Last week or so I blogged about doing form postings with Spry. I was asked to provide a bit more documentation so I thought I'd show a slightly more detailed example.

First lets start with a very simple form:

<form> number one: <input type="text" name="one" id="one"><br> number two: <input type="text" name="two" id="two"><br> </form>

This form has two simple text fields named one and two. I want to use Spry to send the values of these two fields to the server. First lets add a simple button:

<input type="button" value="Add" onClick="doAddPost()">

This simply fires off a JavaScript function. I'm going to break the function up and explain each and every line to make it as clear as possible. First, start the function.

function doAddPost() {

We need to know where we will be posting the form, so next I define the URL:

var url = "moon.cfm";

Now I need to grab the values I want to post. Normally with a submit button you don't have to worry about this. The browser simply sends all the form fields. In this case though I have to specify the fields manually. First I'll grab the value of the form field, one, using the Spry/Prototype $() shortcut:

var one = $("one").value;

Then I'll grab the value from the second form field:

var two = $("two").value;

The form post data must be sent like a query string: foo1=value1&foo2=value2. Again, I have to do this by hand:

var formData = 'one='+one+'&two='+two;

Next I encode any values in the string, like spaces or other special characters:

formData = encodeURI(formData);

So the last thing we do is run the Spry code that will handle the form post. I talked about this more in the last post so I won't spend a lot of time on it.

Spry.Utils.loadURL('POST', url, true, resFunc, {postData: formData, headers: {"Content-Type": "application/x-www-form-urlencoded; charset=UTF-8"}});

The first argument defines the type of request (GET or POST). The second argument is the URL value I defined earlier. The third argument defines if the call is asynchronous or not. The fourth argument defines a function to run with the result of the HTTP call. Lastly there is a structure of arguments that define the request. Again I have to thank Keith for figuring this out.

So here is the function again all in one code block:

function doAddPost() { var url = "moon.cfm"; var one = $("one").value; var two = $("two").value; var formData = 'one='+one+'&two='+two; formData = encodeURI(formData); Spry.Utils.loadURL('POST', url, true, resFunc, {postData: formData, headers: {"Content-Type": "application/x-www-form-urlencoded; charset=UTF-8"}}); }

So how do we handle this server side? We have a few options. As I mentioned, the loadURL function lets you define code to run with the result. So whatever the server returned I can work with in JavaScript. This can be either a string or XML or WDDX. To make it easier I'll just return a simple string:

<cfsetting enablecfoutputonly=true> <cfparam name="" default="0"> <cfparam name="form.two" default="0">

<cfif isNumeric( and isNumeric(form.two)> <cfoutput></cfoutput> <cfelse> <cfoutput>0</cfoutput> </cfif>

Obviously there isn't anything too complex here, just the addition of two numbers. I take the result and simply output it directly to the client requesting the data. With me so far?

Now let's return to JavaScript and work with the result. I had specified the a function named resFunc would handle the result. The function is all of 4 lines:

function resFunc(request) { var result = request.xhRequest.responseText; $("result").innerHTML = "Result was: " + result; }

Spry automatically passes a collection of data back. The information I'm interested in resides in xhRequest.responseText. Once I have that, I can write out the result in the browser.

So I had mentioned more than once I wanted to make this process a bit simpler. Here is my first draft at it:

function doFormPost(url,formlist,resfunc) { var formdata = ''; var formarray = formlist.split(','); for(var i=0; i < formarray.length; i++) { formdata+='&'+formarray[i]+'='; var fValue = $(formarray[i]).value; formdata+=fValue; } formData = encodeURI(formdata); Spry.Utils.loadURL('POST', url, true, resfunc, {postData: formdata, headers: {"Content-Type": "application/x-www-form-urlencoded; charset=UTF-8"}}); }

This lets you pass in a url and a list of form fields to post. The third argument is optional. So to do a Spry post you can do this instead of the button and custom function I had before:

<input type="button" value="Add3" onClick="doFormPost('moon.cfm', 'one,two',resFunc)">

As I said though this is just a first draft. Right now it assumes just text fields.