# Asynchronous validation

You can define formats and keywords that perform validation asynchronously by accessing database or some other service. You should add async: true in the keyword or format definition (see addFormat, addKeyword and User-defined keywords).

If your schema uses asynchronous formats/keywords or refers to some schema that contains them it should have "$async": true keyword so that Ajv can compile it correctly. If asynchronous format/keyword or reference to asynchronous schema is used in the schema without $async keyword Ajv will throw an exception during schema compilation.

Use $async: true in referenced schemas

All asynchronous subschemas that are referenced from the current or other schemas should have "$async": true keyword as well, otherwise the schema compilation will fail.

Validation function for an asynchronous format/keyword should return a promise that resolves with true or false (or rejects with new Ajv.ValidationError(errors) if you want to return errors from the keyword function).

Ajv compiles asynchronous schemas to async functions (opens new window). Async functions are supported in Node.js 7+ and all modern browsers. You can supply a transpiler as a function via processCode option. See Options.

The compiled validation function has $async: true property (if the schema is asynchronous), so you can differentiate these functions if you are using both synchronous and asynchronous schemas.

Validation result will be a promise that resolves with validated data or rejects with an exception Ajv.ValidationError that contains the array of validation errors in errors property.


const ajv = new Ajv()

  keyword: "idExists"
  async: true,
  type: "number",
  validate: checkIdExists,

async function checkIdExists(schema, data) {
  // this is just an example, you would want to avoid SQL injection in your code
  const rows = await sql(`SELECT id FROM ${schema.table} WHERE id = ${data}`)
  return !!rows.length // true if record is found

const schema = {
  $async: true,
  properties: {
    userId: {
      type: "integer",
      idExists: {table: "users"},
    postId: {
      type: "integer",
      idExists: {table: "posts"},

const validate = ajv.compile(schema)

validate({userId: 1, postId: 19})
  .then(function (data) {
    console.log("Data is valid", data) // { userId: 1, postId: 19 }
  .catch(function (err) {
    if (!(err instanceof Ajv.ValidationError)) throw err
    // data is invalid
    console.log("Validation errors:", err.errors)

# Using transpilers

const ajv = new Ajv({processCode: transpileFunc})
const validate = ajv.compile(schema) // transpiled es7 async function

See Options.