A template model provides properties and methods which can be accessed in the corresponding template script.

The model can be implemented in Java or - since Magnolia 5.5.6 it can also be written in JavaScript following Light development approach - thus enabling fast development and deployment without the need for Java, Maven or WAR deployment.

This page covers Java based models. For the JS based models please read How to work with JavaScript models.

This is an advanced topic.

It is not necessary to use a model in Magnolia templating, but it is useful. If you are starting out with Magnolia use templating functions instead of a model. Model classes cannot be added to light modules because light modules cannot contain their own Java classes. However, a light module can reference a component model from another module such as MTE.

A model can execute any Java code to retrieve data from the JCR repository or from an external source.

Renderer diagram

What is a model?

A model is written as a Java model class. It is a JavaBean where business logic resides. The model class is the entry point for custom Java logic for the template script. All templates - page, area and component - can define a model class.

How does a model work?

During the rendering process, the renderer calls the model’s execute() before it calls the template script. The return value of the execute method is passed to the template script with the actionResult object.

The model class:

All of the model’s public methods can be accessed by the template script.

Benefits of using a model

There are a number of benefits to using a model:

  • Provides a clean separation between script rendering and business logic. You can change business logic without changing rendering logic.

  • Different page, area and component templates can use the same business logic.

  • Interaction between template scripts and their models can be predefined during the conceptual project phase.

  • Model classes and template scripts can be developed independently,

  • Because the model is a Java class, you can use all Magnolia Java components.

  • Model classes are reusable and can be subclassed.

  • You can retain control of the business logic by preventing changes by front-end script developers.

Referencing a model

All templates can use a model class. The model class is referenced in the modelClass property in the template definition.

Example: A home page template that uses a model class


renderType: freemarker
templateScript: /my-module/templates/pages/home.ftl
dialog: my-module:pages/homePageProperties
modelClass: com.example.templates.HomePageModel

Using model methods

Model classes provide their own methods. You can use any public method in your templates. The methods are exposed using the model.<method name> notation.

All getters without parameters can be accessed without the `get' part of the method name and without the method brackets. Methods that expect parameters can only be called by the full method declaration.

Example: How to use model methods in your templates

Model class method

Usage in a template script

 public String getName()
 public Collection getLatestNews()
 public boolean isArchivedNews()
public String getContact(String contactName)

Model constructor

These following objects are passed into the constructor of a model:

The constructor of a model uses Java Generics. The used definition can be defined by generics. No casts are needed.
public class NavigationComponentModel<RD extends ConfiguredTemplateDefinition> extends RenderingModelImpl<ConfiguredTemplateDefinition> {

    public NavigationComponentModel(Node content, ConfiguredTemplateDefinition definition, RenderingModel<?> parent) throws PathNotFoundException, RepositoryException {
        super(content, definition, parent);


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