Module Development

Return JSON, Plain Text, and Other Non-HTML Responses for Drupal 8, 9, and 10

Sometimes we need the response returned from a controller to be something other than HTML content wrapped with the rest of a Drupal theme. Maybe we need to return plain text, or JSON structured data for an application to consume. Perhaps we need greater control over the HTTP headers sent in the response. This is possible by building on the fact that controllers can return generic Response objects instead of renderable arrays, allowing you to gain complete control over what is sent to the requesting agent.

In this tutorial we'll:

  • Look at how to return a plain text response, and JSON data
  • Show how to make your responses cacheable by adding cacheability metadata
  • Learn about how to use a generic Symfony Response to gain greater control over what gets returned

By the end of this tutorial, you should be able to return responses from a controller in a Drupal module that are not HTML content wrapped in a Drupal theme.