Control Adapters

Control adapters make it easier to manage the state of controls that are rendered on a webpage. Often, checking what the value is for a specific control is difficult because there are differences in:

  • HTML output

    • Elements are wrapped or the dom tree has been modified after using a

  • Setting/retrieving the value

    • When using libraries this often requires the execution of functions on a specific object.

  • When a value is actually changed

    • custom events that are triggered by third party libraries, value is defined by a different html element…​

This makes it more difficult because you always need to know in which context you are working as well as the specifics of the library that is being used. Control adapters generalise this, by providing a contract to manage the state of the element.

How it works

By default, control adapters are registered on html nodes which have a known data-bootstrapui-adapter-type attribute. These adapters all uphold a certain contract, which defines:

  • the target element

  • retrieving the value

  • setting the value

  • the trigger for bootstrapui events

    • a event of type bootstrapui.change should be triggered when the value is actually modified

The initialization of these elements is done by the ControlAdapterFactory which is registered on the BootstrapUiModule plugin. It also allows to initialize a node with a specific control adapter.

Manually setting or overriding a control adapter
                 .initializeControlAdapter( 'basic', $('input[type="text"]')[0], true ); (1)
1 Initializes the element with a control adapter of type basic. If a control adapter already exists on the element, it will be replaced.

Accessing a control adapter

Control adapters are registered using jQuery under a data-bootstrapui-adapter attribute on the same element that defines the data-bootstrapui-adapter-type attribute. For a control adapter to be available, a registrar that creates the control adapter for the given type is required.

Example fetching a control adapter
$('[data-bootstrapui-adapter-type='datetime']', node)


A control adapter defines a contract to manage the state of an element.

method description

getValue() : BootstrapUiControlValueHolder[]

Fetch the selected value(s) of the control. The value is represented as an array holding all the selected values.

A BootstrapUiControlValueHolder is an object that has a

  • label: the displayed value

  • value: the value that would be submitted

  • context object: which references the origin of the value


Sets the value of the control.


Resets the value of the control to its initial value.


Fetch the target of the control adapter.


Triggers bootstrapui.change on the target element. This event should be triggered when the value of the target element is actually changed.


The ControlAdapterFactory allows you to register custom control adapter initializers, override existing initializers as well as the initialization of nodes (with a specific control adapter).

method parameters description

register(type, initializer)

type: the key for the type (string)

initializer: a function that takes a node and returns the BootstrapUiControlAdapter to register on the node

Registers a control adapter initializer under a specific type.


node: a dom element / jquery node

Registers control adapters on elements in the node which have the [data-bootstrapui-adapter-type] attribute if none has been registered yet.

initializeControlAdapter(type, node, force)

type: the key for the type (string)

node: a dom element/jquery node on which the element should be registered

force: whether a control adapter should be created and registered even if one already exists (boolean, optional)

Register a control adapter of a specific type on a node.