razor component's lifecycle section.

Handle caught exceptions outside of a Razor component's lifecycle

Use ComponentBase.DispatchExceptionAsync in a Razor component to process exceptions thrown outside of the component's lifecycle call stack. This permits the component's code to treat exceptions as though they're lifecycle method exceptions. Thereafter, Blazor's error handling mechanisms, such as error boundaries, can process the exceptions.

Note

ComponentBase.DispatchExceptionAsync is used in Razor component files (.razor) that inherit from ComponentBase. When creating components that implement IComponent directly, use RenderHandle.DispatchExceptionAsync.

To handle caught exceptions outside of a Razor component's lifecycle, pass the exception to DispatchExceptionAsync and await the result:

try
{
    ...
}
catch (Exception ex)
{
    await DispatchExceptionAsync(ex);
}

A common scenario for the preceding approach is when a component starts an asynchronous operation but doesn't await a Task, often called the fire and forget pattern because the method is fired (started) and the result of the method is forgotten (thrown away). If the operation fails, you may want the component to treat the failure as a component lifecycle exception for any of the following goals:

  • Put the component into a faulted state, for example, to trigger an error boundary.
  • Terminate the circuit if there's no error boundary.
  • Trigger the same logging that occurs for lifecycle exceptions.

In the following example, the user selects the Send report button to trigger a background method, ReportSender.SendAsync, that sends a report. In most cases, a component awaits the Task of an asynchronous call and updates the UI to indicate the operation completed. In the following example, the SendReport method doesn't await a Task and doesn't report the result to the user. Because the component intentionally discards the Task in SendReport, any asynchronous failures occur off of the normal lifecycle call stack, hence aren't seen by Blazor:

<button @onclick="SendReport">Send report</button>

@code {
    private void SendReport()
    {
        _ = ReportSender.SendAsync();
    }
}

To treat failures like lifecycle method exceptions, explicitly dispatch exceptions back to the component with DispatchExceptionAsync, as the following example demonstrates:

<button @onclick="SendReport">Send report</button>

@code {
    private void SendReport()
    {
        _ = SendReportAsync();
    }

    private async Task SendReportAsync()
    {
        try
        {
            await ReportSender.SendAsync();
        }
        catch (Exception ex)
        {
            await DispatchExceptionAsync(ex);
        }
    }
}

An alternative approach leverages Task.Run:

private void SendReport()
{
    _ = Task.Run(async () =>
    {
        try
        {
            await ReportSender.SendAsync();
        }
        catch (Exception ex)
        {
            await DispatchExceptionAsync(ex);
        }
    });
}

For a working demonstration, implement the timer notification example in Invoke component methods externally to update state. In a Blazor app, add the following files from the timer notification example and register the services in the Program file as the section explains:

  • TimerService.cs
  • NotifierService.cs
  • Notifications.razor

The example uses a timer outside of a Razor component's lifecycle, where an unhandled exception normally isn't processed by Blazor's error handling mechanisms, such as an error boundary.

First, change the code in TimerService.cs to create an artificial exception outside of the component's lifecycle. In the while loop of TimerService.cs, throw an exception when the elapsedCount reaches a value of two:

if (elapsedCount == 2)
{
    throw new Exception("I threw an exception! Somebody help me!");
}

Place an error boundary in the app's main layout. Replace the <article>...</article> markup with the following markup.

In MainLayout.razor:

<article class="content px-4">
    <ErrorBoundary>
        <ChildContent>
            @Body
        </ChildContent>
        <ErrorContent>
            <p class="alert alert-danger" role="alert">
                Oh, dear! Oh, my! - George Takei
            </p>
        </ErrorContent>
    </ErrorBoundary>
</article>

In Blazor Web Apps with the error boundary only applied to a static MainLayout component, the boundary is only active during the static server-side rendering (static SSR) phase. The boundary doesn't activate just because a component further down the component hierarchy is interactive. To enable interactivity broadly for the MainLayout component and the rest of the components further down the component hierarchy, enable interactive rendering for the HeadOutlet and Routes component instances in the App component (Components/App.razor). The following example adopts the Interactive Server (InteractiveServer) render mode:

<HeadOutlet @rendermode="InteractiveServer" />

...

<Routes @rendermode="InteractiveServer" />

If you run the app at this point, the exception is thrown when the elapsed count reaches a value of two. However, the UI doesn't change. The error boundary doesn't show the error content.

To dispatch exceptions from the timer service back to the Notifications component, the following changes are made to the component:

  • Start the timer in a try-catch statement. In the catch clause of the try-catch block, exceptions are dispatched back to the component by passing the Exception to DispatchExceptionAsync and awaiting the result.
  • In the StartTimer method, start the asynchronous timer service in the Action delegate of Task.Run and intentionally discard the returned Task.

The StartTimer method of the Notifications component (Notifications.razor):

private void StartTimer()
{
    _ = Task.Run(async () =>
    {
        try
        {
            await Timer.Start();
        }
        catch (Exception ex)
        {
            await DispatchExceptionAsync(ex);
        }
    });
}

When the timer service executes and reaches a count of two, the exception is dispatched to the Razor component, which in turn triggers the error boundary to display the error content of the <ErrorBoundary> in the MainLayout component:

Oh, dear! Oh, my! - George Takei