Is there a better way to make an ajax request from a theme component?

I’ve built a theme component that renders when you’re viewing a user’s profile. It makes an ajax request to a separate website (which I control) to check whether the discourse user has an account there (sending the discourse user id in the url). If so, it renders a link to their account on that website.

It’s working, but I’m fairly certain it’s awful hackery that would make a discourse developer sick! So I wanted to ask whether there’s a better way to do it? I’m a JavaScript and ruby developer, but I’ve never worked with Ember (I’ve used Vue, Backbone, and React).

<script type="text/discourse-plugin" version="0.8.7">
    const {ajax} = require('discourse/lib/ajax')

    api.registerConnectorClass('user-profile-primary', 'custom-profile-link', {
      setupComponent(args, component) {
    api.modifyClass('model:user', {
      fetchPersonnelMember: function () {
        console.log('running!', ajax)
        const urlTemplate = settings.personnel_lookup_url // e.g. ""

        const url = urlTemplate.replace(/%s/,
        return ajax(url).then((result) => {
            if (result.status == true && {
              this.setProperties({personnelMember: result.member})
      personnelLinkUrl: function () {
        if (this.personnelMember) {
          const viewUrlTemplate = settings.personnel_view_url // e.g. ""
          return viewUrlTemplate.replace(/%s/,
      personnelLinkName: function () {
        return this.personnelMember ? this.personnelMember.short_name : ''

<script type='text/x-handlebars' data-template-name='/connectors/user-profile-primary/custom-profile-link'>
  {{#if model.personnelLinkUrl}}
    <div class="public-user-fields">
      <div class="public-user-field">
        <span class="user-field-name">
          {{theme-setting 'personnel_label'}}
        <span class="user-field-value">
          <a href="{{{model.personnelLinkUrl}}}">{{model.personnelLinkName}}</a>

I derived this mostly from Link custom user field to external website - #24 by LeoMcA. My guess is the main problem is I’m using a computed property to run an async function, which is a no-no. Instead, I should be running that async request in some sort of “on load” hook (but only when I’m on the user profile page).

I also feel like I’m reinventing the wheel a little with the template format of the variables. Ideally, I’d make this a configurable plugin that I’d share, so it would be nice if the settings could look more like a handlebars template, e.g.{{id}}, but I didn’t see any utilities or helpers for this in the discourse codebase.

I’d welcome your feedback! Thanks for your time.