Context Data

Rules mostly execute within a context, such as webhooks, topic events or pipelines.

To use the data that triggered the context, there's a ClaJS namespace called ctx that is always available to rulebooks.

Context Function Context Data Type Contents
ctx.category() any topic event Object Category information
ctx.fields() topic_modify Array List of changed fields, with old and new value
ctx.job() pipelines Object Job information
ctx.env() pipelines String Current job environment
ctx.branch() pipelines String Name of the branch checked out for the job
ctx.request() webhook Request Web request parameters
ctx.status() any topic event Object Status information
ctx.topic() any topic event Object Topic information
ctx.user() (any) String User id

undefined when not in context

When not in context, all context functions will return undefined and emit a warning to stderr [warn] X not in context.

Make sure to check the return value or use ctx.has() before proceeding under the assumption that the return value is a hash {}


Context calls are useful to the detail of the event the rule is processing:

   - echo: "Topic modify event for {{ ctx.topic("name") }}"
   - echo: |
        These fields have changed: {{ ctx.fields().map( function(field){ return field.field } ) }}"

Context Objects

These are the context objects available in Clarive.

Remember, if you are not in the correct context, they will return undefined instead of a hash Object. Use ctx.has() to check the context, otherwise strange side effects may happen.


Return variable values for the current context scope and input varname.

Depending on the scope, the variable value (if available) will change.

   - instance_id =: "{{ ctx.var("aws_instance_id") }}"
   - image: docker4x/shell-aws
   - aws ec2 start-instances --instance-ids ${instance_id}

   # or in one go:

   - aws ec2 start-instances --instance-ids {{ ctx.var("instance_id") }}


This is the hash returned by the ctx.topic() ClaJS function. The hash has the following keys:

Key Context
ctx.topic("mid") topic id
ctx.topic("title") status name string
ctx.topic("status") status name string
ctx.topic("category") category name string
[category dependent fields] additional fields, depending on the category
do: |
   print( "Topic ID=" + ctx.topic("mid") );
   print( "Topic Title=" + ctx.topic("title") );
   print( "Status name=" + ctx.topic("status") );      # "To Do", "In Progress", etc.
   print( "Category name=" + ctx.topic("category") );  # "Bugfix", "Feature", etc.

Head over to the document on event rules for more info.


The ctx.fields() context function returns a list (array) of modified fields in the topic_modify event.

Here's a list of fields available:

Key Type Description
field string Field name (ie. "title", "description", etc)
old_value (variable) Field value before change. Type depends on field.
new_value string Field value after change. Type depends on field.


Here's a description of the hash returned by the ctx.job() function:

Key Type Description
ctx.job("project") String Current project being processed, if any
ctx.job("repository") String Current repository name being processed, if any
ctx.job("change_version") String Version number from the Release topic, etc.
ctx.job("environment") String Current deployment environment (DEV, QA, PROD...)
ctx.job("env") String Same as environment above
ctx.job("items") Array List of job items
ctx.job("name") String Job name (as shown in the Monitor)
ctx.job("type") String static, promote or demote
ctx.job("user") String User that created job
ctx.job("mode") String forward or rollback
ctx.job("step") String current job step: CHECK, INIT, PRE, RUN, POST
ctx.job("status_from") String Current project being processed, if any
ctx.job("status_to") String Version id from the Release topic, etc.
ctx.job("is_rollback") String Current deployment environment (DEV, QA,
ctx.job("failing") Boolean In the post: pipeline rule, set to 1 if previous steps failed


The web request context is only available in webhook url call events.

Key Type Contents
ctx.request('params') String The URL query-string or form params in a hash
ctx.request('args') String Array with each of the /path components of the URL
ctx.request('body') String The full request body as a string
ctx.request('headers') Object HTTP request headers
ctx.request('upload') String Uploaded files
ctx.user() String The user id who made the (authenticated) request

Checking if context is available

If the context is not available, trying to use the ctx context functions will generate an error such as:

context `CONTEXT_NAME` is not available

To check before using a function, use the ctx.has('context_name') function, which returns true or false depending on the context.

This is specially useful for ops defined with def:. That way one can check if the op is in the correct context or not.

      - if: "{{ ctx.has('topic') }}"
          - update_topic:
                mid: ${mid}
                   title: "The new title is this now"
          - fail: "No topic available in context"

This is the list of arguments one can test the context with ctx.has():

  • topic
  • status
  • category
  • job
  • fields
  • request
  • user