Martini handler for mapping and validating a raw request into a structure.
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GhostRussia and mholt Fix upload array files. (#53)
* Fix upload array files.

* add test
Latest commit 05d3e15 Jul 1, 2016

binding wercker status

Request data binding and validation for Martini.



  • Automatically converts data from a request into a struct ready for your application
  • Supports form, JSON, and multipart form data (including file uploads)
  • Can use interfaces
  • Provides data validation facilities
    • Enforces required fields
    • Invoke your own data validator
  • Built-in error handling (or use your own)
  • 99% test coverage


Getting form data from a request

Suppose you have a contact form on your site where at least name and message are required. We'll need a struct to receive the data:

type ContactForm struct {
	Name    string `form:"name" binding:"required"`
	Email   string `form:"email"`
	Message string `form:"message" binding:"required"`

Then we simply add our route in Martini:

m.Post("/contact/submit", binding.Bind(ContactForm{}), func(contact ContactForm) string {
	return fmt.Sprintf("Name: %s\nEmail: %s\nMessage: %s\n",
		contact.Name, contact.Email, contact.Message)

That's it! The binding.Bind function takes care of validating required fields. If there are any errors (like a required field is empty), binding will return an error to the client and your app won't even see the request.

(Caveat: Don't try to bind to embedded struct pointers; it won't work. See issue 30 if you want to help with this.)

Getting JSON data from a request

To get data from JSON payloads, simply use the json: struct tags instead of form:. Pro Tip: Use JSON-to-Go to correctly convert JSON to a Go type definition. It's useful if you're new to this or the structure is large/complex.

Custom validation

If you want additional validation beyond just checking required fields, your struct can implement the binding.Validator interface like so:

func (cf ContactForm) Validate(errors binding.Errors, req *http.Request) binding.Errors {
	if strings.Contains(cf.Message, "Go needs generics") {
		errors = append(errors, binding.Error{
			FieldNames:     []string{"message"},
			Classification: "ComplaintError",
			Message:        "Go has generics. They're called interfaces.",
	return errors

Now, any contact form submissions with "Go needs generics" in the message will return an error explaining your folly.

Binding to interfaces

If you'd like to bind the data to an interface rather than to a concrete struct, you can specify the interface and use it like this:

m.Post("/contact/submit", binding.Bind(ContactForm{}, (*MyInterface)(nil)), func(contact MyInterface) {
	// ... your struct became an interface!

Description of Handlers

Each of these middleware handlers are independent and optional, though be aware that some handlers invoke other ones.


binding.Bind is a convenient wrapper over the other handlers in this package. It does the following boilerplate for you:

  1. Deserializes request data into a struct
  2. Performs validation with binding.Validate
  3. Bails out with binding.ErrorHandler if there are any errors

Your application (the final handler) will not even see the request if there are any errors.

Content-Type will be used to know how to deserialize the requests.

Important safety tip: Don't attempt to bind a pointer to a struct. This will cause a panic to prevent a race condition where every request would be pointing to the same struct.


binding.Form deserializes form data from the request, whether in the query string or as a form-urlencoded payload. It only does these things:

  1. Deserializes request data into a struct
  2. Performs validation with binding.Validate

Note that it does not handle errors. You may receive a binding.Errors into your own handler if you want to handle errors. (For automatic error handling, use binding.Bind.)

MultipartForm and file uploads

Like binding.Form, binding.MultipartForm deserializes form data from a request into the struct you pass in. Additionally, this will deserialize a POST request that has a form of enctype="multipart/form-data". If the bound struct contains a field of type *multipart.FileHeader (or []*multipart.FileHeader), you also can read any uploaded files that were part of the form.

This handler does the following:

  1. Deserializes request data into a struct
  2. Performs validation with binding.Validate

Again, like binding.Form, no error handling is performed, but you can get the errors in your handler by receiving a binding.Errors type.

MultipartForm example

type UploadForm struct {
	Title      string                `form:"title"`
	TextUpload *multipart.FileHeader `form:"txtUpload"`

func main() {
	m := martini.Classic()
	m.Post("/", binding.MultipartForm(UploadForm{}), uploadHandler(uf UploadForm) string {
		file, err := uf.TextUpload.Open()
		// ... you can now read the uploaded file


binding.Json deserializes JSON data in the payload of the request. It does the following things:

  1. Deserializes request data into a struct
  2. Performs validation with binding.Validate

Similar to binding.Form, no error handling is performed, but you can get the errors and handle them yourself.


binding.Validate receives a populated struct and checks it for errors, first by enforcing the binding:"required" value on struct field tags, then by executing the Validate() method on the struct, if it is a binding.Validator.

Note: Marking a field as "required" means that you do not allow the zero value for that type (i.e. if you want to allow 0 in an int field, do not make it required).

Sanitizing: If you'd like more powerful validation by sanitizing the input, take a look at jamieomatthews/martini-validate which has a few useful validate functions built-in.


binding.ErrorHandler is a small middleware that simply writes an error code to the response and also a JSON payload describing the errors, if any errors have been mapped to the context. It does nothing if there are no errors.

  • Deserialization errors yield a 400
  • Content-Type errors yield a 415
  • Any other kinds of errors (including your own) yield a 422 (Unprocessable Entity)


Hey, cool! Let's make this package even better. We have several goals for this package as a community:

  • Lightweight (small)
  • Tightly focused (doesn't branch into other areas of concern)
  • Performant (yeah, it uses reflection, so we could improve here)
  • 100% test coverage (or close to it)

Adding more features tends to chip away at each of these goals, but let's discuss them anyway: don't feel like you can't recommend or ask something. We all want the best possible binding package.

Bug fixes will be accepted any time as pull requests, as long as tests assert correct behavior. Thanks for getting involved!

Primary Authors

Thanks to all contributors!