• Revel tries to make the conversion of request parameters into the desired Go type 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.

Request Parameters

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

  • The URL /:path parameters
  • The URL ?query parameters
  • Submitted Form values
  • File multipart uploads

The Go struct is:

type Params struct {
	Files map[string][]*multipart.FileHeader
  • Golang’s native url.Values provides accessors for simple values
  • Revel’s data-binding mechanisms helps with non-string values such as dates or floats

Action arguments

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

func (c AppController) Action(name string, ids []int, user User, img []byte) revel.Result {
  • Before invoking the action, 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) Action() 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
  • 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 of 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}
Note: 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
Note: 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 appconf), 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.

Note: 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 need only 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