URL decomposition


During the Resource Resolution step, the client request URI (as being returned by HttpServletRequest.getRequestURI()) is decomposed into the following parts (in exactly this order):

  1. Resource Path - For existing resources the resource path is the longest match (also considering its mappings) pointing to a resource where the next character is either a dot (.) or it is the full request URI. Otherwise (for a path not matching any existing resource) the resource path ends at the first dot (.) in the request url. The exact logic for retrieving the resource path is implemented at ResourceResolver.resolve(HttpServletRequest,String). It is impossible to tell from just looking at the request URI where the resource path part ends. You have to know the underlying resource structure to know how a URL is decomposed. You cannot safely assume that the resource path will always end at the first dot!.
  2. Selectors - If the first character in the request URL after the resource path is a dot (.), the string after the dot up to but not including the last dot before the next slash character or the end of the request URL comprises the selectors. If the resource path spans the complete request URL no selectors exist. If only one dot follows the resource path before the end of the request URL or the next slash, also no selectors exist.
  3. Extension - The string after the last dot after the resource path in the request URL but before the end of the request URL or the next slash after the resource path in the request URL is the extension.
  4. Suffix - If the request URL contains a slash character after the resource path and optional selectors and extension, the path starting with the slash up to the end of the request URL is the suffix path. Otherwise, the suffix path is empty. Note, that after the resource path at least a dot must be in the URL to let Sling detect the suffix.

Those decomposed parts can be accessed through the RequestPathInfo object, which is retrieved via SlingHttpServletRequest.getPathInfo().

There's a cheat sheet in Adobe's AEM documentation at https://docs.adobe.com/docs/en/aem/6-2/develop/platform/sling-cheatsheet.html available to get you familiar with the URL decomposition of Sling.


Assume there is a Resource at /a/b, which has no children.

URI Resource Path Selectors Extension Suffix Resource Found
/a/b /a/b null null null yes
/a/b.html /a/b null html null yes
/a/b.s1.html /a/b s1 html null yes
/a/b.s1.s2.html /a/b s1.s2 html null yes
/a/b/c/d /a/b/c/d null null null no!
/a/c.html/s.txt /a/c null html /s.txt no!
/a/b./c/d /a/b null null /c/d yes
/a/b.html/c/d /a/b null html /c/d yes
/a/b.s1.html/c/d /a/b s1 html /c/d yes
/a/b.s1.s2.html/c/d /a/b s1.s2 html /c/d yes
/a/b/c/d.s.txt /a/b/c/d s txt null no!
/a/b.html/c/d.s.txt /a/b null html /c/d.s.txt yes
/a/b.s1.html/c/d.s.txt /a/b s1 html /c/d.s.txt yes
/a/b.s1.s2.html/c/d.s.txt /a/b s1.s2 html /c/d.s.txt yes

Automated Tests

The tests at

Feel free to suggest additional tests that help clarify how this works!