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Virtual URI mapping is a way to redirect an incoming request to the actual location of the content. Typically the virtual address does not match the site hierarchy exactly. 

Virtual URI mapping is an area where you can quickly break a site if you are not careful. It is easy to create cyclical mappings where the result of one mapping feeds another mapping. This can have unintended consequences and render AdminCentral unreachable. Create and test mappings in an isolated test environment before deploying them to production. If something goes wrong and you cannot access AdminCentral anymore, use the Groovy Rescue App to delete the problematic mapping.

The logic of virtual URI mapping in Magnolia

A given mapping configuration "maps" an incoming URI to a new target URI. It returns a result describing the new URI and the level of match. The following action prefixes are supported for the new URI:

  • redirect:
  • permanent:
  • forward:

to trigger either a temporary redirect, a permanent redirect or a forward, respectively. See the Action prefixes section below for more detailed explanations.

The URIs can be either absolute or relative within the web application in which case the context path is added automatically. For example:

  • Relative

    fromUri: /winter2016
    toUri: forward:/marketing/campaigns/winter2016
  • Absolute

    fromUri: /winter2016
    toUri: forward:https://www.example.com/marketing/campaigns/winter2016.html

The mappings registry

The mappings are delegated to a separate module ( virtual-uri ) through the  info.magnolia.virtualuri.VirtualUriFilter  class and are stored in their own registry ( VirtualUriRegistry ), which allows to reference each mapping also in YAML definition files. All virtual URI mappings can be located via the Definitions app no matter whether they come from JCR or a YAML file:

Alternatively, search the config space with the JCR browser app:

Where to use virtual mappings

Virtual URIs are commonly used in Internet marketing for:

  • Campaigns, events, conferences, shows, vanity URLs
  • Microsites
  • Landing pages, geo or language specific pages
  • Product pages
  • Conversion pages
  • Downloads
  • Coupon codes, special offers
  • Abbreviations, shorthands

There are also utility reasons for redirecting URLs, related to day-to-day site maintenance:

  • Web pages have moved due to site re-organization. Users still have old URLs in their bookmarks and in search engine indexes. Without redirection traffic would be lost.
  • Registering alternative domain extensions like example.net and example.org and redirecting them to your primary site example.com . You can map multiple domain names to a site in your Magnolia site definition. This can be a major time-saver for a CMS team since there is no need to configure a Web server. Note that you need to register the domains with a registrar first and make sure that DNS entries for the domains point to the server hosting your Magnolia instance.

As an example of mapping, see also Turning a template-based JSON provider into a RESTful API with virtualURIMapping where we define a custom virtual mapping to rewrite a path like /getjson/tours/magnolia-travels/Kyoto  into /getjson?workspace=tours&path=/magnolia-travels/Kyoto .

Configuration

You can create virtual URI mappings in the virtualUriMappings folder inside your module configuration. 

Please note that the YAML-based configuration must be stored under the  virtualUriMappings folder, with the plural -s at the end and camel-cased  Uri in the middle of the name of the folder. In JCR configuration, the node's name can be either virtualUriMappings or the older virtualURIMapping . In either case make sure that the folder is at the top level inside module configuration.

Via JCR

Example: A mapping named enterprise-edition forwards users from example.com/ee to example.com/enterprise-edition . The DefaultVirtualUriMapping class (for description see the Mapping classes  section below) maps one URI to another. This ensures that external links that point to example.com/ee still work when the target page is renamed.

Node name

Value

 <my-module>


 virtualUriMappings


 enterprise-edition


 class

info.magnolia.virtualuri.mapping.DefaultVirtualUriMapping

 fromUri

/ee

 toUri

forward:/enterprise-edition

Via YAML

You can configure virtual URI mappings in a YAML definition file inside a light module folder:

<my-module>/virtualUriMappings/enterprise-edition.yaml
class: info.magnolia.virtualuri.mapping.DefaultVirtualUriMapping
fromUri: /ee
toUri: forward:/enterprise-edition

Properties

class

required

Class that performs the mapping. See the section Mapping classes below.

fromUri

required

Pattern to match in the requested URI.

toUri

required

Concrete URI where the request is mapped to.

site

required (for the MultiSiteRegexpVirtualUriMapping class)

Specifies the site that should be used for the mapping.

