How do I use jsp:useBean action in JSP pages?

In this example you will learn how to use the <jsp:useBean>. We can use the useBean action to create a scripting variables. To define the variable name we use the id attribute of this action. The class attribute define the type of this variable. We can also define the scope of the variable using the scope attribute.

As an example in the code snippet below we create a variable name now and declare it to hold a java.util.Date instance. And then we use a JSP expression to print out the value.

<%@ page contentType="text/html;charset=UTF-8" language="java" %>
<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
    <title>JSP - useBean Demo</title>
</head>
<body>

<jsp:useBean id="now" class="java.util.Date"/>

Now is: <%= now %>

</body>
</html>
jsp:useBean Demo

jsp:useBean Demo

How to set and get properties of a bean in JSP?

In this example you will learn how to set and get the value of Java object properties that you define in a JSP pages. For this example, let’s first start by creating a variable that we named customer, that will have a type of Customer class. To create this variable we use the <jsp:useBean> action.

After we create the customer variable we can set the property value of the customer bean using the <jsp:setProperty> action. And to get the property value of the customer bean we use the <jsp:getProperty> action.

The name attribute in the setProperty and getProperty action refer to our customer bean. The property attribute tells which property we are going to set or get. To set the value of a property we use the value attribute.

<%@ page contentType="text/html;charset=UTF-8" language="java" %>
<html>
<head>
    <title>JSP - Bean Property Demo</title>
</head>
<body>

<jsp:useBean id="customer" class="org.kodejava.example.bean.Customer"/>
<jsp:setProperty name="customer" property="id" value="1"/>
<jsp:setProperty name="customer" property="firstName" value="John"/>
<jsp:setProperty name="customer" property="lastName" value="Doe"/>
<jsp:setProperty name="customer" property="address" value="Sunset Road"/>

Customer Information: <%= customer.toString() %><br/>
Customer Name: <jsp:getProperty name="customer" property="firstName"/>
<jsp:getProperty name="customer" property="lastName"/>

</body>
</html>

And here is the code for our Customer bean. This bean contains property such as the id, firstName, lastName and address.

package org.kodejava.example.bean;

public class Customer {
    private int id;
    private String firstName;
    private String lastName;
    private String address;

    public Customer() {
    }

    public int getId() {
        return id;
    }

    public void setId(int id) {
        this.id = id;
    }

    public String getFirstName() {
        return firstName;
    }

    public void setFirstName(String firstName) {
        this.firstName = firstName;
    }

    public String getLastName() {
        return lastName;
    }

    public void setLastName(String lastName) {
        this.lastName = lastName;
    }

    public String getAddress() {
        return address;
    }

    public void setAddress(String address) {
        this.address = address;
    }

    @Override
    public String toString() {
        return "Customer{" +
                "id=" + id +
                ", firstName='" + firstName + ''' +
                ", lastName='" + lastName + ''' +
                ", address='" + address + ''' +
                '}';
    }
}

We we access the JSP page we will see the following output:

Customer Information: Customer{id=1, firstName='John', lastName='Doe', address='Sunset Road'}
Customer Name: John Doe
JSP Bean Property Demo

JSP Bean Property Demo

How to disable scripting elements in JSP pages?

With the introduction of Expression Language in JSP 2.0 it is recommended to use the EL instead of using a scripting elements / scriptlets. That means if we want to access a server-side objects it is recommended to use EL then to write some Java codes in the JSP pages.

For this purpose in JSP 2.0 we are given a feature to disable the scripting elements by defining a scripting-invalid element within the <jsp-property-group> in the deployment descriptor (web.xml) file.

Here is the JSP configuration that you need to add in the web.xml file:

<web-app xmlns="http://java.sun.com/xml/ns/javaee"
         xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
         xsi:schemaLocation="http://java.sun.com/xml/ns/javaee http://java.sun.com/xml/ns/javaee/web-app_3_0.xsd"
         version="3.0">
    <display-name>JSP Examples</display-name>

    <jsp-config>
        <jsp-property-group>
            <url-pattern>*.jsp</url-pattern>
            <scripting-invalid>true</scripting-invalid>
        </jsp-property-group>
    </jsp-config>
</web-app>

When you try to request a JSP page that have a scripting elements in, it will give you an error message like this:

HTTP Status 500 - /sessionWriteRead.jsp (line: 10, column: 2) Scripting elements ( <%!, <jsp:declaration, <%=, <jsp:expression, <%, <jsp:scriptlet ) are disallowed here.