The router: HBApplication.router directs requests to their handlers based on the contents of their path. The router that comes with Hummingbird uses a Trie based lookup. Routes are added using the function on. You provide the URI path, the method and the handler function. Below is a simple route which returns “Hello” in the body of the response.

let app = HBApplication()
app.router.on("/hello", method: .GET) { request in
    return "Hello"

If you don’t provide a path then the default is for it to be “/”.


There are shortcut functions for common HTTP methods. The above can be written as

let app = HBApplication()
app.router.get("/hello") { request in
    return "Hello"

There are shortcuts for put, post, head, patch and delete as well.

Response generators

Route handlers are required to return either a type conforming to the HBResponseGenerator protocol or an EventLoopFuture of a type conforming to HBResponseGenerator. An EventLoopFuture is an object that will fulfilled with their value at a later date in an asynchronous manner. The HBResponseGenerator protocol requires an object to be able to generate an HBResponse. For example String has been extended to conform to HBResponseGenerator by returning an HBResponse with status .ok, a content-type header of text-plain and a body holding the contents of the String.

/// Extend String to conform to ResponseGenerator
extension String: HBResponseGenerator {
    /// Generate response holding string
    public func response(from request: HBRequest) -> HBResponse {
        let buffer = request.allocator.buffer(string: self)
        return HBResponse(status: .ok, headers: ["content-type": "text/plain; charset=utf-8"], body: .byteBuffer(buffer))

In addition to String ByteBuffer, HTTPResponseStatus and Optional have also been extended to conform to HBResponseGenerator.

It is also possible to extend Codable objects to generate HBResponses by conforming these objects to HBResponseEncodable. The object will use HBApplication.encoder to encode these objects. If an object conforms to HBResponseEncodable then also so do arrays of these objects and dictionaries.


You can extract parameters out of the URI by prefixing the path with a colon. This indicates that this path section is a parameter. The parameter name is the string following the colon. You can get access to the parameters extracted from the URI with HBRequest.parameters. If there are no URI parameters in the path, accessing HBRequest.parameters will cause a crash, so don’t use it if you haven’t specified a parameter in the route path. This example extracts an id from the URI and uses it to return a specific user. so “/user/56” will return user with id 56.

let app = HBApplication()
app.router.get("/user/:id") { request in
    let id = request.parameters.get("id", as: Int.self) else { throw HBHTTPError(.badRequest) }
    return getUser(id: id)

In the example above if I fail to access the parameter as an Int then I throw an error. If you throw an HBHTTPError it will get converted to a valid HTTP response.


Routes can be grouped together in a HBRouterGroup. These allow for you to prefix a series of routes with the same path and more importantly apply middleware to only those routes. The example below is a group that includes five handlers all prefixed with the path “/todos”.

let app = HBApplication()"/todos")
    .put(use: createTodo)
    .get(use: listTodos)
    .get(":id", getTodo)
    .patch(":id", editTodo)
    .delete(":id", deleteTodo)

Route handlers

A route handler HBRouteHandler allows you to encapsulate all the components required for a route, and provide separation of the extraction of input parameters from the request and the processing of those parameters. An example could be structrured as follows

struct AddOrder: HBRouteHandler {
    struct Input: Decodable {
        let name: String
        let amount: Double
    struct Output: HBResponseEncodable {
        let id: String
    let input: Input
    let user: User

    init(from request: HBRequest) throws {
        self.input = try request.decode(as: Input.self)
        self.user = try request.auth.require(User.self)
    func handle(request: HBRequest) -> EventLoopFuture<Output> {
        let order = Order(user:, details: self.input)
        return request.db)
            .map { .init(id: }

Here you can see the AddOrder route handler encapsulates everything you need to know about the add order route. The Input and Output structs are defined and any additional input parameters that need extracted from the HBRequest. The input parameters are extracted in the init and then the request is processed in the handle function. In this example we need to decode the Input from the HBRequest and using the authentication framework from HummingbirdAuth we get the authenticated user.

The following will add the handler to the application

application.router.put("order", use: AddOrder.self)

Streaming request body

By default Hummingbird will collate the contents of your request body into one ByteBuffer. You can access this via HBRequest.body.buffer. If you’d prefer to stream the content of the request body, you can add a .streamBody option to the route handler to receive a streaming body instead of a single ByteBuffer. Inside the route handler you access this stream via The request body parts are then accessed either via consume function which will return everything that has been streamed so far or a consumeAll function which takes a closure processing each part. Here is an example which reads the request buffer and returns it size"size", options: .streamBody) { request -> EventLoopFuture<String> in
    guard let stream = else { 
        return request.failure(.badRequest)
    var size = 0
    return stream.consumeAll(on: request.eventLoop) { buffer in
        size += buffer.readableBytes
        return request.eventLoop.makeSucceededFuture(())
    .map { size.description }

Editing response in handler

The standard way to provide a custom response from a route handler is to return a HBResponse from that handler. This method loses a lot of the automation of encoding responses, generating the correct status code etc.

There is another method though that allows you to edit a response even when returning something other than a HBResponse. First you need to flag your route to say it is editing the response using the option .editResponse. Once you have set this option you can edit your response via HBRequest.response. This allows you to add new headers, replace generated headers or set the status code. Below is a route replacing the generated content-type header and setting the status code."test", options: .editResponse) { request -> String in
    request.response.headers.replaceOrAdd(name: "content-type", value: "application/json")
    request.response.status = .accepted
    return #"{"test": "value"}"#