Configuration Properties - XForms

Default values

For the latest configuration, see properties-xforms.xml.

XForms properties documented elsewhere

  • XBL Library
    • oxf.xforms.xbl.mapping
    • oxf.xforms.xbl.library
  • XPath Analysis
    • oxf.xforms.xpath-analysis
    • oxf.xforms.debug.log-xpath-analysis
  • JavaScript and CSS Resources
    • oxf.xforms.minimal-resources
    • oxf.xforms.combine-resources
    • oxf.xforms.resources.baseline
    • oxf.xforms.cache-combined-resources
    • oxf.xforms.resources.javascript-at-bottom
    • oxf.xforms.resources.encode-version
  • Error Handling
    • oxf.xforms.fatal-errors-during-initialization
  • XPath 2.0 Support
    • oxf.xforms.expose-xpath-types

Encryption and passwords

For Orbeon Forms 4.0

Encryption password

[SINCE 2012-08-15]

With Orbeon Forms 4.0, the oxf.xforms.password property has been renamed oxf.crypto.password. For more information, see Configuration Properties - Base.

oxf.xforms.password is still supported for backward compatibility.

XForms items encoding

[SINCE 2012-08-15]

With Orbeon Forms 4.0, XForms item values (like in checkboxes, dropdown menus, etc.) are no longer encrypted, but they are encoded by position. The following property can be used to enable or disable this behavior, like in Orbeon Forms 3.9:
In general, this should be set to true, but you can set it to false if you need to access the value of selection controls through JavaScript on the client and if the item values are not confidential.

For Orbeon Forms 3.9

Encryption password

Orbeon Forms encrypt some information sent to the client (for example when using client-side state state handling). This is done through the following property:


It is strongly advised to change the default password in the property above.

XForms items encryption

Orbeon Forms by default encrypts the value of selection controls before sending them to the client. This can be controlled with this property:


In general, this should be set to true, but you can set it to false if you need to access the value of selection controls through JavaScript on the client.

XPath analysis

See XForms - XPath Analysis for more information.

File location information

[SINCE Orbeon Forms 4.4]

The following property specifies whether the XForms engine should keep file location formation:

<property as="xs:string" name="oxf.xforms.location-mode" value="none"/>

If the value is smart, location data is kept.

  • prod mode: none
  • dev mode: smart
Keeping location data is useful during development. However, this consumes more memory, especially for very large forms.

NOTE: Before Orbeon Forms 4.4, location data was always kept.


The following property controls some aspects of XForms submission in Orbeon Forms:

<property as="xs:boolean" name="optimize-get-all" value="true"/>

If set to true (the default), Orbeon Forms optimizes submissions with replace="all" and the get method by sending URL of the submission action directly to the web browser. This however means that submission errors cannot be caught by XForms event handlers after Orbeon Forms has started connecting to the submission URL, as should be the case following the XForms specification. If set to false, Orbeon Forms buffers the reply so that errors can be handled as per XForms. However, this solution is less efficient.

The following two properties control optimized XForms submissions:

<property as="xs:boolean" name="oxf.xforms.oxf.xforms.local-submission-forward" value="true"/>

  • If set to true (the default), Orbeon Forms optimizes "local" (i.e. submissions performed to a URL controlled by Orbeon Forms itself) submissions with replace="all", by using the Java Servlet API's forward capability instead of actually performing an HTTP request.
  • If set to false, Orbeon Forms always always uses the HTTP or HTTPS protocol (or other protocol specified), which is less efficient but more flexible.
<property as="xs:boolean" name="oxf.xforms.oxf.xforms.local-submission-include" value="false"/>

  • If set to true (the default is false), Orbeon Forms optimizes "local" (i.e. submissions performed to a URL controlled by Orbeon Forms itself) submissions with replace="instance", replace="text" or replace="none", by directly using the Java Servlet API's include capability instead of actually performing an HTTP request.
  • If set to false, Orbeon Forms always always uses the HTTP or HTTPS protocol (or other protocol specified), which is less efficient but more flexible.

