Last Modified 2019-05-09 by Guest


Documentation on using Horde_Controller Framework

General Info

Horde uses a lot of behind-the-scenes magic to glue together controller based request processing. In normal cases, the application developer only needs to create a routes configuration file entry and a controller class, horde will handle the rest.
To add custom pre and post filters to a controller, just add the corresponding $app_$controller_SettingsExporter class to the app/settings dir.

On this page, developers of specialised endpoints (RPC, REST, etc) can read up on how the pieces work together.

General flow of processing

A request object (Interface Horde_Request) is generated from server variables.
Some helper generates a Horde_Controller_RequestConfiguration instance (a config). The config defines which controller to execute and which SettingsExporter to use. The SettingsExporter affects which pre and post filters are run by the FilterRunner, among other things.
The request and the config are fed into a runner. The runner will return a response object. The runner may first execute prefilters on the request. Depending on the prefilter outcome, the originally defined controller may not be executed at all.
After the controller is run, post filters may change the response (for example, tidying output, applying compression)

Horde App specific flow of processing

Web Server configuration redirects any unmatched URLs to horde/rampage.php

rampage.php sets up a horde environment with auth and the horde base app

Get a Horde_Controller_Request_Http request object from running Horde_Core_Factory_Request
Get a Horde_Controller_Runner instance
Get a Horde_Core_Controller_RequestConfiguration from Horde_Core_Controller_RequestMapper::getRequestConfiguration
The first path component after the horde base app's webroot will be interpreted as the app name.
The remaining parts of the request uri are interpreted relative to the identified app's web root.
The requestMapper in turn will get a list of routes to match from app fileroot/config/routes.php
If no defined route matches, a default Horde_Core_Controller_NotFound is returned

Otherwise, a controller class name is found and the identified app's context is loaded ($registry->pushApp())
The controller class found is added to the RequestConfiguration.
The SettingsFinder looks for an $app_$controller_SettingsExporter class, otherwise it adds the Horde_Controller_SettingsExporter_Default to the config - which exports no filters or bindings to the runner

Let the runner create a $response = $runner->execute($injector, $request, $config);

Finally, get a responseWriter (_Web is the default) and render the response object to the output

How to use Horde_Controllers in Horde Core Apps

Horde Controllers are independent from the Horde Ajax Framework. Controllers need Horde_Routes and need rewrite rules.

Ajax application controllers do not live in lib/ but in $app/app/controllers/


Class Nag_CompleteTask_Controller in nag/app/controllers/CompleteTask.php

class Nag_CompleteTask_Controller extends Horde_Controller_Base
    public function processRequest(Horde_Controller_Request $request, Horde_Controller_Response $response)
        /* Toggle the task's completion status if we're provided with a
         * valid task ID. */
        $requestVars = $request->getRequestVars();
        if (isset($requestVars['task']) && isset($requestVars['tasklist'])) {
            $nag_task = new Nag_CompleteTask();
            $result = $nag_task->result($requestVars['task'], $requestVars['tasklist']);
        } else {
            $result = array('error' => 'missing parameters');

        $requestVars = $request->getGetVars();
        if (!empty($requestVars['format']) &&
            $requestVars['format'] == 'json') {
        } elseif ($requestVars['url']) {

A Horde Controller based app needs a config/routes.php file.

For example

 * Setup default routes
        'controller' => 'CompleteTask',

defines a route for a call like www.example.com/nag/t/complete to be handled by the CompleteTask controller seen above.

The endpoint script is horde/rampage.php - At the moment, only authenticated calls are supported
The controller is passed the request (in this case, a json request) and handles it (with a json answer in this case)

Usage for UI

Example: Output buffering for Horde_PageOutput

Render a complete page with Horde_PageOutput by capturing any html in an output buffer and handing it to the response object.

The Route in config/routes.php

 * Setup default routes
$user = $registry->getAuth();
$dt = new Horde_Date(mktime());

$mapper->connect('EnterTimes', '/enter/:year/:month/:user/',
        'controller' => 'EnterTimes',
        'action' => 'view',
        'user' => $user,
        'year' => $dt->year,
        'month' => sprintf('%02d', $dt->month),
        'conditions' => array('method' => array('GET')),
        'requirements' => array('month' => '\d{1,2}')

NOTE: The method conditions are currently ignored by production Horde.
You need a patched Horde_Core for this to work

The Controller in $app/app/controller/EnterTimes.php

class Timetool_EnterTimes_Controller extends Horde_Controller_Base
     * Get variables from routes matching
    protected $_matchDict;

    public function processRequest(Horde_Controller_Request $request, Horde_Controller_Response $response)
        /* obtain a Routes mapper to fit the Horde_Routes defined in config/routes.php */
        $this->_mapper = $this->getInjector()->getInstance('Horde_Routes_Mapper');
        /* get the dictionary */
        $this->_matchDict = new Horde_Support_Array($this->_mapper->match($request->getPath()));

        switch ($this->_matchDict->action) {
        case "view":
            return $this->view($request, $response);

    public function view($request, $response)
        $vars = Horde_Variables::getDefaultVariables();
        $injector = $this->getInjector();
        // Start a buffer to prevent PageOutput from
        // engaging the output buffer, circumventing the response
        // object and any potential post filters
        $page_output = $injector->getInstance("Horde_PageOutput");
        $page_output->header(array("title" => _("Enter Timesheet")));
        // Bug: The sidebar is not correctly rendered if the main screen does not contain anything
        echo "something";
        // Feed any output to the response body and close the buffer

Example: Generating URLs from Routes inside the controller