(Quick Reference)

21 Scaffolding - Reference Documentation

Authors: Graeme Rocher, Peter Ledbrook, Marc Palmer, Jeff Brown, Luke Daley, Burt Beckwith, Lari Hotari

Version: 3.1.9

21 Scaffolding

Scaffolding lets you generate some basic CRUD interfaces for a domain class, including:
  • The necessary views
  • Controller actions for create/read/update/delete (CRUD) operations

The way for an application to express a dependency on the scaffolding plugin is by including the following in build.gradle.

dependencies {

// ...

compile "org.grails.plugins:scaffolding"

// ...


Dynamic Scaffolding

The simplest way to get started with scaffolding is to enable it by setting the scaffold property in the controller to a specific domain class:

class BookController {
    static scaffold = Book  // Or any other domain class such as "Author", "Publisher"

With this configured, when you start your application the actions and views will be autogenerated at runtime. The following actions are dynamically implemented by default by the runtime scaffolding mechanism:

  • index
  • show
  • edit
  • delete
  • create
  • save
  • update

A CRUD interface will also be generated. To access this open http://localhost:8080/book in a browser.

Note: The old alternative of defining scaffold property:

class BookController {
    static scaffold = true

is no longer supported above Grails 3.0.

If you prefer to keep your domain model in Java and mapped with Hibernate you can still use scaffolding, simply import the domain class and set its name as the scaffold argument.

You can add new actions to a scaffolded controller, for example:

class BookController {

static scaffold = Book

def changeAuthor() { def b = Book.get(params.id) b.author = Author.get(params["author.id"]) b.save()

// redirect to a scaffolded action redirect(action:show) } }

You can also override the scaffolded actions:

class BookController {

static scaffold = Book

// overrides scaffolded action to return both authors and books def index() { [bookInstanceList: Book.list(), bookInstanceTotal: Book.count(), authorInstanceList: Author.list()] }

def show() { def book = Book.get(params.id) log.error(book) [bookInstance : book] } }

All of this is what is known as "dynamic scaffolding" where the CRUD interface is generated dynamically at runtime.

By default, the size of text areas in scaffolded views is defined in the CSS, so adding 'rows' and 'cols' attributes will have no effect.

Also, the standard scaffold views expect model variables of the form <propertyName>InstanceList for collections and <propertyName>Instance for single instances. It's tempting to use properties like 'books' and 'book', but those won't work.

Static Scaffolding

Grails lets you generate a controller and the views used to create the above interface from the command line. To generate a controller type:

grails generate-controller Book

or to generate the views:

grails generate-views Book

or to generate everything:

grails generate-all Book

If you have a domain class in a package or are generating from a Hibernate mapped class remember to include the fully qualified package name:

grails generate-all com.bookstore.Book

Customizing the Generated Views

The views adapt to Validation constraints. For example you can change the order that fields appear in the views simply by re-ordering the constraints in the builder:

def constraints = {

You can also get the generator to generate lists instead of text inputs if you use the inList constraint:

def constraints = {
    category(inList: ["Fiction", "Non-fiction", "Biography"])

Or if you use the range constraint on a number:

def constraints = {

Restricting the size with a constraint also effects how many characters can be entered in the d view:

def constraints = {

Customizing the Scaffolding templates

The templates used by Grails to generate the controller and views can be customized by installing the templates with the install-templates command.