Instance inclusion

The following property controls optimized instance inclusion:

 <property as="xs:boolean" name="oxf.xforms.local-instance-include" value="false"/>

  • If set to true (the default is false), Orbeon Forms optimizes "local" (i.e. submissions performed to a URL controlled by Orbeon Forms itself) instance inclusions, by directly using the Java Servlet API's include capability instead of actually performing an HTTP request.
  • If set to false, Orbeon Forms always always uses the HTTP or HTTPS protocol (or other protocol specified), which is less efficient but more flexible.
Note that for any optimized submission or inclusion to occur, the following is required:
  • URL must be an absolute path, e.g. /foo/bar. Using an explicit protocol ( disables optimized submissions.
  •  No <xforms:header> elements must be passed.
  •  The submission must be synchronous.

Instance data types

The following property controls whether instance types annotations are exposed to XPath 2.0 expressions:

 <property as="xs:boolean" name="oxf.xforms.expose-xpath-types" value="true"/>

  • If set to false (the default as of July 2009), instance types are not made available to XPath expressions.
  • If set to true, they are made available.

More information: XPath 2.0 support.

JavaScript and CSS Resources

The following properties are documented in a separate page:
  • oxf.xforms.minimal-resources
  • oxf.xforms.combine-resources
  • oxf.xforms.resources.baseline
  • oxf.xforms.cache-combined-resources

Noscript mode

The following property controls whether noscript mode is enabled:

<property as="xs:boolean" name="oxf.xforms.noscript" value="false"/>
    The following property controls whether noscript mode is supported:

    <property as="xs:boolean" name="oxf.xforms.noscript-support" value="true"/>

    The noscript mode is enabled only if both properties are true.

    NOTE: The reason there are two properties is that in the future, the XForms engine might be able to determine by itself whether noscript mode is enabled based on what controls and XBL components are in use.


    XForms 1.1-compatible of switch/case

    XForms 1.1 specifies that a non-visible case behaves as non-relevant.

    Starting March 2010 builds, a property allows enabling XForms 1.1-compatible behavior. (Orbeon Forms did not support this previously and considered that non-visible cases were hidden but still relevant.)

    <property as="xs:boolean" name="oxf.xforms.xforms11-switch" value="true"/>

    You can also set this property on a per-switch basis:

    <xforms:switch xxforms:xforms11-switch="true">

    This property also applies in a similar way to hidden dialogs.

    NOTE: In the future, it is expected that:
    • This will be enabled by default to be XForms 1.1-compliant out of the box.
    • Setting the property to false will revert to the pre-March 2010 behavior, as there are cases where keeping hidden cases relevant makes sense.

    Label, help, hint, alert (LHHA) elements

    By default, since 2009-10-13, LHHA elements are represented as follows:
    • <xforms:label> use the HTML <label> element
    • <xforms:hint> use the HTML <span> element
    • <xforms:help> use the HTML <span> element
    • <xforms:alert> use the HTML <span> element
    NOTE: Before 2009-10-13 they all used to be represented as <label> elements. But this causes issues with some screen readers and the HTML specification is not clear anyway as to whether more than one <label> element is allowed for a given control, and doesn't provide the correct semantic anyway.

    You can configure the following properties in your properties-local.xml to change the default configuration:

    <property as="xs:string" name="oxf.xforms.label-element" value="label"/>
    <property as="xs:string" name="oxf.xforms.hint-element"  value="span"/>
    <property as="xs:string" name=""  value="span"/>
    <property as="xs:string" name="oxf.xforms.alert-element" value="span"/>

    If an element is configured to be a label, a "for" attribute pointing to the control is set by the XForms engine.

    Order of control and LHHA elements

    The following property controls the order of label, help, hint, alert, and control elements output by the XForms engine:

     <property as="xs:string" name="oxf.xforms.order" value="label control help alert hint"/>

    The property uses the order of the predefined tokens label, control, help, alert, and hint to set the order.

    The order applies to most controls, such as <xf:input>, etc. Some specific control or appearances do not use this property:
    • <xxf:dialog>
    • <xf:group appearance="xxf:fieldset">
    Individual controls also support this property locally:

    <xf:input xxf:order="label help control hint alert">

    Two months view

    By default, YUI date picker shows as follows:

    Default YUI date picker

    You can set the oxf.xforms.datepicker.two-months property to true, and the date picker will show two months at a time:

    YUI date picker with two months displayed at a time

    By default, the property is set to false, (only one month is shown). You can override by adding the following to your properties-local.xml:

    <property as="xs:boolean" name="oxf.xforms.datepicker.two-months" value="false"/>


    With the oxf.xforms.datepicker.navigator property set to true (which is the default), when you click on the month headers, a small dialog allows you to type a year and select a month from a drop-down. This is particularly convenient if the date you want to capture has a chance to be further in the future or in the past (such as a birth date).

