Event Handlers

Event Handlers

Design your API and update the page dynamically.

AJAX event handlers are API endpoints for the AJAX framework to communicate with the server. They can respond with raw data, redirect the browser or dynamically update partials on the page.

# AJAX Handlers

To create an AJAX handler, define it as a PHP function the page, partial or layout PHP section, or inside CMS components. Handler names should use the onSomething pattern, for example, onName. All handlers support the use of updating partials as part of the AJAX request.

function onSubmitContactForm()
{
    // ...
}

If two handlers with the same name are defined in a page and layout together, the page handler will take priority. The handlers defined in components have the lowest priority.

# Calling a Handler

Every AJAX request should specify a handler name, either using the data attributes API or the JavaScript API. When the request is made, the server will search all the registered handlers and locate the first one it finds.

<!-- Attributes API -->
<button data-request="onSubmitContactForm">Go</button>

<!-- JavaScript API -->
<script> oc.ajax('onSubmitContactForm') </script>

Handlers defined by pages, layouts and components are all registered automatically. If you are calling a handler from inside a partial, use the {% ajaxPartial %} Twig tag, which adjusts the page cycle to register its handlers.

# Form Serialization

When an AJAX request occurs inside a HTML form tag, all the input values of the form are available to the handler. In the example below, the first_name value will be sent with the request.

<form id="myForm">
    <input name="first_name" />
    <button data-request="onSubmitContactForm">Go</button>
</form>

The JavaScript API support this logic with the oc.request function.

<script> oc.request('#myForm', 'onSubmitContactForm') </script>

You may use the input() PHP function to access the variable.

function onSubmitContactForm()
{
    $firstName = input('first_name');
}

# Generic Handler

Sometimes you may need to make an AJAX request for the sole purpose of updating page contents, not needing to execute any code. You may use the onAjax handler for this purpose. This handler is available everywhere without needing to write any code.

<button data-request="onAjax">Do nothing</button>

# Component Handlers

If two components register the same handler name, it is advised to prefix the handler with the component short name or alias. If a component uses an alias of mycomponent the handler can be targeted with mycomponent::onName.

<button data-request="mycomponent::onSubmitContactForm">Go</button>

See the Component Development article to learn more.

# Redirects in AJAX Handlers

If you need to redirect the browser to another location, return the Redirect response object from the AJAX handler. The framework will redirect the browser as soon as the response is returned from the server. Example AJAX handler with a redirect.

function onRedirectMe()
{
    return Redirect::to('http://google.com');
}

# Returning Data from AJAX Handlers

The response from an AJAX handler can serve as consumable API by returning structured data. If an AJAX handler returns an array, you can access its elements in the success event handler. Example AJAX handler that returns a data object.

function onFetchDataFromServer()
{
    // Some server-side code

    return [
        'totalUsers' => 1000,
        'totalProjects' => 937
    ];
}

The data can be fetched with the data attributes API.

<form data-request="onHandleForm" data-request-success="console.log(data)">

The same with the JavaScript API.

<form onsubmit="oc.request(this, 'onHandleForm', {
        success: function(data) {
            console.log(data);
        }
    }); return false"
>

# Throwing an AJAX Exception

You may throw an AJAX exception using the AjaxException class to treat the response as an error while retaining the ability to send response contents as normal. Simply pass the response contents as the first argument of the exception.

throw new AjaxException([
    'error' => 'Not enough questions',
    'questionsNeeded' => 2
]);

These errors are handled by the AJAX framework.

<form data-request="onHandleForm" data-request-error="console.log(data)">

The same with the JavaScript API.

<form onsubmit="oc.request(this, 'onHandleForm', {
        error: function(data) {
            console.log(data);
        }
    }); return false"
>

When throwing this exception type partials will be updated as normal.

# Running Code Before Handlers

Sometimes you may want code to execute before a handler executes. Defining an onInit function as part of the Layout Execution Life Cycle allows code to run before every AJAX handler.

function onInit()
{
    // From a page or layout PHP code section
}

You may define an init method inside a CMS component class.

function init()
{
    // From a component or widget class
}