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Version: 0.4

Generic handlers

Marten includes a set of generic handlers that can be leveraged to perform common tasks. These tasks are frequently encountered when working on web applications. For example: displaying a list of records extracted from the database, or deleting a record. Generic handlers take care of these common patterns so that developers don't end up reimplementing the wheel.


Marten provides generic handlers allowing to perform the following actions:

A few of these generic handlers are described below (and all of them are listed in the dedicated reference). Each of these handler classes must be subclassed on a per-project basis to define the required "attributes", and optionally to override methods to customize things like objects exposed in template contexts. By doing so you are essentially defining handlers that inherit these common patterns, without having to reimplement them.

Finally, it should be noted that using generic handlers is totally optional. They provide a good starting point to implement frequently encountered use cases, but you can decide to design your own set of generic handlers to accommodate for your project needs if the built-in ones don't match your requirements.

A few examples

Performing a redirect

Having a handler that performs a redirect can be easily achieved by subclassing the Marten::Handlers::Redirect generic handler. For example, you could easily define a handler that redirects to a articles:list route with the following snippet:

class ArticlesRedirectHandler < Marten::Handlers::Redirect
route_name "articles:list"

The above handler will perform a reverse resolution of articles:list in order to get the corresponding URL and will return a 302 HTTP response (temporary redirect).

Subclasses of this generic handler can also redirect to a plain URL and decide to return a permanent redirect (301) instead of a temporary one, for example:

class TestRedirectHandler < Marten::Handlers::Redirect
url ""
permanent true

Finally, you can even implement your own logic in order to compute the redirection URL by overriding the #redirect_url method:

class ArticleRedirectHandler < Marten::Handlers::Redirect
def redirect_url
article = Article.get(id: params["pk"])
if article.published?
reverse("articles:detail", pk:

Rendering a template

One of the most frequent things you will want to do when writing handlers is to return HTML responses containing rendered templates. To do so, you can obviously define a regular handler and make use of the #render helper. But, you may also want to leverage the Marten::Handlers::Template generic handler.

This generic handler will return a 200 OK HTTP response containing a rendered HTML template. To make use of it, you can simply define a subclass of it and ensure that you call the #template_name class method in order to define the template that will be rendered:

class HomeHandler < Marten::Handlers::Template
template_name "app/home.html"

If you need to, it is possible to customize the context that is used to render the configured template. To do so, you can define a before_render callback and add new variables to the global template context (which functions similarly to a hash object):

class HomeHandler < Marten::Handlers::Template
template_name "app/home.html"

before_render add_recent_articles_to_context

private def add_recent_articles_to_context : Nil
context[:recent_articles] = Article.all.order("-published_at")[:5]

Variables that are added to the global template context will automatically be available to the configured template's runtime.

Displaying a model record

It is possible to render a template that showcases a specific model record by leveraging the Marten::Handlers::RecordDetail generic handler.

For example, it would be possible to render an articles/detail.html template showcasing a specific Article model record with the following handler:

class ArticleDetailHandler < Marten::Handlers::RecordDetail
model Article
template_name "articles/detail.html"

By assuming that the route path associated with this handler is something like /articles/<pk:int>, this handler will automatically retrieve the right Article record by using the primary key provided in the pk route parameter. If the record does not exist, a Marten::HTTP::Errors::NotFound exception will be raised (which will lead to the default "not found" error page being displayed to the user), and otherwise the configured template will be rendered (with the Article record exposed in the context under the record key).

For example, the template associated with this handler could be something like this:

<li>Title: {{ record.title }}</li>
<li>Created at: {{ record.created_at }}</li>

Processing a form

It is possible to use the Marten::Handlers::Schema generic handler in order to process form data with a schema.

To do so, it is necessary:

  • to specify the schema class to use to validate the incoming POST data through the use of the #schema macro
  • to specify the template to render by using the #template_name class method: this template will likely generate an HTML form
  • to specify the route to redirect to when the schema is valid via the #success_route_name class method

For example:

class MyFormHandler < Marten::Handlers::Schema
schema MySchema
template_name "app/my_form.html"
success_route_name "home"

def process_valid_schema
# This method is called when the schema is valid.
# You can decide to do something with the validated data...

def process_invalid_schema
# This method is called when the schema is invalid.

By default, such a handler will render the configured template when the incoming request is a GET or for POST requests if the data cannot be validated using the specified schema (in that case, the template is expected to use the invalid schema to display a form with the right errored inputs). The specified template can have access to the configured schema through the use of the schema object in the template context.

If the schema is valid, a temporary redirect is issued by using the URL corresponding to the #success_route_name value (although it should be noted that the way to generate this success URL can be overridden by defining a #success_url method). By default, the handler does nothing when the processed schema is valid (except redirecting to the success URL).


Handlers making use of the Marten::Handlers::Schema generic handler can leverage additional types of callbacks. Please head over to Schema handler callbacks to learn more about those.