    Month and year selection in YUI date picker with navigator and two months properties enabled

    You disable the navigator by setting the following property to false (it is true by default):

    <property as="xs:boolean" name="oxf.xforms.datepicker.navigator" value="false"/>


    When you use an <xforms:upload> control, as soon users select a file, the file is uploaded in the background from the browser to Orbeon Forms. While the file is uploaded, a progress bar is show in the browser, in place of the file selection control, as in this screenshot:

    To know how much of the file has been uploaded so far, the browser sends an Ajax request to the server, at a regular interval, asking the server what percentage of the file it has received. By default, the browser sends a request every 2 seconds. You can change this by overriding the following property. You set the value of this property as a compromise: low enough so the progress bar updates at a regular interval giving users a more accurate indication of how far along they are in the upload, and high enough to limit the number a queries made to Orbeon Forms, and thus limit the load on the server.

    <property as="xs:integer"
              name="oxf.xforms.delay-before-upload-progress-refresh" value="2000"/>

    XForms inspector

    You can enable the XForms Inspector for all the page in your site by setting the following property to true (the default is false): 

    <property as="xs:boolean" name="oxf.epilogue.xforms.inspector" value="true"/>

    Appearance of radio buttons and checkboxes in review and PDF modes

    [SINCE Orbeon Forms 4.6]

    Since Orbeon Forms 4.5, radio buttons and checkboxes in review and PDF modes (or for any static-readonly control appearance) shows all items as checkboxes (see the blog post).

    If you don't like this behavior, you can set the following two properties:

    <!-- For checkboxes -->
    <property as="xs:string" name=""  value="minimal"/>
    <!-- For radio buttons -->
    <property as="xs:string" name="oxf.xforms.readonly-appearance.static.select1" value="minimal"/>

    These cause the radio buttons and checkboxes to display only the values selected, as text, like for dropdown menus and other section controls.


    For <xforms:output>

    When an <xforms:output> is bound to a node and that node has a type, the type influences the formatting of the value. For instance, if the node has a type xs:date, instead of being shown as "2009-03-11", the value might be shown as "Wednesday March 11, 2009".

    NOTE: This also applies to <xforms:input> in static readonly mode.

    Out of the box, Orbeon Forms formats differently values of different types. You can change how values are formatted by setting the properties below. The value of each property is an XPath expression executed on the node bound to the <xforms:output>. The XPath expression is expected to return a string containing the value which will be shown to the user.

    <property as="xs:string"  name=""      value="..."/>
    <property as="xs:string"  name="oxf.xforms.format.output.dateTime"  value="..."/>
    <property as="xs:string"  name="oxf.xforms.format.output.time"      value="..."/>
    <property as="xs:string"  name="oxf.xforms.format.output.decimal"   value="..."/>
    <property as="xs:string"  name="oxf.xforms.format.output.integer"   value="..."/>
    <property as="xs:string"  name="oxf.xforms.format.output.float"     value="..."/>
    <property as="xs:string"  name="oxf.xforms.format.output.double"    value="..."/>

    Your XPath expressions can use the XSLT dates and time formatting functions such as format-date() or format-dateTime().

    Here are some examples of outputs with the default properties:

    • 2004-01-07
      • xs:date
      • Wednesday January 7, 2004
    • 2004-01-07T04:38:35.123
      • xs:dateTime
      • Wednesday January 7, 2004 04:38:35 UTC
    • 04:38:35.123
      • xs:time
      • 04:38:35 UTC
    • 123456.789
      • xs:decimal
      • 123,456.79
    • 123456.789
      • xs:integer
      • 123,456
    • 123456.789
      • xs:float or xs:double
      • 123,456.789
    [SINCE 2012-07-31]

    The default formatting properties for date, time, and dateTime now use the current language by the xxforms:lang() function, for example:

      value="if (. castable as xs:date)
             then format-date(xs:date(.), '[FNn] [MNn] [D], [Y] [ZN]', xxforms:lang(), (), ())
             else ."/>

    This means that the language that is used for the formatting is the language in effect where the control is in used, via the xml:lang attribute.

