Publish form definition

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Since Orbeon Forms 2017.2.

This is an Orbeon Forms PE feature.

Internal uses

The API is also used internally by Form Builder and by the Form Runner Home page.


The purpose of the publish API is to publish a form definition.

The form definition is:

  • either provided as XHTML+XForms in the Orbeon Forms form definition format

  • or stored in the database under the orbeon/builder app/form name

It is important to note that you cannot simply take a form definition and PUT it via the persistence REST API. The reason for this is that publishing requires adding some information to the form definition, such as:

  • data migration information for repeated grids

  • section templates must be included

Only Form Builder and Form Runner are able to provide this information consistently. So in order to publish a form definition, this API must be used.


If the form definition is provided in the request:

  • URL: /fr/service/publish

  • Optional URL parameter:

    • Name: document-id

    • Value: Form Builder document id for retrieval of attachments

  • Method: POST

  • Request body: XHTML+XForms

If the form definition is NOT provided in the request:

  • URL: /fr/service/orbeon/builder/publish/$document

  • Method: POST

  • Request body: empty

Response body:

  • Content-Type: application/xml

  • app/form name used

Example response body:

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

NOTE: When the form definition is POSTed as XML, form definition attachments such as PDF, XML Schema, or image attachments will not be published reliably if a document-id is not passed.

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.

Publish a form definition stored in Form Builder

The following publishes the form definition saved with Form Builder under the ef8b20715f447ef1ed6f2479161dc663b23f7cdc document id:


Publish a form definition provided via HTTP POST

The following publishes the form definition provided in the file form.xhtml:

-d @form.xhtml
-H "Content-Type: application/xml"
-X POST http://localhost:9090/orbeon/fr/service/publish


  • 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.