Paths and matchers


The value of the path attribute can be either a glob pattern or a full regular expression (Java regular expressions, which are very similar to Perl 5 regular expressions).




This is the default but can also be set explicitly with the matcher attribute set to glob (or oxf:glob-matcher for backward compatibility) on the <page> element. This supports the wildcards "*" and "?". as well as character classes, as documented here.

Regular expression

This is enabled with the matcher attribute set to regexp (or oxf:perl5-matcher for backward compatibility) on the <page> element. This enables full Java/Perl 5 regular expressions.

Simple examples of glob:

  • /about/company.htmlmatches exactly this URL

  • about/* matches any URL that starts with about/

  • *.gif matches any URL that ends with .gif

  • a?c matches aac, abc, etc.

A default value for the matcher attribute can also be placed on the element:

<controller xmlns="" matcher="regexp">

COMPATIBILITY NOTE: Prior to Orbeon Forms 4.0, expression matchers were fully configurable via XPL processors. Starting Orbeon Forms 4.0, only Java/Perl 5 regular expressions and glob expressions are supported.

Matching files and pages with regular expressions

Groups of files can be matched using a single <files> element with the regexp matcher:


A matcher can also be specified on a <page> element:


When using a matcher that allows for groups, the part of the path matched by those groups can be extracted as documented above with the <setvalue> element. This is only supported with the regexp matcher.

Restricting HTTP methods

[SINCE Orbeon Forms 2017.2]

The methods attribute restricts which HTTP methods are allowed on the page or service. It is a space-separated list of HTTP method names. #all can be explicitly used to indicate that all HTTP methods are allowed.

By default, all HTTP methods are allowed.

This example requires that the incoming request be an HTTP POST, or the controller returns a "404 Not Found" status code:


NOTE: This is independent from page or service authorization.

Parametrizing the model and view attributes

The result of matches can be referred to directly in the model and view attributes using the notation ${_group-number_}:


In this case, if the path contains: /forms/my-form/page/12:

  • The model file read will be oxf:/forms/my-form/model.xpl

  • The view file oxf:/forms/my-form/view-12.xhtml

Parametrizing model and view attributes this way often allows greatly reducing the size of page flows that contain many similar pages.

When a result element directs flow to a page that uses matchers and <setvalue> elements, the PFC attemps to rebuild the destination path accordingly. Consider the following example:

<page id="source" path="/">
        <result page="destination" transform="oxf:xslt">
            <form xmlns:xsl="" xsl:version="2.0">
    <setvalue ref="/form/username" matcher-group="1"/>
    <setvalue ref="/form/blog-id" matcher-group="2"/>

In this example, accessing the source page directly causes navigation to the destination page. Using the following information:

  • The internal XML submission

  • The destination page's matcher groups

  • The <setvalue> elements

The PFC reconstructs the path to /user/orbeon/blog/12345. This path is used to request the destination page. In this case, the view attribute evaluates to blogs/orbeon/blog-12345.xhtml.

NOTE: Navigation to pages that use matchers but that do not provide an internal XML submission or <setvalue> elements will cause the requested path to have its literal value, in the example above /user/([^/]+)/blog/([^/]+). It is not advised to perform navigation this way.