How do I define a filter using @WebFilter annotation?

The following example show you how to create a servlet filter using the @WebFilter annotation. We will create a simple filter that will check whether an attribute is exists in the http session object. If no attribute found this filter will redirect user into a login page.

package org.kodejava.example.filter;

import javax.servlet.Filter;
import javax.servlet.FilterChain;
import javax.servlet.FilterConfig;
import javax.servlet.ServletException;
import javax.servlet.ServletRequest;
import javax.servlet.ServletResponse;
import javax.servlet.annotation.WebFilter;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletRequest;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletResponse;
import java.io.IOException;

@WebFilter(urlPatterns = {"/*"}, description = "Session Checker Filter")
public class SessionCheckerFilter implements Filter {
    private FilterConfig config = null;

    public void init(FilterConfig config) throws ServletException {
        this.config = config;
        config.getServletContext().log("Initializing SessionCheckerFilter");
    }

    public void doFilter(ServletRequest req, ServletResponse res,
                         FilterChain chain)
            throws ServletException, IOException {

        HttpServletRequest request = (HttpServletRequest) req;
        HttpServletResponse response = (HttpServletResponse) res;

        //
        // Check to see if user's session attribute contains an attribute
        // named AUTHENTICATED. If the attribute is not exists redirect
        // user to the login page.
        //
        if (!request.getRequestURI().endsWith("login.jsp") &&
                request.getSession().getAttribute("AUTHENTICATED") == null) {
            response.sendRedirect(request.getContextPath() + "/login.jsp");
        }
        chain.doFilter(req, res);
    }

    public void destroy() {
        config.getServletContext().log("Destroying SessionCheckerFilter");
    }
}

Before the birth of @WebFilter annotation as defined in the Servlet 3.0 Specification. To make the filter functional we must register it in the web.xml file by using the filter and the filter-mapping element. And once it active it will collaborate with the other filters in the filter chain for the current servlet context.

How do I define a servlet with @WebServlet annotation?

Annotations is one new feature introduces in the Servlet 3.0 Specification. Previously to declare servlets, listeners or filters we must do it in the web.xml file. Now, with the new annotations feature we can just annotate servlet classes using the @WebServlet annotation.

package org.kodejava.example.servlet;

import javax.servlet.ServletException;
import javax.servlet.annotation.WebInitParam;
import javax.servlet.annotation.WebServlet;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletRequest;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletResponse;
import java.io.IOException;
import java.io.PrintWriter;

@WebServlet(
        name = "HelloAnnotationServlet",
        urlPatterns = {"/hello", "/helloanno"},
        asyncSupported = false,
        initParams = {
                @WebInitParam(name = "name", value = "admin"),
                @WebInitParam(name = "param1", value = "value1"),
                @WebInitParam(name = "param2", value = "value2")
        }
)
public class HelloAnnotationServlet extends HttpServlet {
    @Override
    protected void doGet(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response)
            throws ServletException, IOException {
        response.setContentType("text/html");

        PrintWriter out = response.getWriter();
        out.write("<html><head><title>WebServlet Annotation</title></head>");
        out.write("<body>");
        out.write("<h1>Servlet Hello Annotation</h1>");
        out.write("<hr/>");
        out.write("Welcome " + getServletConfig().getInitParameter("name"));
        out.write("</body></html>");
        out.close();
    }
}

After you’ve deploy the servlet you’ll be able to access it either using the /hello or /helloanno url.

The table below give a brief information about the attributes accepted by the @WebServlet annotation and their purposes.

ATTRIBUTE DESCRIPTION
name The servlet name, this attribute is optional.
description The servlet description and it is an optional attribute.
displayName The servlet display name, this attribute is optional.
urlPatterns An array of url patterns use for accessing the servlet, this attribute is required and should at least register one url pattern.
asyncSupported Specifies whether the servlet supports asynchronous processing or not, the value can be true or false.
initParams An array of @WebInitParam, that can be used to pass servlet configuration parameters. This attribute is optional.
loadOnStartup An integer value that indicates servlet initialization order, this attribute is optional.
smallIcon A small icon image for the servlet, this attribute is optional.
largeIcon A large icon image for the servlet, this attribute is optional.

How do I create zip file in Servlet for download?

The example below is a servlet that shows you how to create a zip file and send the generated zip file for user to download. The compressing process is done by the zipFiles method of this class.

For a servlet to work you need to configure it in the web.xml file of your web application which can be found after the code snippet below.

package org.kodejava.example.servlet;

import javax.servlet.ServletException;
import javax.servlet.ServletOutputStream;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletRequest;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletResponse;
import java.io.*;
import java.util.zip.ZipEntry;
import java.util.zip.ZipOutputStream;

public class ZipDownloadServlet extends HttpServlet {
    public static final String FILE_SEPARATOR = System.getProperty("file.separator");

    protected void doPost(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response) 
            throws ServletException, IOException {
        doGet(request, response);
    }

    protected void doGet(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response) 
            throws ServletException, IOException {
        try {
            // The path below is the root directory of data to be
            // compressed.
            String path = getServletContext().getRealPath("data");

            File directory = new File(path);
            String[] files = directory.list();