A catalog of mappings

For easier orientation, if you have to configure a lot of mappings, you can store them in folder-like structures rather than in one long flat list of mappings:

Node name

Value

 <my-module>


  virtualUriMappings


 europe


 class

info.magnolia.virtualuri.mapping.DefaultVirtualUriMapping

 fromUri

/customer-support-europe.html

 toUri

forward:/europe/cust-support.html

 usa


 class

info.magnolia.virtualuri.mapping.DefaultVirtualUriMapping

 fromUri

/customer-support-usa.html

 toUri

forward:/usa/cust-support.html

 asia-australia


  asia


 class

info.magnolia.virtualuri.mapping.DefaultVirtualUriMapping

 fromUri

/customer-support-asia.html

 toUri

forward:/asia/cust-support.html

  australia


 class

info.magnolia.virtualuri.mapping.DefaultVirtualUriMapping

 fromUri

/customer-support-australia.html

 toUri

forward:/australia/cust-support.html

Mapping classes

Magnolia provides eight ready-made classes that perform virtual URI mapping:

  • info.magnolia.virtualuri.mapping.*
    • DefaultVirtualUriMapping maps a virtual URI to a content path. This is the simplest and most common type.
      If the URI starts with a dot ( . ), it is not taken as a wildcard anymore but the dot in fact is interpreted as dot. If you need a wildcard, use ? instead.
    • RegexpVirtualUriMapping allows you to specify a regular expression pattern that matches a sequence of characters. A regexp pattern can match a variety of URIs, which saves time and effort as you would otherwise have to create default mappings for each case. toUri can contain back references to the regexp matches.
    • RotatingVirtualUriMapping is an extension of RegexpVirtualUriMapping that allows rotation between different destination URIs. In order to rotate, toUri must contain an asterisk character * that will be replaced by a random integer between start (default is 1) and end minus one (default is 3). An additional property padding specifies the desired width of the string. Zeroes are added to the left of the integer to make all strings equally wide. Default width is 2.

    • HostBasedVirtualUriMapping forwards the request to a different URI depending on the requested host name.
    • HostBasedRegexpVirtualUriMapping combines the host-based and regex mappings, i.e. forwards the request to a different URI depending on the requested host name and allows you to specify a regular expression pattern that matches a sequence of characters.
  • info.magnolia.module.googlesitemap.config.mapping.*
    • SiteMapVirtualUriMapping compares source URI to names of sitemaps available in the googleSitemaps workspace and prepends the prefix.
  • info.magnolia.multisite.mapping.* 
    • MultiSiteRootVirtualUriMapping is a special class which specifies the root of a site if site matching returns null
    • MultiSiteRegexpVirtualUriMapping adds a site condition to the mapURI check.  A mapping will only match the request if both the specified regular expression and the specified site match.

  You can also write your own implementation.

Deprecated classes

The following classes have been deprecated with the release of Magnolia 5.6:

  • info.magnolia.module.googlesitemap.config.*
    • SiteMapVirtualUriMapping
  • info.magnolia.multisite.*
    • MultiSiteRootVirtualURIMapping
    • MultiSiteRegexpVirtualURIMapping

Action prefixes

You can use these action prefixes:

  • forward hides the true target URL from the visitor. The URL that the user typed in the browser address bar or the link they clicked remains visible. Forward is performed internally by the servlet. Any browser reload of the resulting page will repeat the original request, with the original URL.
  • redirect displays the true target URL in the address bar. It is a two-step process where the web application instructs the browser to fetch a second URL which differs from the original. A browser reload of the second URL will not repeat the original request but will rather fetch the second URL. Redirect is marginally slower than a forward since it requires two browser requests instead of one. A redirect returns HTTP status code 302 "found" to the client. While OK for human visitors, this method can be suboptimal from search engine optimization (SEO) viewpoint as search engines do not transfer the page rank assigned to the old URL to the new URL.
  • permanent 301 redirect is a search engine friendly option. In this case the HTTP response code is set to 301. Google and Yahoo! specifically endorse this type of redirection and Bing is following the trend. 301 redirect preserves your search engine ranking for the redirected page.

It is also possible to leave the action prefix out. A virtual URI mapping that does not have a prefix does not re-process the request. It just changes the current URI in the AggregationState .

Examples

Default

Forward from /winter2016 to /marketing/campaigns/winter2016 .

Node name

Value

  virtualUriMappings


 winter2010


 class

info.magnolia.virtualuri.mapping.DefaultVirtualUriMapping

 fromUri

/winter2016

 toUri

forward:/marketing/campaigns/winter2016

Regular expression

Take requested page name and pass it as a productId request parameter to a product detail page.

