Use HTML forms

HTML form support is provided on 2 levels:

  1. Through the use of form() extension methods on Request to get/set String values.
  2. Using the Lens system, which adds the facility to define form fields in a typesafe way, and to validate form contents (in either a strict (400) or "feedback" mode).

Gradle setup

dependencies {

Standard (non-typesafe) API

package guide.howto.use_html_forms

import org.http4k.core.Method.GET
import org.http4k.core.Request
import org.http4k.core.body.form
import org.http4k.core.getFirst
import org.http4k.core.toParametersMap
import org.junit.jupiter.api.Assertions.assertEquals
import org.junit.jupiter.api.Assertions.assertNull

fun main() {
    val request = Request(GET, "/").form("name", "rita").form("age", "55")

    // reparses body every invocation
    assertEquals("rita", request.form("name"))
    assertEquals("55", request.form("age"))

    // toParametersMap() gives form as map
    val parameters: Map<String, List<String?>> = request.form().toParametersMap()
    assertEquals("rita", parameters.getFirst("name"))
    assertEquals(listOf("55"), parameters["age"])

Lens (typesafe, validating) API

package guide.howto.use_html_forms

import org.http4k.core.Body
import org.http4k.core.ContentType
import org.http4k.core.Method.GET
import org.http4k.core.Request
import org.http4k.core.with
import org.http4k.lens.FormField
import org.http4k.lens.Header
import org.http4k.lens.LensFailure
import org.http4k.lens.Validator
import org.http4k.lens.WebForm
import org.http4k.lens.webForm

data class Name(val value: String)

fun main() {

    // define fields using the standard lens syntax
    val ageField ="age")
    val nameField =, Name::value).optional("name")

    // add fields to a form definition, along with a validator
    val strictFormBody = Body.webForm(Validator.Strict, nameField, ageField).toLens()
    val feedbackFormBody = Body.webForm(Validator.Feedback, nameField, ageField).toLens()

    val invalidRequest = Request(GET, "/")

    // the "strict" form rejects (throws a LensFailure) because "age" is required
    try {
    } catch (e: LensFailure) {

    // the "feedback" form doesn't throw, but collects errors to be reported later
    val invalidForm = feedbackFormBody(invalidRequest)

    // creating valid form using "with()" and setting it onto the request
    val webForm = WebForm().with(ageField of 55, nameField of Name("rita"))
    val validRequest = Request(GET, "/").with(strictFormBody of webForm)

    // to extract the contents, we first extract the form and then extract the fields from it
    // using the lenses
    val validForm = strictFormBody(validRequest)
    val age = ageField(validForm)