Revel tries to make the conversion of request data into the desired Go types as easy and painless as possible.

  • The conversion from a http request string sent by client to another type is referred to as data binding.
  • JSON data is processed when the http header ContentType is application/json or text/json

Request Parameters

All request parameters are collected into a single Params object which includes:

URL path

The URL /:path parameters for the route

// path = /book/:author/:book
author := c.Params.Route.Get("author")
book := c.Params.Route.Get("book")

Query Vars

The URL ?query= parameters

// url = /foo?sort=asc&active=1
s := c.Params.Query.Get("sort")
act := c.Params.Query.Get("active")

Form Vars

Submitted POST Form values

v := c.Params.Form.Get("form_val")

File Uploads

File multipart file uploads

f := c.Params.Files["file_name"]

Combined Params

All the above combined, they values are mapped in a special way. Params is a map[string][]string Query parameters are assigned to the map first, then form parameters will be appended to the the query results.

For example lets say a form is posted to foo?a=3 and the form contained a=4,b=hi. The map Params map would look like {"a":["3","4"],"b":["hi"]}

Finally two special groups of parameters are assigned to the map (overriding both Query and Forms). They are the URL :parameters as specified in the route file, and the Fixed Paramaters as specified in the route file as well.



Posted JSON data is read when the http header ContentType is application/json or text/json. The raw bytes are stored in the Param.JSON []byte

JSON data will be automatically unmarshalled to the first structure or map that is encountered in the Action Argument.

When calling c.Params.Bind(target,paramname), JSON data is always ignored, you can call c.Params.BindJSON(target) to bind the JSON data to the specified object. You must pass a pointer to the c.Params.BindJSON(target) function.

func (c Hotels) Show() revel.Result {
    var jsonData map[string]interface{}


  • All params except File are golang’s native url.Values which provide the accessors.
  • All values are map to slices, a .Get() will return first. Use map directly to get at multiple values.
  • Revel’s data-binding mechanisms helps with non-string values such as dates or floats.
  • Golang’s native url.Values provides accessors for simple values.

Action arguments

Parameters may be accepted directly as method arguments by the action. For example:

func (c AppController) DoWork(name string, ids []int, user User, img []byte) revel.Result {
  • Before invoking the action (in this case the AppController.DoWork method), Revel asks its Binder to convert parameters of those names to the requested data type.
  • If the binding is unsuccessful for any reason, the parameter will have the zero value for its type.


  • To bind a parameter to a data type, use Revel’s Binder.
  • The Binder is integrated with the Params object.
// Example params to binder
func (c SomeController) DoResponse() revel.Result {
	var ids []int
	c.Params.Bind(&ids, "ids")

The following data types are supported by Revel out of the box:

  • Integers of all widths
  • Booleans
  • Pointers to any supported type
  • Slices of any supported type
  • Structs
  • Maps
  • Maps of Structs
  • time.Time for dates and times
  • *os.File, []byte, io.Reader, io.ReadSeeker for file uploads

The following sections describe the syntax for these types. It is also useful to refer to the source code if more detail is required.


The string values "true", "on", and "1" are all treated as true, otherwise it is false.


There are two supported syntaxes for binding slices; ordered and unordered.


  • results in a slice of []int{1, 2, 0, 4}


  • results in a slice of []int{1, 2, 4}
Only ordered slices should be used when binding a slice of structs:


Structs are bound using simple dot notation:


Will bind the struct:

type User struct {
    Id int
    Name string
    Friends []int
    Father User
func (c SomeController) Method(user *User) revel.Result {



Maps are bound using simple dot notation:


Will bind the map:

foo := map[string]interface{}{}
c.Params.Bind(foo, "ids")


Maps of Structs

If you predefine a map you can manually bind the parameter to it:


Will bind this map with a struct inside of it:

type User struct {
    Id int
    Name string
    Friends []int
    Father User
foo := map[string]*User{}{"user":&User{}}
c.Params.Bind(foo, "ids")

Notice how this differs from the struct example, in the struct example we defined a parameter of type *User, in behind the scenes Revel took any parameter name starting with user and assigned it to the struct. In this example we define a map and a precreated struct instance of User. If we did not precreate this instance Revel would have populated a map within the map.

Properties must be exported in order to be bound.

Date / Time

  • The SQL standard date time formats of 2006-01-02, 2006-01-02 15:04 are built in.
  • Alternative formats may be added to the application (see app.conf), using golang native constants.
  • Add a pattern to recognize to the TimeFormats variable, like the example below.
func init() {
    revel.TimeFormats = append(revel.TimeFormats, "01/02/2006")

File Uploads

File uploads can be bound to any of the following types:

  • *os.File
  • []byte
  • io.Reader
  • io.ReadSeeker

This is a wrapper around the upload handling provided by Go’s multipart package. The bytes stay in memory unless they exceed a threshold (10MB by default), in which case they are written to a temp file.

Binding a file upload to os.File requires Revel to write it to a temp file (if it wasn't already), making it less efficient than the other types.

Custom Binders

The application may define its own binders to take advantage of this framework.

It needs only to implement the Binder interface and register the type for which it should be called:

var myBinder = revel.Binder{
	Bind: func(params *revel.Params, name string, typ reflect.Type) reflect.Value {...},
	Unbind: func(output map[string]string, name string, val interface{}) {...},

func init() {
	revel.TypeBinders[reflect.TypeOf(MyType{})] = myBinder
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