            // Checks to see if the directory contains some files.
            if (files != null && files.length > 0) {

                // Call the zipFiles method for creating a zip stream.
                byte[] zip = zipFiles(directory, files);

                // Sends the response back to the user / browser. The
                // content for zip file type is "application/zip". We
                // also set the content disposition as attachment for
                // the browser to show a dialog that will let user 
                // choose what action will he do to the sent content.
                ServletOutputStream sos = response.getOutputStream();
                response.setContentType("application/zip");
                response.setHeader("Content-Disposition", "attachment; filename="DATA.ZIP"");

                sos.write(zip);
                sos.flush();
            }
        }
        catch (Exception e) {
            e.printStackTrace();
        }
    }

    /**
     * Compress the given directory with all its files.
     */
    private byte[] zipFiles(File directory, String[] files) throws IOException {
        ByteArrayOutputStream baos = new ByteArrayOutputStream();
        ZipOutputStream zos = new ZipOutputStream(baos);
        byte bytes[] = new byte[2048];

        for (String fileName : files) {
            FileInputStream fis = new FileInputStream(directory.getPath() + 
                ZipDownloadServlet.FILE_SEPARATOR + fileName);
            BufferedInputStream bis = new BufferedInputStream(fis);

            zos.putNextEntry(new ZipEntry(fileName));

            int bytesRead;
            while ((bytesRead = bis.read(bytes)) != -1) {
                zos.write(bytes, 0, bytesRead);
            }
            zos.closeEntry();
            bis.close();
            fis.close();
        }
        zos.flush();
        baos.flush();
        zos.close();
        baos.close();

        return baos.toByteArray();
    }
}

The web.xml configuration:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<web-app xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" 
         xmlns="http://java.sun.com/xml/ns/javaee"
         xmlns:web="http://java.sun.com/xml/ns/javaee/web-app_2_5.xsd"
         xsi:schemaLocation="http://java.sun.com/xml/ns/javaee http://java.sun.com/xml/ns/javaee/web-app_2_5.xsd"
         id="WebApp_ID" version="2.5">
    <servlet>
        <servlet-name>ZipDownloadServlet</servlet-name>
        <servlet-class>org.kodejava.example.servlet.ZipDownloadServlet</servlet-class>
    </servlet>

    <servlet-mapping>
        <servlet-name>ZipDownloadServlet</servlet-name>
        <url-pattern>/zipservlet</url-pattern>
    </servlet-mapping>
</web-app>

How do I forward to other page using jsp:forward?

The <jsp:forward/> tag forward user request to other page. For example, a user request page1.jsp and in this page the server found a <jsp:forward page="page2.jsp"/>. The server immediately stop the processing of page1.jsp and jump to the page2.jsp.

Let see an example of using <jsp:forward/> tag.

<!-- This is page1.jsp -->
<%@ page contentType="text/html;charset=UTF-8" language="java" %>
<html>
<head>
    <title>Page 1</title>
</head>
<body>
<strong>This is page 1</strong>

<jsp:forward page="page2.jsp"/>
</body>
</html>

<!-- This is page2.jsp -->
<%@ page contentType="text/html;charset=UTF-8" language="java" %>
<html>
<head>
    <title>Page 2</title>
</head>
<body>
<strong>This is page 2</strong>
</body>
</html>

When you try to run the example above by accessing the URL http://localhost:8080/page1.jsp you are going to see the content of page2.jsp instead of page1.jsp. It’s happen because on the server side page1.jsp forward your request to the page2.jsp. But if you look at your browser URL address it will still pointing to page1.jsp.

How do I include other pages using jsp:include?

The <jsp:include/> tag is use to include another page fragment of a JSP page into another page. This is useful when you have a common page such as header, footer or a menu that applied to many of all of your pages.

<%@ page contentType="text/html;charset=UTF-8" language="java" %>
<html>
<head>
    <title>&lt;jsp:include/&gt; Demo</title>
</head>
<body>
<div id="header">
    <jsp:include page="common/header.jsp"/>
</div>

<div id="main">
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit,
    sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna
    aliqua.
</div>

<div id="footer">
    <jsp:include page="common/footer.jsp"/>
</div>
</body>
</html>

Here are the page fragment of the header.jsp, footer.jsp and menu.jsp. All of them are placed in the common folder in the same location with the index.jsp file.

header.jsp

<strong>&lt;jsp:include/&gt; Demo</strong>
<hr/>
<jsp:include page="menu.jsp"/>

footer.jsp

<hr/>
&copy; 2009 Kode Java Org.

menu.jsp

<a href="/ex01/index.jsp">HOME</a>

When you access your page from the servlet container such as Apache Tomcat you’ll have a complete display of a page that contains header, menu, content and footer.

How do use c:forEach JSTL tag?

The c:forEach tag in the core JSTL tag library is a useful tag when we want to iterate over a collection of data such as array. It is commonly use to render a tabular data in our web pages in form of HTML table.

In the example below we display a weather data that we stored as two dimensional array of string. After declaring and initializing the data with some value we put it into the request scope. Later on the c:forEach tag can use the data, iterates it row by row to form an HTML table. Our weather data consist of the date, condition and the high and low temperature.

