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Routing Parameters

Traditional web frameworks leave room for error in routing by using strings for route parameter names and types. Vapor takes advantage of Swift's closures to provide a safer and more intuitive method for accessing route parameters.

Type Safe

To create a type safe route simply replace one of the parts of your path with a Type.

drop.get("users", Int.self) { request, userId in
    return "You requested User #\(userId)"

This creates a route that matches users/:id where the :id is an Int. Here's what it would look like using manual route parameters.

drop.get("users", ":id") { request in
  guard let userId = request.parameters["id"]?.int else {
    throw Abort.badRequest

  return "You requested User #\(userId)"

Here you can see that type safe routing saves ~3 lines of code and also prevents runtime errors like misspelling :id.

String Initializable

Any type that conforms to StringInitializable can be used as a type-safe routing parameter. By default, the following types conform:

String is the most generic and always matches. Int only matches when the string supplied can be turned into an integer. Model only matches when the string, used as an identifier, can be used to find the model in the database.

Our previous example with users can be further simplified.

drop.get("users", User.self) { request, user in
  return "You requested \(user.name)"

Here the identifier supplied is automatically used to lookup a user. For example, if /users/5 is requested, the User model will be asked for a user with identifier 5. If one is found, the request succeeds and the closure is called. If not, a not found error is thrown.

Here is what this would look like if model didn't conform to StringInitializable.

drop.get("users", Int.self) { request, userId in
  guard let user = try User.find(userId) else {
    throw Abort.notFound

    return "You requested User #\(userId)"

Altogether, type safe routing can save around 6 lines of code from each route.


Conforming your own types to StringInitializable is easy.

public protocol StringInitializable {
    init?(from string: String) throws

Here is what Model's conformance looks like for those who are curious.

extension Model {
    public init?(from string: String) throws {
        if let model = try Self.find(string) {
            self = model
        } else {
            return nil

The init method can both throw and return nil. This allows you to throw your own errors. Or, if you want the default error and behavior, just return nil.


Type safe routing is currently limited to three path parts. This is usually remedied by adding route groups.

drop.group("v1", "users") { users in
  users.get(User.self, "posts", Post.self) { request, user, post in
    return "Requested \(post.name) for \(user.name)"

The resulting path for the above example is /v1/users/:userId/posts/:postId. If you are clamoring for more type safe routing, please let us know and we can look into increasing the limit of three.


As shown briefly above, you are still free to do traditional routing. This can be useful for especially complex situations.

drop.get("v1", "users", ":userId", "posts", ":postId", "comments", ":commentId") { request in
  let userId = try request.parameters.extract("userId") as Int
  let postId = try request.parameters.extract("postId") as Int
  let commentId = try request.parameters.extract("commentId") as Int

  return "You requested comment #\(commentId) for post #\(postId) for user #\(userId)"

Property request.parameters is used to extract parameters encoded in the URI path (for example, /v1/users/1 has a parameter :userId equal to "1"). In case of parameters passed as a part of a query (e.g. /v1/search-user?userId=1), the request.data should be used (e.g. let userId = request.data["userId"]?.string).

Request parameters can be accessed either as a dictionary or using the extract syntax which throws instead of returning an optional.


Manual request parameters also work with groups.

let userGroup = drop.grouped("users", ":userId")
userGroup.get("messages") { req in
    let user = try req.parameters.extract("userId") as User