Apache2::API - Apache2 API Framework


    use Apache2::API
    # To import in your namespace
    # use Apache2::API qw( :common :http );
    # $r is an Apache2::RequestRec object that you can get from within an handler or 
    # with Apache2::RequestUtil->request
    my $api = Apache2::API->new( $r, compression_threshold => 204800 ) ||
        die( Apache2::API->error );
    # or:
    my $api = Apache2::API->new( apache_request => $r, compression_threshold => 204800 ) ||
        die( Apache2::API->error );

    # or even inside your mod_perl script/cgi:
    use strict;
    use warnings;
    use Apache2::API;
    my $r = shift( @_ );
    my $api = Apache2::API->new( $r );
    # for example:
    return( $api->reply( Apache2::Const::HTTP_OK => { message => "Hello world" } ) );

    my $r = $api->apache_request;
    return( $api->bailout({
        message => "Oops",
        code => Apache2::Const::BAD_REQUEST,
        public_message => "An unexpected error occurred.",
    }) );
    # or
    return( $api->bailout( @some_reasons ) );
    # 100kb
    my $decoded = $api->decode_base64( $b64_string );
    my $ref = $api->decode_json( $json_data );
    my $decoded = $api->decode_url;
    my $perl_utf8 = $api->decode_utf8( $data );
    my $b64_string = $api->encode_base64( $data );
    my $json_data = $api->encode_json( $ref );
    my $encoded = $api->encode_url( $uri );
    my $utf8 = $api->encode_utf8( $data );
    my $uuid = $api->generate_uuid;
    my $auth = $api->get_auth_bearer;
    my $handlers = $api->get_handlers;
    my $dt = $api->header_datetime( $http_datetime );
    my $bool = $api->is_perl_option_enabled;
    # JSON object
    my $json = $api->json( pretty => 1, sorted => 1, relaxed => 1 );
    my $lang = $api->lang( 'en_GB' );
    # en_GB
    my $lang = $api->lang_unix;
    # en-GB
    my $lang = $api->lang_web;
    $api->log_error( "Oops" );
    $api->print( @some_data );
    $api->push_handlers( $name => $code_reference );
    return( $api->reply( Apache2::Const::HTTP_OK => {
        message => "All good!",
        # arbitrary property
        client_id => "efe4bcf3-730c-4cb2-99df-25d4027ec404",
        # special property
        cleanup => sub
            # Some code here to be executed after the reply is sent out to the client.
    }) );
    # Apache2::API::Request
    my $req = $api->request;
    # Apache2::API::Response
    my $req = $api->response;
    my $server = $api->server;
    my $version = $api->server_version;
    $api->set_handlers( $name => $code_reference );
    $api->warn( @some_warnings );




This module provides a comprehensive, powerful, yet simple framework to access Apache mod_perl's API and documented appropriately.

Apache mod_perl is an awesome framework, but quite complexe with a steep learning curve and methods all over the place. So much so that they have developed a module dedicated to find appropriate methods with ModPerl::MethodLookup



    my $api = Apache2::API->new( $r, $hash_ref_of_options );
    # or
    my $api = Apache2::API->new( apache_request => $r, compression_threshold => 102400 );

This initiates the package and takes an Apache2::RequestRec object and an hash or hash reference of parameters, or only an hash or hash reference of parameters:


Returns the Apache2::RequestRec object that was provided upon object instantiation.


    $api->bailout( $error_string );
    $api->bailout( { code => 400, message => $internal_message } );
    $api->bailout( { code => 400, message => $internal_message, public_message => "Sorry!" } );

Given an error message, this will prepare the HTTP header and response accordingly.

It will call "gettext" to get the localised version of the error message, so this method is expected to be overriden by inheriting package.

If the outgoing content type set is application/json then this will return a properly formatted standard json error, such as:

    { "error": { "code": 401, "message": "Something went wrong" } }

Otherwise, it will send to the client the message as is.

compression_threshold( $integer )

The number of bytes threshold beyond which, the "reply" method will gzip compress the data returned to the client.

decode_base64( $data )

Given some data, this will decode it using base64 algorithm. It uses "decode" in APR::Base64 in the background.

decode_json( $data )

This decode from utf8 some data into a perl structure using JSON

If an error occurs, it will return undef and set an exception that can be accessed with the error method.

decode_url( $string )

Given a url-encoded string, this returns the decoded string using "decode" in APR::Request

decode_utf8( $data )

Decode some data from ut8 into perl internal utf8 representation using Encode

If an error occurs, it will return undef and set an exception that can be accessed with the error method.

encode_base64( $data )

Given some data, this will encode it using base64 algorithm. It uses "encode" in APR::Base64.

encode_json( $hash_reference )

Given a hash reference, this will encode it into a json data representation.

