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= cowboy_handler(3)

== Name

cowboy_handler - Plain HTTP handlers

== Description

The `cowboy_handler` middleware executes the handler selected
by the router or any other preceding middleware.

This middleware takes the handler module and initial state
from the `handler` and `handler_opts` environment values,
respectively. On completion, it adds a `result` value to
the middleware environment, containing the return value
of the `terminate/3` callback (if defined) and `ok` otherwise.

This module also defines a callback interface for handling
HTTP requests.

== Callbacks

Plain HTTP handlers implement the following interface:

[source,erlang]
----
init(Req, State) -> {ok, Req, State}

terminate(Reason, Req, State) -> ok  %% optional

Req    :: cowboy_req:req()
State  :: any()
Reason :: normal
        | {crash, error | exit | throw, any()}
----

These two callbacks are common to all handlers.

Plain HTTP handlers do all their work in the `init/2`
callback. Returning `ok` terminates the handler. If no
response is sent, Cowboy will send a `204 No Content`.

The optional `terminate/3` callback will ultimately be called
with the reason for the termination of the handler.
Cowboy will terminate the process right after this. There
is no need to perform any cleanup in this callback.

The following terminate reasons are defined for plain HTTP
handlers:

normal::
    The connection was closed normally.

{crash, Class, Reason}::
    A crash occurred in the handler. `Class` and `Reason` can be
    used to obtain more information about the crash.

== Exports

The following function should be called by modules implementing
custom handlers to execute the optional terminate callback:

* link:man:cowboy_handler:terminate(3)[cowboy_handler:terminate(3)] - Terminate the handler

== See also

link:man:cowboy(7)[cowboy(7)]