The Alert Stream

The alert stream is UserFrosting's implementation of a flash messaging system, and is used to display error or success notifications to the end user.

Rather than including alerts directly in a request's response, they are persisted through a separate AlertStream interface. They can then be retrieved by making a separate request to /alerts, which will return a JSON object containing each alert message and its corresponding type:

A diagram of the alert creation and retrieval process.

You may wonder why we have this complicated process and use a separate request to retrieve alerts, rather than embedding them directly in the original response. The reason is that sometimes you may not be ready to immediately display the alerts after you receive the original request's response. For example, you may have a situation where you need to redirect or refresh the page before displaying alerts.

By storing the alerts in this way, they can be persisted between page loads and other types of non-AJAX requests.

Alert types

Every alert consists of a message and a corresponding type. The recommended types are based on the styling classes used on the client side by Bootstrap:

  • danger
  • warning
  • success
  • info

Of course, you are free to define you own custom alert types as well.


Adding messages to the alert stream

You can add messages to the alert stream in your controller by using the alerts service:

$ms = $this->ci->alerts;

$ms->addMessage('success', 'Your owl has successfully captured another vole!');

To generate translated messages, use the addMessageTranslated method instead. Placeholder values can be specified in by passing an array as the third argument:

$ms = $this->ci->alerts;

$ms->addMessageTranslated('danger', 'OWLS.INSUFFICENT_VOLES', [
    'voles_needed' => 7

The addValidationErrors method is a shortcut that automatically adds any error messages generated by a validation object to the alert stream:

$ms = $this->ci->alerts;

$validator = new ServerSideValidator($schema, $this->ci->translator);

if (!$validator->validate($data)) {
    return $response->withStatus(400);

Retrieving messages

Message retrieval is already implemented for you via the /alerts route definition and the UserFrosting\Sprinkle\Core\Controller\CoreController::jsonAlerts controller method. However if for some reason you need to manually retrieve alerts elsewhere in your server-side code, you can use the getAndClearMessages method. This method will automatically remove all alerts from the alert stream after being called.

$ms = $this->ci->alerts;

$messages = $ms->getAndClearMessages();


        "type" => "success"
        "message" => "Your owl has successfully captured another vole!"
        "type" => "danger"
        "message" => "You still need 7 more voles!"

To retrieve messages without removing them, use the messages() method instead. To manually clear the messages, use the resetMessageStream() method.

Alert persistence

By default, alerts are stored in the user's session. They are stored here under the site.alerts key.

Alternatively, you may choose to store alerts in the user cache instead. To do this, set value of in your configuration file to cache.

If you are having issues with alerts not being properly cleared from the alert stream after retrieval, try using the cache option for alert persistence. See this issue for an explanation of the problem.


In your client-side code, alerts are primarily handled by the ufAlerts jQuery plugin. The /core/assets/userfrosting/js/uf-init.js Javascript asset, which is loaded as part of the js/main asset bundle, will look for an element with an id of alerts-page and automatically fetch and render any alerts into this element when a page is first loaded.

A div element with id="alerts-page" is already included in the core/templates/pages/abstract/default.html.twig template, so any pages that extend this template will already have this included. For pages that do not extend this template, you will need to include the following wherever you want alerts to appear:

<div id="alerts-page"></div>

For details on how to use the ufAlerts plugin manually, see the documentation in client side components.