Spring MVC Form Processing

Concept Overview

Please see this tutorial for an introduction to Spring MVC. In this tutorial we see how Spring can be used for presenting and submitting forms. The example in this tutorial does three things 1. It presents a form to add a new ‘Person’. 2. It validates the form 3. It creates the new Person object from the values entered in the form and displays the added person. A single Controller is used to handle all the above functionalities. The Handler has a method that handles the GET request (showing the form to add a new person) and another method that handles the POST request (when the user submits the form). The parameters in the form are bound to the fields of the person object which is passed in the handler method. Note the @valid annotation. This performs validation for the form fields. The validation rules are specified in the Person bean.

Required Libraries
  • commons-beanutils.jar
  • commons-collections.jar
  • commons-digester.jar
  • hibernate-validator-4.2.0.Final.jar
  • jstl-1.2.jar
  • org.springframework.aop.jar
  • org.springframework.asm.jar
  • org.springframework.beans.jar
  • org.springframework.context.jar
  • org.springframework.context.support.jar
  • org.springframework.core.jar
  • org.springframework.expression.jar
  • org.springframework.web.jar
  • org.springframework.web.servlet.jar
  • retrotranslator-runtime-1.2.3.jar
  • servlet-api-2.5.jar
  • slf4j-api-1.6.1.jar
  • springmvc.jar
  • springmvcformprocessing.jar
  • validation-api-1.0.0.GA.jar

Source Code

Create the Person class which models a Person with his name and age. This represents the model in MVC pattern.

Note that annotation based validation of form input for name and age members is achieved using @Size, @Min and @NotNull annotations (see lines 8-11 below).

The validator ensures that the name of the person should have a minumum of 3 and maximum of 30 characters and that the age should not be empty and should have a value greater than 0. This demonstrates the implementation of form validation within Spring MVC.

Create the PersonService class with a method to fetch a list of all the persons (see lines 19-21 below) and also to add a new Person (see lines 23-25 below). PersonService class will be used by PersonController (described later) to add a new Person and also fetch the list of all persons.

Create the PersonController class. This class is the Controller in MVC pattern and is declared as such by using the
annotation (see line 17 below).

When a request URL ends with
then Spring MVC passes the control to
method (see lines 32-35 below) by using the
annotation (see line 31 below).

PersonController class delegates the call to
class to fetch all the persons and binds it to the model name
(see line 33 below) as a request attribute. This model name will be used in the view JSP (described later).

PersonController.showPersonListPage() method returns
which is the name of the view JSP (see line 34 below).

Similarly, when a request URL ends with
then Spring MVC passes the control to
method (see lines 38-41 below) by using the
annotation (see line 37 below) and
annotation (see line 38 below). (Please see related trail
Spring MVC Control Input
for further details on accessing request parameters within Controller)

PersonController class creates an instance of Person and binds it to to the model name ‘person’ and returns
which is the name of the view JSP (see line 40 below).

Also, when a request URL ends with
then Spring MVC passes the control to
method (see lines 43-50 below).

If the form has validation errors then the control is redirected to the
view (see lines 45-47 below).

If the form does not have validation erros then PersonController class delegates the call to
method to create a new person (see line 48 below) and redirects to
(see line 49 below) to display the new added Person in the list.

Create the new_person.jsp as shown below which allows the user to add a new Person. This represents the view in MVC pattern.

Create and HTML form to take name and age of the person as inputs (see lines 9-24 below).

When the ‘Submit’ button is pressed, then call the ‘/springmvcformprocessing/person/add’ URL to create a new Person (see line 7 below).

Create the person_list.jsp as shown below which displays the list of all Persons. This represents the view in MVC pattern.

Get the list of persons by using the name of the model
(see line 17 below). Note that this model was set in PersonController.showPersonListPage() method with the same model name.

Iterate the list persons and display the list in a table (see lines 18-23 below).

Create the web.xml configuration as shown below.

Create a servlet mapping with name
(see lines 13-16 below) and define the corresponding servlet using Spring
class (see lines 7-11 below).

Note that Spring automatically will look for a configuration file called
corresponding to the servlet mapping name person. We shall describe the details of

Create the Spring configuration by the name
as shown below.

Configure Spring such that annotation based wiring will be used (see lines 14-15 below).

Configure Spring default validator which will perform validations (see line 17 below) defined in Person class

Configure Spring such that the prefix
and the suffix
should be added to the name of the view JSPs specified in various methods in PersonController (see lines 19-27 below).

Running Sample Program

This sample program has been packaged as a jar installer which will copy the source code (along with all necessary dependencies)on your machine and automatically run the program for you as shown in the steps below. As this sample program contains Java Server Pages (JSPs), you will need Java Development Kit (JDK preferably 1.5 or higher) on your machine so that the JSPs can be complied locally. Note that no other setup is required on your machine! Also please ensure that the port 8080 is not being used by any other program on your machine.

Download And Automatically Run Sample Program
  • Save the springmvcformprocessing-installer.jar on your machine
  • Execute/Run the jar using Java Runtime Environment

  • (Alternatively you can go the folder containing the springmvcformprocessing-installer.jar and execute the jar using
    java -jar springmvcformprocessing-installer.jar

  • You will see a wizard as shown below. Enter the location of Java Development Kit (JDK) and Click ‘Next’ button.
  • You will see a wizard page as shown below
  • Enter the location of the directory where you want the program to install and run (say, C:\Temp)
  • The installer will copy the program on your machine and automatically start the inbuilt webserver on your machine as shown below.
  • Go to the URL http://localhost:8080/springmvcformprocessing/person?new. You will see a page as shown below
  • Enter the name as ‘Elle’ and an incorrect age as ‘-50’ as shown below
  • Press Submit button. This will reopen the same page with validation error message for incorrect age as shown below. This demonstrates the validation of form input parameters.
  • Enter the correct age value of ’50’ as shown below and press Submit button
  • A new page will be opened and it will show the newly added Person with name ‘Elle’ and age ’50’ in the list of persons as shown below. This demonstrates the result of form processing and page navigation control using Spring MVC
  • Browsing the Program

    This source code for this program is downloaded in the folder specified by you (say, C:\Temp) as an eclipse project called
    . All the required libraries have also been downloaded and placed in the same location. You can open this project from Eclipe IDE and directly browse the source code. See below for details of the project structure.

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