Run form in the background


Since Orbeon Forms 2017.2.

This is an Orbeon Forms PE feature.


The purpose of this service is to run a form definition, either in "new" mode or in "edit" mode, but in the background, optionally running one or more processes in addition to the regular execution of the form.

This allows scenarios such as:

  • create new form data in the database
  • read, modify and update existing form data


  • URLs:
    • /fr/service/$app/$form/new
    • /fr/service/$app/$form/edit/$document
  • Method: POST

Optional request body when using /new:

When not POSTing any XML data, just POST an empty request body to the service.

Response body:

  • Content-Type: application/xml
  • contains
    • the newly created or existing document id
    • whether all processes were successful

Example response body:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

Running processes

The following property controls what process(es) to run:

where $app and $form represent a Form Runner application name and/or form name or * wildcards, as is usual with Form Runner configuration properties.

The following process names apply:

  • after-controls: run after the controls are ready:
    • The process runs when controls are "live", which means you can set their values and list of choices.
  • after-data: run when the data is ready:
    • It has been loaded from the database if needed ("edit" mode).
    • Its initial values and calculations are up to date.
  • before-data: run before the data's initial values are calculated:
    • The process runs before the data is ready.
    • You cannot set control values and list of choices as a result.

The following example saves new instance data to the database when the service is called with /fr/service/$app/$form/new:


The following example updates existing instance data with the current time and saves it to the database when the service is called with /fr/service/$app/$form//edit/$document, where $document represents an existing form data document id:

    xf:setvalue(ref ="//current-time", value = "current-dateTime()") then save

See also Running processes upon page load.

Example using curl

The following examples use the curl command-line utility. They are indented on multiple lines for clarity but in practice each command must be written on a single line.


This runs the acme/order form in new mode in the background, and runs the configured processes if any.

Here is an example XML response:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>


  • The caller must either call the service internally or have authorized the service.
  • Appropriate container or permission headers must also be set to allow accessing the form definition and data.

See also

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