Node name

Value

  virtualUriMappings


 productIDs


 class

info.magnolia.virtualuri.mapping.RegexpVirtualUriMapping

 fromUri

/products/([0-9A-Z]+)\.html

 toUri

forward:/product/detail.html?productId=$1

The pattern [0-9A-Z] in fromUri means "any single character in the range of 0-9 or A-Z". The plus character makes this a greedy pattern that matches one or more of the preceding token, and will match as many characters as possible before satisfying the next token. By enclosing the pattern in parentheses we create a capturing group ([0-9A-Z+]) which can be referenced in the toUri using $1.

These request URIs:

  • example.com/products/Wayfarer-Retro.html
  • example.com/products/B00LBFSSYI.html
  • example.com/products/Sony-MDRZX100.html

would be mapped to these URIs:

  • example.com/product/detail.html?productId=Wayfarer-Retro

  • example.com/product/detail.html?productId=B00LBFSSYI

  • example.com/product/detail.html?productId=Sony-MDRZX100

Rotating

A request URI such as forward:/banner/image_*.jpg will randomly forward the request to /banner/image_01.jpg , /banner/image_02.jpg or /banner/image_03.jpg . A use case for this class is rotating images such as banner ads. The mapping displays a random ad on each page visit.

Node name

Value

  virtualUriMappings


 banner-ads


 class

info.magnolia.virtualuri.mapping.RotatingVirtualUriMapping

 end

3

 fromUri

/dam/tours/banner/image.jpg

 padding

2

 start

1

 toUri

forward:/dam/tours/banner/image_*.jpg

In addition to randomized ad distribution the class allows you to do basic A/B or multivariate testing. For example, create two images: A and B. Configure the mapping to display them randomly. Track visitor click-through rates to find out which image is more effective. You can use the Google Analytics module to track click events of any element such as images, buttons and teasers.

Host based

Forward the visitor to a German language version of the home page when the site is requested with the .de country domain. Similarly, forward to a French version when the site is requested with the .fr country domain. The matching pattern is in the host property. The toUri value under the parent node works as a fallback option. If no host name match is found, such as when the site is requested with acme.com , forward to an English version.

Node name

Value

  virtualUriMappings


 language-by-domain


 mappings


 de


 host

travel.de

 toUri

forward:/de/travel

 fr


 host

travel.fr

 toUri

forward:/fr/travel

 class

info.magnolia.virtualuri.mapping.HostBasedVirtualUriMapping

 fromUri

/

 toUri

forward:/en/travel

Google Sitemap

The mapping redirects the requests for sitemaps to the /sitemaps node. The configuration is taken from the google-sitemap module in the default installation of Magnolia:

Node name

Value

  virtualUriMappings


 siteMaps


 class

info.magnolia.module.googlesitemap.config.mapping.SiteMapVirtualUriMapping

 prefix

redirect:/sitemaps

Properties:

class

SiteMapVirtualUriMapping compares source URI to names of sitemaps available in googleSitemaps workspace and prepends the prefix.

prefix

Prefix prepended by the class.

 

Mappings in the default installations of Magnolia

ModuleEdition

Mapping class

From

(Site)

To

ui-admincentral

(Author Instance)

EE

MultiSiteRootVirtualUriMapping

/redirect:/.magnolia/admincentral

ui-admincentral

(Author Instance)

CE

DefaultVirtualUriMapping

/redirect:/.magnolia/admincentral

ui-admincentral

(Public Instance)

EE

MultiSiteRootVirtualUriMapping

/redirect:/travel.html

ui-admincentral

(Public Instance)

CE

DefaultVirtualUriMapping

/redirect:/travel.html
google-sitemapCE, EE

SiteMapVirtualUriMapping


redirect:/sitemaps
rssaggregatorCE, EE

RegexpVirtualUriMapping

/rssFeeds/(.*)redirect:/rss/?feedPath=/$1
rssaggregatorCE, EE

RegexpVirtualUriMapping

/planetFeeds/(.*)


redirect:/rss/?feedPath=/$1&generatorName=planet
rssaggregatorCE, EE

RegexpVirtualUriMapping

/categoryFeeds/([a-zA-Z0-9,-]*)/(.*)

redirect:/rss/?generatorName=category&categories=$1&siteRoot=/$2
toursCE

RegexpVirtualUriMapping

/tours(.*).html

forward:/travel/tour?tour=$1
toursEE

MultiSiteRegexpVirtualUriMapping


/tours(.*).html

( travel )

forward:/tour?tour=$1
toursEE

MultiSiteRegexpVirtualUriMapping

/tours(.*).html

( sportstation )

forward:/tour?tour=$1

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