    For <xforms:input>

    As for <xforms:output>, values shown by <xforms:input> depend on the type of the node bound to the <xforms:input>. In this case however the <xforms:input> must be able to not only show a value coming from an instance in a text field, but also parse a new value in that format typed in by users in the text field. Because the <xforms:input> is able to both format and parse values, what you can do with an <xforms:input> is more restrictive compared to what you can do with an <xforms:output>.

    You can configure formatting for <xforms:input> with the two properties below. The value is a "mask" and follows the syntax of the Java SimpleDateFormat. The following masks are supported:
    • For dates (property
      • [M]/[D]/[Y] e.g. 11/5/2008 (also called "North America format")
      • [D]/[M]/[Y] e.g. 5/ 11/2008 (also called "European format")
      • As a variation, you can use another separator such as a dot (e.g. [D].[M].[Y]) or dash ([D]-[M]-[Y])
      • As a variation, you can write [M01] and [D01] if you want day and months on one digit to be prefixed with a 0, e.g. 11/05/2008

    • For times (property oxf.xforms.format.input.time):
      • [h]:[m]:[s] [P] e.g. 2:05:12 p.m. with dots in a.m. and p.m.
      • [h]:[m]:[s] [P,2-2] e.g. 2:05:12 pm without dots in am and pm
      • [H]:[m]:[s] e.g. 14:05:12
      • [H]:[m] e.g. 14:05 (without seconds) [SINCE: 2011-03-01]
    An <xforms:input> bound to a node of type xs:dateTime is shown as two text fields: one for the date and one for the time. In that case, the date text field uses the formatting defined by and the time text field uses the formatting defined by oxf.xforms.format.input.time.

    <property as="xs:string"  name=""  value="[M]/[D]/[Y]"/>
    <property as="xs:string"  name="oxf.xforms.format.input.time"  value="[h]:[m]:[s] [P]"/>


    Automatic inclusion of XBL bindings

    See: XBL Library.

    Ajax requests

    Retry mechanism for Ajax requests

    Orbeon Forms relies on client-side code (running on the browser) communicating with server-side code (running on your application server). As needed, the client sends a request to the server. In case of communication failure or if the client does not receive an answer from the server after a given timeout, then the client resends the request. The default value of the timeout for Ajax requests is 30 seconds. You can change this value by setting the following property. A value of -1 disables the retry mechanism.

    <property as="xs:integer" name="oxf.xforms.delay-before-ajax-timeout" value="30000"/>

    The first time the client retries to send a request, it does so right away. However, the second time it waits for 5 seconds, the third time for 10 seconds, the fourth time for 15 seconds, and so on, until it reaches a maximum delay between retries of 30 seconds. You can configure the "delay increment" (by default 5 seconds) and the "maximum delay" (by default 30 seconds) with the following properties:

    <property as="xs:integer" name="oxf.xforms.retry.delay-increment"     value="5000"/>
    <property as="xs:integer" name="oxf.xforms.retry.max-delay"           value="30000"/>

    Orbeon Forms handles the case where a request was successfully received and executed by the server, but the response didn't make it to the client. In those cases, the client resends the request to the server. The server detects that this particular request has been already executed, so it doesn't execute it again, and instead resends the same response that was generated the first time around.

    Login page detection

    [SINCE Orbeon Forms 4.5] You can set the following property to a regexp. When set to a non-empty value, if an Ajax request get an unexpected page which isn't an Orbeon Forms error and matches the regexp, users will be notified, and Orbeon Forms will reload the form, which in turn is likely to take them to the login page. By default, this property is set to the empty string, meaning that Orbeon Forms doesn't try to detect login pages, and always retries Ajax requests met with an unexpected response that aren't Orbeon Forms error pages. For some background on this, see our blog post Detecting login pages in Ajax requests.
    <property as="xs:string"  name="oxf.xforms.login-page-detection-regexp"  value=""/>

    Preprocessing step

    The XForms engine supports a preprocessing step. By default, this step is disabled. You can enable it with the following properties:
    <property as="xs:boolean" name="oxf.epilogue.xforms.preprocessing" value="true"/>
    <property as="xs:anyURI"  name="oxf.epilogue.xforms.preprocessing.uri"

    The second property must point to an XPL file with a data input and data output. The pipeline can transform the incoming XForms.