However, this will not utf8 encode it, because this is done upon printing the data and returning it to the client.

The JSON object has the following properties enabled: allow_nonref, allow_blessed, convert_blessed and relaxed

encode_url( $string )

Given a string, this returns its url-encoded version using "encode" in APR::Request

encode_utf8( $data )

This encode in ut8 the data provided and return it.

If an error occurs, it will return undef and set an exception that can be accessed with the error method.


Generates an uuid string and return it. This uses APR::UUID


Checks whether an Authorization HTTP header was provided, and get the Bearer value.

If no header was found, it returns an empty string.

If an error occurs, it will return undef and set an exception that can be accessed with the error method.


Returns a reference to a list of handlers enabled for a given phase.

    $handlers_list = $res->get_handlers( $hook_name );

A list of handlers configured to run at the child_exit phase:

    @handlers = @{ $res->get_handlers( 'PerlChildExitHandler' ) || []};

gettext( 'string id' )

Get the localised version of the string passed as an argument.

This is supposed to be superseded by the package inheriting from Apache2::API, if any.

header_datetime( DateTime object )

Given a DateTime object, this sets it to GMT time zone and set the proper formatter (Apache2::API::DateTime) so that the stringification is compliant with HTTP headers standard.


Checks if perl option is enabled in the Virtual Host and returns a boolean value


Returns a JSON object.

You can provide an optional hash or hash reference of properties to enable or disable:

    my $J = $api->json( pretty => 1, relaxed => 1 );

Each property corresponds to one that is supported by JSON

It also supports ordered, order and sort as an alias to canonical

lang( $string )

Set or get the language for the API. This would typically be the HTTP preferred language.

lang_unix( $string )

Given a language, this returns a language code formatted the unix way, ie en-GB would become en_GB

lang_web( $string )

Given a language, this returns a language code formatted the web way, ie en_GB would become en-GB

log_error( $string )

Given a string, this will log the data into the error log.

When log_error is accessed with the Apache2::RequestRec the error gets logged into the Virtual Host log, but when log_error gets accessed via the Apache2::ServerUtil object, the error get logged into the Apache main error log.

print( @list )

print out the list of strings and returns the number of bytes sent.

The data will possibly be compressed if the HTTP client acceptable encoding and if the data exceeds the value set in "compression_threshold"

It will gzip it if the HTTP client acceptable encoding is gzip and if IO::Compress::Gzip is installed.

It will bzip it if the HTTP client acceptable encoding is bzip2 and if IO::Compress::Bzip2 is installed.

It will deflate if if the HTTP client acceptable encoding is deflate and IO::Compress::Deflate is installed.

If none of the above is possible, the data will be returned uncompressed.

Note that the HTTP header Vary will be added the Accept-Encoding value.


Returns the values from "push_handlers" in Apache2::Server by passing it whatever arguments were provided.


This takes an HTTP code and a message, or an exception object such as Module::Generic::Exception or any other object that supports the code and message method, or just a hash reference, reply will find out if the code provided is an error and format the replied json appropriately like:

    { "error": { "code": 400, "message": "Some error" } }

It will json encode the returned data and print it out back to the client after setting the HTTP returned code.

If a cleanup hash property is provided with a callback code reference as a value, it will be set as a cleanup callback by calling $r->pool->cleanup_register. See

The Apache2::API object will be passed as the first and only argument to the callback routine.


Returns the Apache2::API::Request object. This object is set upon instantiation.


Returns the Apache2::API::Response object. This object is set upon instantiation.


Returns a Apache2::Server object


Tries hard to find out the version number of the Apache server. This returns the value from "server_version" in Apache2::API::Request


Returns the values from "set_handlers" in Apache2::Server by passing it whatever arguments were provided.

warn( @list )

Given a list of string, this sends a warning using "warn" in Apache2::Log

_try( $object_type, $method_name, @_ )

Given an object type, a method name and optional parameters, this attempts to call it, passing it whatever arguments were provided and return its return values.

Apache2 methods are designed to die upon error, whereas our model is based on returning undef and setting an exception with Module::Generic::Exception, because we believe that only the main program should be in control of the flow and decide whether to interrupt abruptly the execution, not some sub routines.


mod_perl provides constants through Apache2::Constant and APR::Constant. Apache2::API makes all those constants available using their respective package name, such as:

    use Apache2::API;
    say Apache2::Const::HTTP_BAD_REQUEST; # 400

You can import constants into your namespace by specifying them when loading Apache2::API, such as:

    use Apache2::API qw( HTTP_BAD_REQUEST );
    say HTTP_BAD_REQUEST; # 400

Be careful, however, that there are over 400 Apache2 constants and some common constant names in Apache2::Constant and APR::Constant, so it is recommended to use the fully qualified constant names rather than importing them into your namespace.


