Working with Events

Event handlers are the controller layer in ColdBox and is what you will be executing via the URLor a FORMpost. All event handlers are singletons, which means they are cached for the duration of the application, so always remember to var scope your variables in your functions.

Tip: For development we highly encourage you to turn handler caching off or you will have to reinit the application in every request, which is annoying. Open the config/ColdBox.cfc and look for the coldbox.handlerCaching setting.

By default this is already done for you on the application templates.

 * Development environment
function development() {
    coldbox.customErrorTemplate = "/coldbox/system/exceptions/Whoops.cfm"; // interactive bug report
    coldbox.handlerCaching = false;
    coldbox.handlersIndexAutoReload = true;
    coldbox.eventCaching = false;
    coldbox.viewCaching = false;

Handler Code

Go open the handlers/main.cfc and let's explore the code.

component extends="coldbox.system.EventHandler" {

     * Default Action
    function index( event, rc, prc ) {
        prc.welcomeMessage = "Welcome to ColdBox!";
        event.setView( "main/index" );

     * Produce some restfulf data
    function data( event, rc, prc ) {
        return [
            { "id" : createUUID(), name : "Luis" },
            { "id" : createUUID(), name : "JOe" },
            { "id" : createUUID(), name : "Bob" },
            { "id" : createUUID(), name : "Darth" }

     * Relocation example
    function doSomething( event, rc, prc ) {
        relocate( "main.index" );

    /************************************** IMPLICIT ACTIONS *********************************************/

    function onAppInit( event, rc, prc ) {

    function onRequestStart( event, rc, prc ) {

    function onRequestEnd( event, rc, prc ) {

    function onSessionStart( event, rc, prc ) {

    function onSessionEnd( event, rc, prc ) {
        var sessionScope     = event.getValue( "sessionReference" );
        var applicationScope = event.getValue( "applicationReference" );

    function onException( event, rc, prc ) {
        event.setHTTPHeader( statusCode = 500 );
        // Grab Exception From private request collection, placed by ColdBox Exception Handling
        var exception = prc.exception;
        // Place exception handler below:


Let's recap: Every action in ColdBox receives three arguments:

  • event - An object that models and is used to work with the current request, called the request context.

  • rc - A struct that contains both URL/FORM variables (unsafe data)

  • prc - A secondary struct that is private only settable from within your application (safe data)

Setting Views - Default Layout

This line event.setView( "main/index" ) in the index action told ColdBox to render a view back to the user found in views/main/index.cfm.

ColdBox also has the concept of layouts, which are essentially reusable views that can wrap up other views or layouts. They allow you to reuse content to render views/layouts inside a specific location in the CFML content. By convention, ColdBox looks for a layout called layouts/Main.cfm. This is yet another convention, the default layout. Your application can have many layouts or non-layouts at all.

Working With Incoming Data

Now, let's open the handler we created before called handlers/hello.cfc and add some public and private variables so our views can render the variables.

function index( event, rc, prc ){
    // param an incoming variable.
    event.paramValue( "name", "nobody" );
    // set a private variable
    prc.when = dateFormat( now(), "full" );
    // set the view to render
    event.setView( "hello/index" );

Let's open the view now: views/hello/index.cfm and change it to this:

<p>Hello #encodeForHTML( )#, today is #prc.when#</p>

Please note that we used the ColdFusion function encodeForHTML() ( on the public variable. Why? Because you can never trust the client and what they send, make sure you use the built-in ColdFusion encoding functions in order to avoid XSS hacks or worse on incoming public (rc) variables.

If you execute the event now: http://localhost:{port}/hello/index you will see a message of Hello nobody.

Now change the incoming URL to this: http://localhost:{port}/hello/index?name=ColdBox and you will see a message of Hello ColdBox.

Tip: Please see the layouts and views section for in-depth information.

Routing Params

Now let's expect the name as part of the URL pattern; open the config/Router.cfc and let's add another route:

route( "/hello/:name" ).as( "hello" ).to( "hello" )

We use the : colon to denote incoming URL/FORM placeholder params that, if found are translated to the request collection (rc). So let's try it out: http://localhost:{port}/hello/coldbox

You can use the route() to generate the URL with params in a nice struct way:

<a href="#event.route( "hello", { name: "Luis" } )#">Say Hello Luis</a>

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