Introduction

October includes a framework that brings a full suite of AJAX capabilities which allow you to load data from the server without a browser page refresh. The same library can be used in CMS themes and anywhere in the back-end administration area.

The AJAX framework comes in two flavors, you may either use the JavaScript API or the data attributes API. The data attributes API doesn't require any JavaScript knowledge to use AJAX with October.

Including the framework

The AJAX framework is optional in your CMS theme, to use the library you should include it by placing the {% framework %} tag anywhere inside your page or layout. This adds a reference to to the October front-end JavaScript library. The library requires jQuery so it should be loaded first, for example:

<script src="{{ 'assets/javascript/jquery.js'|theme }}"></script>

{% framework %}

The {% framework %} tag supports the optional extras parameter. If this parameter is specified, the tag adds StyleSheet and JavaScript files for extra features, including form validation and loading indicators.

{% framework extras %}

How AJAX requests work

A page can issue an AJAX request either prompted by data attributes or by using JavaScript. Each request invokes an event handler -- also called an AJAX handler -- on the server and can update page elements using partials. AJAX requests work best with forms, since the form data is automatically sent to the server. Here is request workflow:

  1. The client browser issues an AJAX request by providing the handler name and other optional parameters.
  2. The server finds the AJAX handler and executes it.
  3. The handler executes the required business logic and updates the environment by injecting page variables.
  4. The server renders partials requested by the client with the update option.
  5. The server sends the response, containing the rendered partials markup.
  6. The client-side framework updates page elements with the partials data received from the server.

Note: Depending on the page context a CMS partial or backend partial view will be rendered.

Usage example

Below is a simple example that uses the data attributes API to define an AJAX enabled form. The form will issue an AJAX request to the onTest handler and requests that the result container be updated with the mypartial partial markup.

<!-- AJAX enabled form -->
<form data-request="onTest" data-request-update="mypartial: '#myDiv'">

    <!-- Input two values -->
    <input name="value1"> + <input name="value2">

    <!-- Action button -->
    <button type="submit">Calculate</button>

</form>

<!-- Result container -->
<div id="myDiv"></div>

Note: The form data for value1 and value2 are automatically sent with the AJAX request.

The mypartial partial contains markup that reads the result variable.

The result is {{ result }}

The onTest handler method accessed the form data using the input helper method and the result is passed to the result page variable.

function onTest()
{
    $this['result'] = input('value1') + input('value2');
}

The example could be read like this: "When the form is submitted, issue an AJAX request to the onTest handler. When the handler finishes, render the mypartial partial and inject its contents to the #myDiv element."

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