As usual, to install this module, you can do:

    perl Makefile.PL
    make test
    # or
    # t/TEST
    sudo make install

If you have Apache/modperl2 installed, this will also prepare the Makefile and run test under modperl.

The Makefile.PL tries hard to find your Apache configuration, but you can give it a hand by specifying some command line parameters.

For example:

    perl Makefile.PL -apxs /usr/bin/apxs -port 1234
    # which will also set the path to httpd_conf, otherwise
    perl Makefile.PL -httpd_conf /etc/apache2/apache2.conf

    # then
    make test
    # or
    # t/TEST
    sudo make install

You can also enable a lot of debugging output with:

    API_DEBUG=1 perl Makefile.PL

And if your terminal supports it, you can show output in colours with:

    APACHE_TEST_COLOR=1 perl Makefile.PL

See also modperl testing documentation

But, if for some reason, you do not want to perform the mod_perl tests, you can use NO_MOD_PERL=1 when calling perl Makefile.PL, such as:

    NO_MOD_PERL=1 perl Makefile.PL
    make test
    sudo make install

To run individual test, you can do, for example:

    t/TEST t/01.api.t

or, in verbose mode:

    t/TEST -verbose t/01.api.t

Makefile.PL options

Here are the available options to use when building the Makefile.PL:


access module name


location of apxs (default is from Apache2::BuildConfig)


auth module name


Apache bin/ dir (default is apxs -q BINDIR)


cgi module name


values to add as -D defines (for example, "VAR1 VAR2")


DocumentRoot (default is $ServerRoot/htdocs


Group to run test server as (default is $GROUP)


server to use for testing (default is $bindir/httpd)


inherit config from this file (default is apxs derived)


inherit additional config from this file


path to mod_perl's .so (full or relative to LIBEXECDIR)


global LimitRequestLine setting (default is 128)


maximum number of concurrent clients (default is minclients+1)


minimum number of concurrent clients (default is 1)


location of perl pod documents (for testing downloads)


php module name


Port [port_number|select] (default 8529)


url for testing ProxyPass / https (default is localhost)


Apache sbin/ dir (default is apxs -q SBINDIR)


ServerName (default is localhost)


ServerRoot (default is $t_dir)


source directory to look for


ssl module name


location of SSL CA (default is $t_conf/ssl/ca)


SSL CA organization to use for tests (default is asf)


SSL/TLS protocol version(s) to test


seconds to wait for the server to start (default is 60)


the conf/ test directory (default is $t_dir/conf)


test httpd.conf file (default is $t_conf/httpd.conf)


the t/ test directory (default is $top_dir/t)


the logs/ test directory (default is $t_dir/logs)


location of the pid file (default is $t_logs/


the state/ test directory (default is $t_dir/state)


name of server binary (default is apxs -q TARGET)


thread module name


number of threads per child when using threaded MPMs (default is 10)


top-level directory (default is $PWD)


User to run test server as (default is $USER)

See also Apache::TestMM for available parameters or you can type on the command line:

    perl -MApache::TestConfig -le 'Apache::TestConfig::usage()'

Tesging options

For example, specifying a port to use:

    t/TEST -start-httpd -port=34343
    t/TEST -run-tests
    t/TEST -stop-httpd

You can run t/TEST -help to get the list of options. See below as well:


set breakpoints (multiply bp can be set)


print the hint how to report problems


remove all generated test files


force regeneration of httpd.conf (tests will not be run)


start server under debugger name (gdb, ddd, etc.)


GET url


HEAD url


add headers to (get|post|head) request


display this message


run all tests with HTTP/1.1 (keep alive) requests


run the tests without configuring or starting httpd


run the server in single process mode


run the tests in one of the modes: (repeat|random|SEED)


test if server is running or port in use


POST url


config to add at the end of httpd.conf


config to add at the beginning of httpd.conf


proxy requests (default proxy is localhost)


run the tests


run tests through ssl


start the test server


stop the test server


change tracing default to: warning, notice, info, debug, ...


verbose output

See for more information


Apache2::RequestIO, Apache2::RequestRec


Jacques Deguest <>


Apache2::API::DateTime, Apache2::API::Query, Apache2::API::Request, Apache2::API::Request::Params, Apache2::API::Request::Upload, Apache2::API::Response, Apache2::API::Status

Apache2::Request, Apache2::RequestRec, Apache2::RequestUtil


Copyright (c) 2023 DEGUEST Pte. Ltd.

You can use, copy, modify and redistribute this package and associated files under the same terms as Perl itself.