CGI Environment

About environment

When our application run as CGI, FastCGI or SCGI application, it will receive environment variables from web server. CGI Environment variables are part of CGI protocol. See RFC 3875 for more information about CGI environment variables.

In Fano Framework, environment variable is encapsulated in ICGIEnvironment interface.

You can get ICGIEnvironment interface instance inside controller from IRequest interface instance through property env or method getEnvironment().

function TMyController.handleRequest(
    const request : IRequest;
    const response : IResponse;
    const args : IRouteArgsReader
) : IResponse;
var myEnv : ICGIEnvironment;
    myEnv := request.env;

Read Working with Controllers for more information about handleRequest() method.

ICGIEnvironment interface

ICGIEnvironment interface provides several methods for reading CGI environment variables but most important is env() method. Other methods basically just act as helper method which actually use env() under the hood. Look at ICGIEnvironment source for more information on available methods.

function env(const keyName : string) : string;

It retrieves single environment variable value using its name.

Retrieving environment variables

Following code examples assumes that myEnv declared as follows

var myEnv : ICGIEnvironment;

Get client IP address

var ipAddr : string;
ipAddr := myEnv.env('REMOTE_ADDR');


ipAddr := myEnv['REMOTE_ADDR'];


ipAddr := myEnv.remoteAddr();

Get host

var host : string;
host := myEnv.env('HTTP_HOST');


host := myEnv['HTTP_HOST'];


host := myEnv.httpHost();

Get request scheme

var scheme : string;
scheme := myEnv.env('REQUEST_SCHEME');


scheme := myEnv['REQUEST_SCHEME'];


scheme := myEnv.requestScheme();

For example, scheme will contains https if your application is invoked via HTTPS protocol.

Get request method

var method : string;
method := myEnv.env('REQUEST_METHOD');


method := myEnv['REQUEST_METHOD'];


method := myEnv.requestMethod();

For example, method will contains GET if your application is invoked via HTTP GET.

Get query string

var query : string;
query := myEnv.env('QUERY_STRING');


query := myEnv['QUERY_STRING'];


query := myEnv.queryString();

Please note that it returns raw query string. If you want to read parsed query parameter value, you may want to use IRequest instance. Please read Working with Request for more information.

Get user agent

var browser : string;
browser := myEnv.env('HTTP_USER_AGENT');


browser := myEnv['HTTP_USER_AGENT'];


browser := myEnv.httpUserAgent();

It returns raw user-agent string. If you want know what browser your user is using or operating system or if they use mobile phone or desktop, use IUserAgent interface. Read Identifiying client user-agent for more information.

Protocol-specific variables

Any environment variables with HTTP_ prefix are actually http request headers, so you will able to read the same information from IRequest interface. For example,

To read user agent, you can also use

var browser : string;
browser := request.headers.getHeader('User-Agent');

Read Working with Request for more information on how to read request headers.

You may wanto to read RFC 3875 Protocol-Specific Meta-Variables for more information how request header is encoded in CGI environment variables.

Built-in ICGIEnvironment implementation

Fano Framework provides several built-in implementation of ICGIEnvironment. You do not need to create it yourself, as this will be created for you.

  • TCGIEnvironment class which get environment variables thorough GetEnvironmentVariable() function from Free Pascal SysUtils unit. For CGI application, this is what Fano Framework gives you.
  • TKeyValueEnvironment class which get environment variables thorough key value pair. For FastCGI, SCGI or uwsgi application, this is what Fano Framework gives you.

Enumerate all environment variables

Sometime you want to know all current environment variables that web server sends to application. For example TErrorHandler class needs to be able to dump all environment variables. See TErrorHandler source.

To be able to enumerate all available variables, you need to use ICGIEnvironmentEnumerator interface. You get this interface instance from ICGIEnvironment interface through its enumerator property or getEnumerator() method.

Environment enumerator provides three methods which enables developer to iterate all environment variables.

  • count() returns number of environment variables.
  • getKey() returns environment variable name using zero-based index.
  • getValue() returns environment variable value using zero-based index.

Read ICGIEnvironmentEnumerator source for more information.

var myEnv : ICGIEnvironment;
    envEnum : ICGIEnvironmentEnumerator;
    indx : integer;
    varName, varValue : string;
envEnum := myEnv.enumerator;
for indx := 0 to envEnum.count-1 do
    varName := envEnum.getKey(indx);
    varValue := envEnum.getValue(indx);

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