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Day 12: Maps multiple apps with mount and URLMap

Hello World! but anyone else?

Throughout the advent calendar we most of the time use the simplest web application using the "Hello World" example, like

 my $app = sub {
     return [ 200, [], [ "Hello World" ] ];

what about more complex examples, like you have multiple applications, each of which inherit from one of the web application frameworks, and use one of apache magic like mod_alias etc.


Plack::App::URLMap allows you to composite multiple PSGI applications into one application, to dispatch requests to multiple applications using the URL path, or even with virtual host based dispatch.

 my $app1 = sub {
     return [ 200, [], [ "Hello John" ] ];

 my $app2 = sub {
     return [ 200, [], [ "Hello Bob" ] ];

So you have two apps, one is to say hi to John and another to Bob, and say if you want to run this two application on the same server. With Plack::App::URLMap, you can do this.

 use Plack::App::URLMap;
 my $app = Plack::App::URLMap->new;
 $app->mount("/john" => $app1);
 $app->mount("/bob"  => $app2);

There you go. Your app now dispatches all requests beginning with /john to $app1 which says "Hello John" and /bob to $app2, which is to say "Hello Bob". As a result, all requests to unmapped paths, like the root ("/") gives you 404.

The environment variables such as PATH_INFO and SCRIPT_NAME are automatically adjusted so it just works like when your application is mounted using Apache's mod_alias or CGI scripts. Your application framework should always use PATH_INFO to dispatch requests, and concatenate with SCRIPT_NAME to build links.

mount in DSL

This mount interface with Plack::App::URLMap is quite useful, so we decided to add to Plack::Builder DSL itself, which is again an inspiration by Rack::Builder, using the syntax mount:

 use Plack::Builder;
 builder {
     mount "/john" => $app1;
     mount "/bob"  => builder {
         enable "Auth::Basic", authenticator => ...;

Requests to '/john' is handled exactly the same way with the normal URLMap. But this example uses builder for "/bob", so it enables the basic authentication to display the "Hello Bob" page. This should be syntactically equivalent to:

 $app = Plack::App::URLMap->new;
 $app->mount("/john", $app1);

 $app2 = Plack::Middleware::Auth::Basic->wrap($app2, authenticator => ...);
 $app->mount("/bob",  $app2);

but obviously, with less code to write and more obvious to understand what's going on.

Multi tenant frameworks

Of course you can use this URLMap and mount API to run multiple framework applications on one server. Imagine you have three applications, "Foo" which is based on Catalyst, "Bar" which is based on CGI::Application and "Baz" which is based on Squatting. Do this:

 # Catalyst
 use Foo;
 my $app1 = Foo->psgi_app;

 # CGI::Application
 use Bar;
 use CGI::Application::PSGI;
 my $app2 = sub { 
     my $app = Bar->new({ QUERY => CGI::PSGI->new(shift) });

 # Squatting
 use Baz 'On::PSGI';
 my $app3 = sub { Baz->psgi(shift) };

 builder {
     mount "/foo" => $app1;
     mount "/bar" => $app2;
     mount "/baz" => $app3;

And now you have three applications, each of which inherit from different web framework, running on the same server (via plackup or other Plack::Handler::* implementations) mapped on different paths.