Rendering context objects

Rendering context objects provide direct access to important Magnolia classes from a template script. You can get information such as the current template, user and request through these objects. Rendering content objects are set in AbstractRenderer and its child classes.

Most context objects are JavaBeans, which means you can access their properties with the dot operator or a getter method in a template script. Both expressions are valid and return the same value.



Current content node in the rendering context provided as ContentMap.

In a page template, current node is the page node (mgnl:page). In a component template, current node is the component node (mgnl:component). It is the contextual root content node. The current node is exposed as a ContentMap object, which means it carries the properties of the underlying Node.

Example: Rendering a page title. Here the current node is a page node.



Current RenderableDefinition. Use def to access the properties of the template definition such as title or use custom parameters. It is a JavaBean, which means you can access its properties with the dot operator or a getter method.

Example: Getting a CSS class name from custom parameters and assigning it to a variable.

[#assign cssClass=def.parameters.cssClass]


A JavaBean created by the renderer based on the model class defined in the template definition. Every model class must implement the RenderingModel interface.

Not every template defines a model class. If no model is defined, no bean will be created and its reference will be null.

A model can be implemented as a Java class by implementing RenderingModel. Since Magnolia 5.5.6, a model can also be written in JavaScript (see JavaScript Models module).

The model itself provides the following built-in properties:

  • parent: Model of the parent component or template.

  • root: Top root model of the rendering process.

  • content: Content node bound to the model in the rendering context provided as a ContentMap.

  • node: Content node bound to the model in the rendering context provided as a Node.

  • definition: The renderable definition (template, area or component) bound to the model. Same as def.

These properties can referenced like this:


The probably most handy property is parent. Parent points to the parent model, its meaning depends on the case. If you have for instance a component template with a model and a page template with a model - the parent model of the component template is the model of the page template. Via parent you can access all built in properties of the parent model like this:


Example: Asking a model for a URL and a title, then building a link.

[#assign linkURL = model.url!]
[#assign linkText = model.title!]

<a href="${linkURL}">${linkText}</a>


A String returned by the execute() method of the model class. Can be used for logic that has to be executed before rendering, when rendered output depends on the result of the logic, for example form field validation before rendering the field.


Context represents the environment in which the current process runs. The type is Context. It is WebContext when the script is executed from a Web page and SimpleContext, for instance, when the script generates a mail from within a workflow or scheduled job.

The Context interface provides access to:

  • user

  • locale (java.util.Locale)

    Please note that ${ctx.locale} is different from ${cmsfn.language()}, the former referring to the locale currently used by the user, the latter to the locale currently used by the site. See also AdminCentral and public locales.

In addition, WebContext provides access to:

Any ctx attributes (request, session or application scoped) listed under config:server/rendering/engine/protectedAttributes are not exposed.

  'servletContext': 'servletContext'

WebContext properties are null if the execution is not a Web page request.

Example: Getting a search query from a request parameter.

[#assign queryStr = ctx.getParameter('queryStr')!?html]


The current AggregationState. Only set if ctx is of type WebContext. (See above.) It is a shortcut for ctx.aggregationState.

Provides access to many properties such as:

  • channel

  • originalURI

  • currentURI

  • queryString

  • mainContentNode (javax.jcr.Node)

    This property returns the node (of type Node) that contains the main content. For example, if a child node inherits content from another component and state.mainContentNode was applied to the child node, it is the child node’s main content that would be returned.

    A use case for this is shown below. Since the type returned by state.mainContentNode is Node, the function cmsfn.asContentMap converts that node to a ContentMap, providing access to its properties. Finally, the function returns the page to which the content belongs.

    [#local currentPage = (!{}]
  • templateName

  • locale (same as ctx.locale)

Check out AggregationState for all properties.

Please note that the values of all the properties are HTML-escaped by default. Should you need it, the raw (unescaped) data can still be accessed in the following manner:


However, be warned that this may expose your webapp to XSS attacks.


A message bundle wrapper (MessagesWrapper) to retrieve translated keys of a message bundle according to the current java.util.Locale.

Use it to internationalize labels that are not stored in content (see template labels). For example:


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