    ARIA support in dialogs

    [SINCE 2011-08-30]

    If your forms leverage dialogs and your users are likely to use a screen reader, you might want to enable the support for ARIA in dialogs by setting the following property to true. By default, the property is set to false, as enabling it has a cost in performance on IE.

    <property as="xs:boolean" name="oxf.xforms.use-aria" value="false"/>

    Legacy configurations

    Legacy: date picker type (Orbeon Forms 3.8 and earlier)

    In Orbeon Forms 3.9 this property is removed and the YUI calendar is always used.

    Two implementations of the date picker widget are available:
    • The YUI-based implementation - Used by default.
    • The jscalendar-based implementation - This implementation is still provided for backward compatibility if you have an application that has been developed before Orbeon Forms started to use the YUI date picker and your application depends on the jscalendar. If you are using this date picker, you should consider moving to the YUI calendar as the jscalendar-based implementation will most likely not be improved going forward and might be deprecated in a future version of Orbeon Forms.
    You choose the implementation by setting the oxf.xforms.datepicker property to either yui or jscalendar. For instance:

    <property as="xs:string"  name="oxf.xforms.datepicker" value="yui"/>

    Legacy: choice of HTML editor (Orbeon Forms 3.8 and earlier)

    In Orbeon Forms 3.9 this property is removed and the RTE editor is always used.

    When you have an attribute mediatype="text/html" on your <xforms:textarea>, the XForms text area is rendered as an XHTML editor. You can decide the XHTML editor implementation to use with the property:

    <property as="xs:string"  name="oxf.xforms.htmleditor" value="yui"/>

    You can set the value of this property to either:
    • yui to use the YUI RTE (the default)
    • fck to use the legacy FCK editor
    We recommend you leave this property to its default value and only use the FCK editor if you have particular constraints that force you to do so. There are a number of known issues with the FCK editor and support for the FCK editor might be dropped in future versions of Orbeon Forms.

    Ajax portlet

    This feature is no longer available as of Orbeon Forms 3.9.


    When you enable the Ajax portlet feature, XForms submissions with replace="all" won't trigger the browser to load a new page, but rather the content of the new page will be loaded through Ajax and the HTML page in the browser will be modified to replace the part of the HTML that corresponds to the "current page" with the HTML of the "target page".

    This is particularly useful when are embedding a form produced by Orbeon Forms into another page. In some cases, this can be a better alternative to using an iframe to load the form produced by Orbeon Forms.

    To enable this feature, set the following property to true:

    <property as="xs:boolean" name="oxf.xforms.ajax-portlet" value="false"/>

    When you enable the Ajax portlet feature, you need to make sure that your forms are "embeddable". Embeddable forms are produced either because:
    • You set the oxf.epilogue.embeddable property to true. Use this method if all the forms produced by Orbeon Forms need to be embeddable.
    • You added a orbeon-embeddable=true request parameter. Use this method if only some forms need to be embeddable, in which case you need to add this request parameter on the URI when loading those forms.

    Page Inclusion with Dojo

    If you are using Dojo on your site, and would like to include a form produced by Orbeon Forms, you can use the following markup:

    <div class="form-pane" dojoType="dojox.layout.ContentPane" executeScripts="true"
         evalScripts="true" renderStyles="true" adjustPaths="true"


    Note the orbeon-embeddable=true on the URI, which corresponds to a case where you didn't want to set the oxf.epilogue.embeddable property to true. Because of the way Dojo loads the JavaScript code used by the form, the XForms initialization code doesn't run. So you will need to include code in the page which has the <div> above to call the XForms initialization code. You can do this with:

    <script type="text/javascript">
        var javaScriptLoadingIntervalID = window.setInterval(function() {
            if (typeof ORBEON != "undefined") {
                ORBEON.xforms.Globals.baseURL = "/orbeon";
                ORBEON.xforms.Globals.xformsServerURL = "/orbeon/xforms-server";
        }, 10);

    In this code you need to set the value of ORBEON.xforms.Globals.baseURL and ORBEON.xforms.Globals.xformsServerURL. The values start with /orbeon (as in this example) if the Orbeon web application in deployed on /orbeon, on the same server from which your page is loaded.

    Also, when Dojo includes the target form, Dojo loads JavaScript files used by the form, but fails to load the CSS files the form depends. So you need to include CSS files used by your form in the page that does the inclusion. If you have deployed the Orbeon Forms web application, you can see an example of this at: