How to create Controllers in Magento 2

Controller specially is one of the important thing in Magento 2 module development, and PHP MVC Framework in general. It functionarity is that received request, process and render page.

In Magento 2 Controller has one or more files in Controller folder of module, it includes actions of class which contain execute() method. There are 2 different controllers, they are frontend controller and backend controller. They are generally similar of workflow, but admin controller is a little different. There is a checking permission method in admin controller.

How controller work?

It receive an request from end-user (browser or comamnd line), for example:

http://example.com/route_name/controller/action
  • route_name is a unique name which is set in routes.xml.
  • controller is the folder inside Controller folder.
  • action is a class with execute method to process request.

One of the important in Magento system is frontController (Magento\Framework\App\FrontController), it alway receive request then route controller, action by route_name Let take an example of routing an request:

foreach ($this->_routerList as $router) {
   try {
      $actionInstance = $router->match($request);
   …
}

If there is an action of controller class found, execute() method will be run.

How to create a controller?

To create a controller, we need to create a folder inside Controller folder of module and declare an action class inside it. For example, we create a Test controller and a Hello action for module Mageplaza_HelloWorld:

Step 1: Create routes.xml

File: etc/frontend/routes.xml

<?xml version="1.0" ?>
<config xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="urn:magento:framework:App/etc/routes.xsd">
    <router id="standard">
        <route frontName="helloworld" id="helloworld">
            <module name="Mageplaza_HelloWorld"/>
        </route>
    </router>
</config>

Step 2: Create controller file

File: Controller/Index/Index.php

<?php 


namespace Mageplaza\HelloWorld\Controller\Index;
 
 
class Index extends \Magento\Framework\App\Action\Action {

    protected $resultPageFactory;

    /**
     * Constructor
     * 
     * @param \Magento\Framework\App\Action\Context  $context
     * @param \Magento\Framework\View\Result\PageFactory $resultPageFactory
     */
    public function __construct(
        \Magento\Framework\App\Action\Context $context,
        \Magento\Framework\View\Result\PageFactory $resultPageFactory
    )
    {
        $this->resultPageFactory = $resultPageFactory;
        parent::__construct($context);
    }

    /**
     * Execute view action
     * 
     * @return \Magento\Framework\Controller\ResultInterface
     */
    public function execute()
    {
        return $this->resultPageFactory->create();
    }
}

As you see, all controller must extend from \Magento\Framework\App\Action\Action class which has dispatch method which will call execute method in action class. In this execute() method, we will write all of our controller logic and will return response for the request.

Step 3: Create Layout file

File: view/frontend/layout/module_index_index.xml

<?xml version="1.0" ?>
<page layout="1column" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="urn:magento:framework:View/Layout/etc/page_configuration.xsd">
    <body>
        <referenceContainer name="content">
            <block class="Mageplaza\HelloWorld\Block\Index\Index" name="index.index" template="Mageplaza_HelloWorld::index/index.phtml"/>
        </referenceContainer>
    </body>
</page>

Step 4: Create template file

File: view/frontend/templates/index/index.phtml

Welcome to Mageplaza.com

Step 5: Flush Magento cache

How to flush Magento cache here

Step 6: Run a test

Let’s open browser and navigate to

http://<yourhost.com>/helloworld/index/index

or

http://<yourhost.com>/helloworld/

Permission - ACL

There is a checking permission method in admin controller. Let’s take an example:

protected function _isAllowed()
{
    return $this->_authorization->isAllowed('Magento_AdminNotification::show_list');
}

It will check the current user has right to access this action or not, learn more Admin ACL Access Control Lists

Other methods in Magento 2 Controller

Forward and redirect in action.

\Magento\Framework\App\Action\Action class provide us 2 important methods: _forward and _redirect.

Forward method

_forward() protected function will edit the request to transfer it to another controller/action class. This will not change the request url. For example, we have 2 actions Forward and Hello World like this:

namespace Mageplaza\HelloWorld\Controller\Test;
class Forward extends \Magento\Framework\App\Action\Action
{
	public function execute()
	{
		$this->_forward('hello');
	}
}

If you make a request to http://example.com/route_name/test/forward , here are result will be displied on the screen.

Hello World! Welcome to Mageplaza.com

You can also change the controller, module and set param for the request when forward. Please check the _forward() function for more information:

protected function _forward($action, $controller = null, $module = null, array $params = null)
{
    $request = $this->getRequest();

    $request->initForward();

    if (isset($params)) {
        $request->setParams($params);
    }

    if (isset($controller)) {
        $request->setControllerName($controller);

        // Module should only be reset if controller has been specified
        if (isset($module)) {
            $request->setModuleName($module);
        }
    }

    $request->setActionName($action);
    $request->setDispatched(false);
}

Redirect method

This method will transfer to another controller/action class and also change the response header and the request url. With above example, if we replace _forward() method by this _redirect() method:

	$this->_redirect('*/*/hello');

Then after access from the url http://example.com/route_name/test/forward, the url will be change to http://example.com/route_name/test/hello and show the message Hello World! Welcome to Mageplaza.com on the screen.





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