How to make a request
The basic usage of the AJAX object consists of:
- Use the Request action to load a URL.
- A moment later after the request completes, On completed triggers.
- The LastData expression can be used to access the content of the response.
The tokenat system expression may be useful to split simple responses. Alternatively, you can read LastData in other formats by using other plugins, such as the XML object, loading Array data, and so on.
A different tag can be provided for each request. This is a simple string you set to tell apart different requests. For example, on startup you may request both foo.json with tag "foo" and bar.json with tag "bar". When the first request completes, On "foo" completed triggers; when the second request completes, On "bar" completed triggers. Requests can complete in a different order to the order they were made, so without tags it would be impossible to tell which request was completing.
Making AJAX requests cross-domain or in preview
By default, browsers block AJAX requests across domains. This means, for example, a game on construct.net can request other pages on construct.net, but cannot request pages on facebook.com. This is an important security feature of web browsers (it is not specific to Construct or its AJAX object).
Also, when previewing in Construct the game runs on its own domain at preview.construct.net. Therefore AJAX requests to any other domain will typically fail during preview, unless the server explicitly allows cross-domain requests.
If you want AJAX requests to your server to work from any domain, or in preview, you can configure the server to send the following HTTP header:
This will enable AJAX requests from any domain, but you should still be aware of the possible security implications of this. For more information on cross-domain requests see HTTP access control (CORS) on MDN.
Since preview.construct.net runs on a secure server (HTTPS), you cannot make AJAX requests in preview to insecure servers (HTTP). Browsers block this for security reasons. You may see warnings related to "mixed content", which refers to this problem.
Therefore for cross-domain AJAX requests to work in preview mode, you must also make sure your server is secure (using HTTPS). On the modern web this is best practice anyway, especially since many other features only work on secure servers.
When exporting desktop applications with NW.js, the AJAX object can also load files from the application folder. Simply use the Request URL action and enter the name of a file in the same directory as the application, e.g.
"example.txt". Note if a project file exists with the same name, this will always load the project file instead.
AJAX requests for files on your own server requires that your server has the correct MIME types set up.
The AJAX object can receive resources as binary, and also post binary data, using the Binary Data object. This is also useful to fetch local resources like canvas snapshot URLs or video recording URLs, and load them in to a Binary Data object to do something else with them, like save it to storage or upload it to a server.
- On completed
- Triggered when a request with the same tag has completed successfully. The LastData expression contains the response, unless the Set response binary action was used, in which case the selected Binary Data object now contains the response.
- On any completed
- Triggered when any request has completed successfully. The Tag expression identifies the request, and LastData contains the response.
- On error
- Triggered when a request with the same tag has failed. This can be for a number of reasons, such as the server being down or the request timing out. (The LastData expression is not set since there is no response.)
- On any error
- Triggered when any request has failed. The Tag expression identifies the request.
- On progress
- For long running requests (e.g. downloading a large file), On progress triggers periodically and updates the Progress expression with the state of the request. This is useful for making progress bars for AJAX requests.
- Override MIME type
- In some cases you may wish to interpret the server's response with a different MIME type to the one the server indicates. For example a misconfigured server may return a text file with the wrong character set, and you want to force the response to be interpreted as UTF-8. In this case you could override the MIME type as
text/plain; charset=utf-8 to avoid garbling the text. This action only applies to the next AJAX request that is made, after which the MIME type will be set back to the default setting of accepting what the server response indicates.
- Post to URL
- Post binary to URL
- Send a request with data to a URL and retrieve the response. A tag is provided to match it up with the On completed, On progress and On error triggers. The binary variant can post the contents of a Binary Data object to the server; otherwise a string is used. Construct does not automatically URL encode the string - use the URLEncode system expression to ensure the data is in the correct format for posting. Note string data is in the same format as a query string, e.g.
"foo=1&bar=2". The method can also be specified: by default it is POST, but for some APIs you may need to change this to PUT, DELETE or another HTTP method.
- Request URL
- Send a GET request to retrieve the contents of a URL. A tag is provided to match it up with the On completed, On progress and On error triggers.
- Request project file
- Request the contents of a project file. A tag is provided to match it up with the On completed, On progress and On error triggers.
- Set request header
- Set a HTTP header on the next AJAX request that is made. After the next AJAX request all the headers set with this action are cleared again, so it only takes effect once.
- Set timeout
- Set the amount of time a request has to complete in seconds; if the timeout expires without the request completing successfully, it will instead fail and trigger On error. This action only affects subsequent requests, and does not affect any requests that have already started. If the timeout is set to -1 it restores the default browser timeout.
- Set response binary
- Use this action before a Request action to read the response in to a Binary Data object instead of returning it as a string in the LastData expression. This allows for non-text resources like images to be fetched and processed directly.
- The contents of the last response. This is set in the On completed trigger. Note if Set response binary was used, the response is in the chosen Binary Data object instead, and this expression will return an empty string.
- Return the progress of the AJAX request in an On progress event. The progress is represented as a number from 0 to 1, e.g. 0.5 for half completed.
- The tag of the AJAX request in a trigger. This is useful to identify requests in On any completed or On any error.