<%@ page contentType="text/html;charset=UTF-8" language="java" %>
<%@ taglib uri="http://java.sun.com/jsp/jstl/core" prefix="c" %>
<html>
<head>
    <title>Weather Page</title>
</head>
<body>
<%
    String[][] data = {
            {"Nov 6", "Sunny", "32", "26"},
            {"Nov 7", "Sunny", "32", "26"},
            {"Nov 8", "Sunny", "32", "26"},
            {"Nov 9", "Partly Cloudy", "32", "26"},
            {"Nov 10", "Isolated T-Storms", "32", "26"}
    };
    request.setAttribute("weathers", data);
%>
<strong>5-Days Weather for Denpasar, Indonesia</strong>

<table border="1">
    <tr>
        <th>DATE</th>
        <th>CONDITION</th>
        <th>TEMP. HIGH</th>
        <th>TEMP. LOW</th>
    </tr>
    <c:forEach var="weather" items="${weathers}">
        <tr>
            <td>${weather[0]}</td>
            <td>${weather[1]}</td>
            <td align="center">${weather[2]}&#x2103;</td>
            <td align="center">${weather[3]}&#x2103;</td>
        </tr>
    </c:forEach>
</table>
</body>
</html>

Our JSP page above creates the following output:

5-Days Weather for Denpasar, Indonesia

DATE CONDITION TEMP. HIGH TEMP. LOW
Nov 6 Sunny 32℃ 26℃
Nov 7 Sunny 32℃ 26℃
Nov 8 Sunny 32℃ 26℃
Nov 9 Partly Cloudy 32℃ 26℃
Nov 10 Isolated T-Storms 32℃ 26℃

How do I write and read object from HTTP Session?

In this post you will learn how to write and read object from HTTP Session in JavaServer Page. The first example that we are looking at is using the classic JSP scriptlet, this is a very old way to work with JSP but it is good for you to know a history. We write a JSP scriptlet inside the <% %> symbols. We can use the provided session object. To set an attribute in the session object we use the setAttribute(String name, Object value) method. In the example we create an attribute called loginDate and set the value to the current date.

To read a value from a session object we use the getAttribute(String name) method. This method return a type of Object, so we need to cast it to the original object. In this case we cast it to a java.util.Date. And then we print out the value read from the session object>.

<%@ page import="java.util.Date" %>
<%@ page contentType="text/html;charset=UTF-8" language="java" %>
<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
    <title>JSP - Session Write</title>
</head>
</html>
<body>
<%
    // Creates a session attribute named login-date to store a java.util.Date.
    session.setAttribute("loginDate", new Date());

    // Read back the java.util.Date object from the session attribute.
    Date loginDate = (Date) session.getAttribute("loginDate");
%>
Login Date: <%= loginDate %>
</body>
JSP Session Write & Read

JSP Session Write & Read

The second way that you can use to read values from session object is using the JSP Expression Language (EL). It looks like the following code snippet. You can use the sessionScope implicit object combined with the session attribute name. You can see two ways to use the sessionScope object below. The simplest one is to use the attribute name as the EL expression, and it will look smartly to find the value in the available scope.

<%@ page contentType="text/html;charset=UTF-8" language="java" %>
<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
    <title>JSP - Session Read EL</title>
</head>
<body>
    <p>Login Date: ${sessionScope.loginDate}</p>

    <p>Login Date: ${sessionScope["loginDate"]}</p>

    <p>Login Date: ${loginDate}</p>
</body>
</html>

And you will also got the same value from the session as shown in the picture below:

JSP Session Read Using EL

JSP Session Read Using EL

How do I include a page fragment into JSP?

In this example you can learn how to include a JSP fragment into another JSP page. This is a common practice when creating a web application where we usually have a navigation section, the main content and the footer of a web page. Using the include directive make it simpler to maintain the fragment of a web page, which mean that when we need to change for example the footer section we just need to alter the footer include file and all the page that includes it will get the benefit.

The page inclusion that using the include direction will occurs at page translation time, it is when the JSP page is translated into a Servlet by JSP container. We can use any file extension name for the JSP fragment used by the include directive. In this example we use the .jspf extension which is short for JSP Fragment.

Here is an example of JSP with include directive.

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

<div id="header">
    <%@ include file="/include/common/header.jspf" %>
</div>

<div id="content">
    Main application content goes here!
</div>

<div id="footer">
    <%@ include file="/include/common/footer.jspf" %>
</div>

</body>
</html>
Header
<hr/>
<hr/>
Footer

And here is the page that you will get:

JSP Include Directive

JSP Include Directive

How do I define welcome files for web application?

The configuration below gives us example how to define a welcome-files to our web application. The welcome file is default file to be loaded by a servlet container when we access a URL without telling which page to load.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<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_2_5.xsd" 
        version="2.5">

    <welcome-file-list>
        <welcome-file>index.html</welcome-file>
        <welcome-file>index.jsp</welcome-file>
        <welcome-file>default.html</welcome-file>
        <welcome-file>default.jsp</welcome-file>
    </welcome-file-list>
</web-app>