URL Routing — Werkzeug documentation

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URL Routing

When it comes to combining multiple controller or view functions (however you want to call them), you need a dispatcher. A simple way would be applying regular expression tests on PATH_INFO and call registered callback functions that return the value.

Werkzeug provides a much more powerful system, similar to Routes. All the objects mentioned on this page must be imported from werkzeug.routing, not from werkzeug!


Here is a simple example which could be the URL definition for a blog:

from werkzeug.routing import Map, Rule, NotFound, RequestRedirect

url_map = Map([
    Rule('/', endpoint='blog/index'),
    Rule('/<int:year>/', endpoint='blog/archive'),
    Rule('/<int:year>/<int:month>/', endpoint='blog/archive'),
    Rule('/<int:year>/<int:month>/<int:day>/', endpoint='blog/archive'),
    Rule('/about', endpoint='blog/about_me'),
    Rule('/feeds/', endpoint='blog/feeds'),
    Rule('/feeds/<feed_name>.rss', endpoint='blog/show_feed')

def application(environ, start_response):
    urls = url_map.bind_to_environ(environ)
        endpoint, args = urls.match()
    except HTTPException, e:
        return e(environ, start_response)
    start_response('200 OK', [('Content-Type', 'text/plain')])
    return [f'Rule points to {endpoint!r} with arguments {args!r}']

So what does that do? First of all we create a new Map which stores a bunch of URL rules. Then we pass it a list of Rule objects.

Each Rule object is instantiated with a string that represents a rule and an endpoint which will be the alias for what view the rule represents. Multiple rules can have the same endpoint, but should have different arguments to allow URL construction.

The format for the URL rules is straightforward, but explained in detail below.

Inside the WSGI application we bind the url_map to the current request which will return a new MapAdapter. This url_map adapter can then be used to match or build domains for the current request.

The MapAdapter.match() method can then either return a tuple in the form (endpoint, args) or raise one of the three exceptions NotFound, MethodNotAllowed, or RequestRedirect. For more details about those exceptions have a look at the documentation of the MapAdapter.match() method.

Rule Format

Rule strings are URL paths with placeholders for variable parts in the format <converter(arguments):name>. converter and arguments (with parentheses) are optional. If no converter is given, the default converter is used (string by default). The available converters are discussed below.

Rules that end with a slash are “branches”, others are “leaves”. If strict_slashes is enabled (the default), visiting a branch URL without a trailing slash will redirect to the URL with a slash appended.

Many HTTP servers merge consecutive slashes into one when receiving requests. If merge_slashes is enabled (the default), rules will merge slashes in non-variable parts when matching and building. Visiting a URL with consecutive slashes will redirect to the URL with slashes merged. If you want to disable merge_slashes for a Rule or Map, you’ll also need to configure your web server appropriately.

Built-in Converters

Converters for common types of URL variables are built-in. The available converters can be overridden or extended through Map.converters.

Maps, Rules and Adapters

Rule Factories

Rule Templates

Custom Converters

You can add custom converters that add behaviors not provided by the built-in converters. To make a custom converter, subclass BaseConverter then pass the new class to the Map converters parameter, or add it to url_map.converters.

The converter should have a regex attribute with a regular expression to match with. If the converter can take arguments in a URL rule, it should accept them in its __init__ method.

It can implement a to_python method to convert the matched string to some other object. This can also do extra validation that wasn’t possible with the regex attribute, and should raise a werkzeug.routing.ValidationError in that case. Raising any other errors will cause a 500 error.

It can implement a to_url method to convert a Python object to a string when building a URL. Any error raised here will be converted to a werkzeug.routing.BuildError and eventually cause a 500 error.

This example implements a BooleanConverter that will match the strings "yes", "no", and "maybe", returning a random value for "maybe".

from random import randrange
from werkzeug.routing import BaseConverter, ValidationError

class BooleanConverter(BaseConverter):
    regex = r"(?:yes|no|maybe)"

    def __init__(self, url_map, maybe=False):
        self.maybe = maybe

    def to_python(self, value):
        if value == "maybe":
            if self.maybe:
                return not randrange(2)
            raise ValidationError
        return value == 'yes'

    def to_url(self, value):
        return "yes" if value else "no"

from werkzeug.routing import Map, Rule

url_map = Map([
    Rule("/vote/<bool:werkzeug_rocks>", endpoint="vote"),
    Rule("/guess/<bool(maybe=True):foo>", endpoint="guess")
], converters={'bool': BooleanConverter})

If you want to change the default converter, assign a different converter to the "default" key.

Host Matching

New in version 0.7.

Starting with Werkzeug 0.7 it’s also possible to do matching on the whole host names instead of just the subdomain. To enable this feature you need to pass host_matching=True to the Map constructor and provide the host argument to all routes:

url_map = Map([
    Rule('/', endpoint='www_index', host='www.example.com'),
    Rule('/', endpoint='help_index', host='help.example.com')
], host_matching=True)

Variable parts are of course also possible in the host section:

url_map = Map([
    Rule('/', endpoint='www_index', host='www.example.com'),
    Rule('/', endpoint='user_index', host='<user>.example.com')
], host_matching=True)


New in version 1.0.

If a Rule is created with websocket=True, it will only match if the Map is bound to a request with a url_scheme of ws or wss.


Werkzeug has no further WebSocket support beyond routing. This functionality is mostly of use to ASGI projects.

url_map = Map([
    Rule("/ws", endpoint="comm", websocket=True),
adapter = map.bind("example.org", "/ws", url_scheme="ws")
assert adapter.match() == ("comm", {})

If the only match is a WebSocket rule and the bind is HTTP (or the only match is HTTP and the bind is WebSocket) a WebsocketMismatch (derives from BadRequest) exception is raised.

As WebSocket URLs have a different scheme, rules are always built with a scheme and host, force_external=True is implied.

url = adapter.build("comm")
assert url == "ws://example.org/ws"