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404 pages inside Squiz Matrix for XML data sources

In Squiz Matrix, if you’re reading an XML data source and passing a parameter to this data source that you are not sure if any data exists, you might want to send a 404 if no data is found as opposed to an empty asset returning a 200 Success. A couple of requirements are needed for this to work:

  • Your XML data source to return some form of XML if no result was found
  • XSL layout to render returned XML

What to do?

  1. Ensure that you specified an asset for your Page Not Found field in the Site asset of your site.
  2. Create a redirect page, note it’s asset id.
  3. On the details screen, set the URL field to a path that does not exist on your site.
  4. In your XSL, add the following Global Keyword replacement in your template that matches your error and set the asset id of the redirect we created in Step 2: %globals_asset_contents_raw:1111%

That’s it! You’re page will now redirect to a 404 if it encounters your error XML.

XML response of a successful request for data:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<feed>
    <entry>
         <title>Test</title>
    </entry>
</feed>

XML response but with no data found:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<error>No data found!</error>

The XSL that will process the XML response:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<xsl:stylesheet version="1.0" xmlns:xsl="http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform">

	<!-- Render the successful results -->
	<xsl:template match="/feed">
		<xsl:for-each select="entry">
			 <xsl:value-of select="title"/>
		</xsl:for-each>
	</xsl:template>

	<!-- Unsuccessful response -->
	<xsl:template match="/error">
		<xsl:text>%globals_asset_contents_raw:45%</xsl:text>
	</xsl:template>

</xsl:stylesheet>

As you will have noticed, you can embed Global / Common keywords within XSL files. This is a very powerful method to deliver content based on a number of variables. You could, in this instance, serve another XML data source if no data was found in this one or some other dynamic/static content from within Matrix.

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