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The variables accessible in a particular view are called locals. Locals represent server-side data that is accessible to your view-- locals are not actually included in the compiled HTML unless you explicitly reference them using special syntax provided by your view engine.

<div>Logged in as <a><%= name %></a>.</div>
Using locals in your views

The notation for accessing locals varies between view engines. In EJS, you use special template markup (e.g. <%= someValue %>) to include locals in your views.

There are three kinds of template tags in EJS:

  • <%= someValue %>
    • HTML-escapes the someValue local, and then includes it as a string.
  • <%- someRawHTML %>
    • Includes the someRawHTML local verbatim, without escaping it.
    • Be careful! This tag can make you vulnerable to XSS attacks if you don't know what you're doing.
  • <% if (!loggedIn) { %> <a>Logout</a> <% } %>
    • Runs the javascript inside the <% ... %> when the view is compiled.
    • Useful for conditionals (if/else), and looping over data (for/each).

Here's an example of a view (views/backOffice/profile.ejs) using two locals, user and corndogs:

  <h1><%= %>'s first view</h1>
  <h2>My corndog collection:</h2>
    <% _.each(corndogs, function (corndog) { %>
    <li><%= %></li>
    <% }) %>

You might have noticed another local, _. By default, Sails passes down a few locals to your views automatically, including lodash (_).

If the data you wanted to pass down to this view was completely static, you don't necessarily need a controller- you could just hard-code the view and its locals in your config/routes.js file, i.e:

// ...
  'get /profile': {
    view: 'backOffice/profile',
    locals: {
      user: {
        name: 'Frank',
        emailAddress: '[email protected]'
      corndogs: [
        { name: 'beef corndog' },
        { name: 'chicken corndog' },
        { name: 'soy corndog' }
  // ...

On the other hand, in the more likely scenario that this data is dynamic, we'd need to use a controller action to load it from our models, then pass it to the view using the res.view() method.

Assuming we hooked up our route to one of our controller's actions (and our models were set up), we might send down our view like this:

// in api/controllers/UserController.js...

  profile: function (req, res) {
    // ...
    return res.view('backOffice/profile', {
      user: theUser,
      corndogs: theUser.corndogCollection
  // ...

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