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JavaScript Embedding API


  • [SINCE Orbeon Forms 2020.1]
  • The Form Runner JavaScript Embedding API is a PE feature.


If you have your own application and would like to embed a form created with Form Builder:
  • If you have a Java web app, we recommend you use the Java Embedding API.
  • If you are using Liferay, we recommend you use the Liferay proxy portlet.
  • In all other cases, we recommend you use the JavaScript Embedding API described on this page. It offers the most flexibility, and will work irrelevant of the server-side technology you are using.


When using the JavaScript embedding API, the browser must be able to communicate with both your app server running the web application from which you are doing the embedding, and the Orbeon Forms server. Your app server and the Orbeon Forms server are probably running on different servers or on different ports, so running on different origins (the combination of the scheme , e.g. http, https, the host and the port). Cross-origin requests, where a given web page makes requests to different origins, are possible but are restricted by browsers due to potential security risks such as cross-site request forgery and cross-site script inclusion. You can deal with this situation by either avoiding cross-origin requests by having the browser always talk to a single server and having that server forward requests to Orbeon Forms accordingly (see "Option 1: Forwarding" below), or by doing the necessary setup to allow cross-origin requests (see "Option 2: Cross-origin" below).
Network setup

Option 1: Forwarding


With this setup, all browser requests, whether for the page of your application using the embedding API or for Orbeon Forms, will be made to the same origin (scheme, server and port). It is your responsibility to configure this server so that requests to Orbeon Forms are forwarded to the Orbeon Forms server.
Exactly how to do this depends on the server-side technology you are using. For example, if you're using the Apache HTTP Server, this can be done with the mod_rewrite module, and if you're using Microsoft IIS, you configure this using the IIS Manager by creating a Reverse Proxy rule.
You can identify the requests you need to forward by their path, which is typically /orbeon. In Java web applications, this first part of the path is called the "context", and you can deploy Orbeon Forms in a context other than /orbeon, such as /forms, but in the following we'll just assume that you've kept /orbeon. When forwarding HTTP requests, you need to make sure that the JSESSIONID cookie is forwarded correctly. You can check this using the Network tab in the Chrome Dev Tools. Make sure this is the case:
  1. 1.
    The first time the browser makes a request to Orbeon Forms, that is with a path starting with /orbeon, the response sets JSESSIONID cookie.
  2. 2.
    In every subsequent request made to Orbeon Forms, that JSESSIONID cookie set earlier is sent by the browser, and the server doesn't in turn set another JSESSIONID in the response. (I.e. the value of the JSESSIONID cookie sent by the browser to the server shouldn't change for the duration of the session.)

Users and authentication

Users will be accessing your application, so you can continue to authenticate them as usual. If you're only requiring authentication for certain paths, make sure you include everything under /orbeon. If you don't require users to be authenticated to access that path, they may be able to bypass the authentication you've set up for your application, say under /app, and instead access Orbeon Forms directly, making requests to paths under /orbeon.
If your users are authenticated, you'll probably also want Orbeon Forms to know who the current user is, so that Orbeon Forms can control access to forms and enforce permissions. In the context of the JavaScript embedding API, this is typically done by having your redirect code pass information about the current user to Orbeon Forms using headers, and setting up Orbeon Forms to use this information it receives in what is called the header-driven method (you will find all the details on which headers you need to pass, and how to set up Orbeon Forms to use header-based authentication on this page).

Option 2: Cross-origin

[SINCE Orbeon Forms 2022.1.5]


When calling embedForm(), the value of the context parameter must be the full URL of the Orbeon Forms server (like https://forms.example.org/orbeon), not a relative URL (like /orbeon).
For the Orbeon Forms server to respond with the appropriate CORS headers, and to support preflight requests, install and configure the UrlRewriteFilter as follows. If you already have a piece of software active as a reverse proxy in front of Orbeon Forms, feel free to use it, to achieve the same result.
  1. 1.
    Place the urlrewritefilter-4.0.3.jar file in the Orbeon Forms WEB-INF/lib.
  2. 2.
    Edit the WEB-INF/web.xml to add the following <filter> and <filter-mapping>.
  3. 3.
    Create a WEB-INF/urlrewrite.xml file with the following content.
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    <!DOCTYPE urlrewrite PUBLIC "-//tuckey.org//DTD UrlRewrite 4.0//EN" "http://www.tuckey.org/res/dtds/urlrewrite4.0.dtd">
    <set type="response-header" name="Access-Control-Allow-Origin">http://localhost:8080</set>
    <set type="response-header" name="Access-Control-Allow-Credentials">true</set>
    <set type="response-header" name="Access-Control-Allow-Methods">*</set>
    <set type="response-header" name="Access-Control-Allow-Headers">orbeon-client, content-type</set>
    <condition type="method">OPTIONS</condition>
    <set type="status">200</set>

Users and authentication

When users authenticate to your application server, it will typically set a cookie, such as UserToken, that allows it to keep track of who the user is. After a user successfully authenticates, the application server will typically set UserToken to a given value, and when it gets that token back on a subsequent request, it can know that the user authenticated and who the user is.
This token will also be sent by the browser to the Orbeon Forms server. If you want Orbeon Forms to know who the user is, or if you want to prevent it from handling unauthenticated requests, you will need to set up a component running before Orbeon Forms, such as a reverse proxy, to use the UserToken cookie and to pass information about the current user to Orbeon Forms, typically using the header-driven method. This component can be a servlet filter or a reverse proxy.

JavaScript to include

In the page where you want to embed a form, include the following JavaScript by adding this element inside the page's <head>:



You embed a form in the page by calling the following API:
HTML element
DOM element you want the form to be placed in
Context where Orbeon Forms is deployed, typically "/orbeon"
App name
Form name
Either "new", "edit", or "view"
See point 1 below
For modes other than new, the document to be loaded
Additional query parameters
new Headers({ 'Foo': 'bar' })
Additional HTTP headers; see point 2 below
  1. 1.
    The documentId parameter is mandatory for modes other than new, and must be undefined when the mode is new. For new, if you don't need to pass ny of parameters after documentId, you can just omit the documentId and all subsequent parameters in your call to ORBEON.fr.API.embedForm(); otherwise, you must explicitly pass undefined as the value of documentId.
  2. 2.
    The headers parameter is supported [SINCE Orbeon Forms 2021.1.1]. You can also access the value of such headers in the form you're embedding with the function xxf:get-request-header().
[SINCE Orbeon Forms 2022.1]
embedForm() returns a JavaScript Promise object. This allows you to know when the embedding has succeeded or failed. For example:
.then(() => {
console.log("`embedForm()` successfully loaded the form");
.catch((e) => {
console.log("`embedForm()` returned an error");
Note that with earlier versions, embedForm() always returned the JavaScript undefined value.
[SINCE Orbeon Forms 2023.1]
embedForm() returns a JavaScript Promise object representing the form. The object supports functions documented in The FormRunnerForm object.
See also:


To remove a form that you embedded earlier, call:
If you want to replace a form A shown in a given container by another form B, you can just do so by calling ORBEON.fr.API.embedForm() a second time for form B, and don't need to explicitly first call destroyForm().
[SINCE Orbeon Forms 2022.1] Like embedForm(), destroyForm() returns a JavaScript Promise object. See the above section about embedForm() for more information about how to use the returned Promise.


The JavaScript embedding API has the same limitations as the Java embedding API.

See also