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FreeMarker (Templating) API

Each page and component content type in CrafterCMS generally has it’s own view. Crafter Engine, which is in charge of rendering this views, uses Freemarker as the template engine to generate the HTML returned to the client. Documentation for Freemarker can be found at http://freemarker.org.

The most important variable available in the page and component Freemarker templates is the contentModel. Through the contentModel you have access to the content itself. So if in the page you defined a variable name title, you can get the value of title with ${contentModel.title}. Or if you defined a repeater named links, and under it url fields, then accessing the url links is just a matter of iterating the list using <#list contentModel.links.url as url>. The type of the contentModel is SiteItem, so you can also call the methods of that class if the nested property access described previously is not enough, or if you need to access other properties like the storeUrl.

Crafter Engine also populates templates with other useful variables, described below.

Name
Description
Type
siteItemService

Allows access to the site
content.
urlTransformationService



Service for transforming URLs,
like transforming the content
URL of a page to the web or
render URL.
searchService


Service that can be used to
execute search queries against
Crafter Search.
applicationContext




Provides access to the Crafter
Engine’s Spring beans and site
beans defined in
config/spring/application-
context.xml.
globalProperties



Provides access to global
configuration properties
defined in
server-config.properties.
navBreadcrumbBuilder



Helper class that returns the
list of path components in an
URL, to create navigation
breadcrumbs.
navTreeBuilder


Helper class that creates
navigation trees to
facilitate rendering.
tenantsResolver


Can be used to retrieve the
Profile tenants associated to
the current site.
modePreview



Flag that indicates that Engine is
being executed in preview mode
(also the value of the
crafter.engine.preview property)
Boolean



crafterEnv


Indicates the value of the
crafter.engine.environment
property
String


siteConfig

The current project Configuration
loaded from /config/site.xml.
siteContext
The current SiteContext
request
The current request
requestParameters

The parameter values for the
current request
cookies

The cookie values for the
current request

session
The current session
locale

The current locale for the
current user
authToken


The current authentication (if
the user has logged in),
created by Spring Security

The following variables are provided for backward compatibility when using Crafter Profile, should be replaced with authToken if possible:

Name
Description
Type
authentication



The current authentication (if
the user has logged in),
created by the
Crafter Security Provider
profile



The current profile (if the
user has logged in), created
by the
Crafter Security Provider

Note

The variables profile and authentication listed above will be null in most cases and should not be used anymore

The following variables are restricted by default, to use them see Access to Services

Name
Description
Type
application
The servlet context
siteContext
The current SiteContext

Rendering Components

Crafter Engine provides the renderComponent macro that can be used to render components in any template:

Using the RenderComponent Macro
 1<!-- Render a component by referencing the path -->
 2<@renderComponent componentPath='/site/components/headers/header.xml' />
 3
 4<!-- Render a component by referencing a shared component from the current item -->
 5<@renderComponent component=contentModel.mySharedComponent_o.item  />
 6
 7<!-- Render a component by referencing an embedded component from the current item -->
 8<@renderComponent component=contentModel.myEmbeddedComponent_o.item />
 9
10<!-- Render an embedded component from another component instead of the current item -->
11<#assign sharedItem = siteItemService.getSiteItem('/site/components/global.xml')/>
12<@renderComponent parent=sharedItem component=sharedItem.myEmbeddedComponent_o.item />
13
14<!-- Render a component passing additional variables -->
15<!-- Inside the component's template 'theme' will be available as a global variable -->
16<@renderComponent component=contentModel.myComponent.item additionalModel={ 'theme': contentModel.theme_s } />

Parameters:

  • componentPath: a path for a shared component in the site
  • component: a XML node from a node selector field, supports both shared and embedded components
  • parent: the SiteItem to use as a parent in the case of embedded components (defaults to the current item being rendered)
  • additionalModel: a Freemarker hash containing key-value pairs that can be used as global variables in the component’s template

Rendering Navigation

Crafter Engine provides the option of rendering automatically the navigation for you, just by using the macro navigation

See navigation for more information on the macro

Rendering Breadcrumbs

Crafter also offers a renderBreadcrumb macro to easily generate a dynamic list with all the parent pages of a specific url.

See breadcrumb for more information on the macro

Running Scripts/Controllers

Crafter Engine allows executing scripts/controllers from inside Freemarker templates by using the tag @controller. It requires a single parameter, path, which is the path of the script/controller in the site:

Running Scripts/Controllers from inside Freemarker templates
<@controller path=“/scripts/plugins/MyPlugin/1/get-tweets.groovy” />
<@controller path=“/scripts/plugins/MyPlugin/1/get-fbs.groovy” />

Keeping Templates Simple

You can access all Crafter Engine services directly from the Freemarker templates as described in the previous sections, however it is a good practice to keep logic and complex operations outside of the templates to simplify debugging and maintenance. An easy way to extract logic from the templates is using Groovy’s closures:

Page or Component Script
 1// Add a closure to the templateModel map, in this case it will find if a page has a custom
 2// nav icon defined in the xml descriptor.
 3
 4templateModel.getNavIcon = { item ->
 5  def storeUrl = urlTransformationService.transform("renderUrlToStoreUrl", item.url)
 6  def siteItem = siteItemService.getSiteItem(storeUrl)
 7  if(siteItem) {
 8    def navIcon = siteItem.navIcon?.text
 9    if(navIcon) {
10      return navIcon
11    }
12  }
13  return "fa-file-o"
14}
Page or Component Template
1<!-- Now the closure is available to use in the template, you only have to use the same name
2     from the script and use the `call` method. -->
3
4<i class="fa ${getNavIcon.call(navItem)}">

If you have a large amount of closures or operations that need to be shared between multiple templates then you should consider creating a Groovy class instead:

Custom Service Class
 1// Define a class with all the logic
 2
 3package org.site.service
 4
 5class NavIconService {
 6
 7  def urlTransformationService
 8  def siteItemService
 9  def defaultIcon
10
11  def getNavItem(item) {
12    ...
13    return this.defaultIcon
14  }
15
16}
Engine Site Application Context file - application-context.xml
1<!-- Add a bean definition using the new class -->
2
3<bean id="navIconService" class="org.site.service.NavIconService">
4  <property name="urlTransformationService" ref="crafter.urlTransformationService"/>
5  <property name="siteItemService" ref="crafter.siteItemService"/>
6  <property name="defaultIcon" value="${nav.defaultIcon}"/>
7</bean>
Engine Site Configuration file - site-config.xml
 1<!-- If needed the bean can use external configuration for easy management -->
 2
 3<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
 4<site>
 5  ...
 6  <nav>
 7    <defaultIcon>fa-file-o</defaultIcon>
 8  </nav>
 9  ...
10</site>
Template
1<!-- Now the bean can be use just like Crafter built-in services -->
2
3<i class="fa ${navIconService.getNavIcon(navItem)}">

Note

All beans defined in the Engine Site Application Context file will be available in templates.

For more information on Crafter Engine Site configuration files, see Engine Site Configuration Files