Java Server Pages is a server side technology that helps software developers to create dynamic web pages.
JSP technology is built on servlet technology by separating business logic (java code) and presentation logic (HTML code)
JSP is not meant to replace servlet technology , however JSP is an extension of the servlet technology, and it is good practice to use both servlets and JSP pages in the same web applications for development.
JSP’s is run on web container in which JSP page is translated into standard java class or servlet & processed.
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Java Server Pages (JSP) is a technology used to build web pages that support dynamic content processing with the help of special tags called JSP tags or elements.
Simple HTML pages can be turned into JSP pages by changing its extension to .jsp and adding tag which start with <% and end with %>.
out.println("Hello, I am new to JSP Technology");
The character sequences <% and %> are called or enclosed JSP Scriplets ( which you will learn later in this tutorial) , which are evaluated at run time by web container to generate dynamic pages that change in response to user requests.
<TITLE>Displaying the server time</TITLE>
Welcome. The server time is now
java.util.Calendar now = java.util.Calendar.getInstance();
int hour = now.get(java.util.Calendar.HOUR_OF_DAY);
int minute = now.get(java.util.Calendar.MINUTE);
out.println("0" + hour);
out.println("0" + minute);
Step1: Request from Client
A JSP page has the extension as .jsp
Client request is made by tying the page name with extension .jsp on the web browser. Example index.jsp
Step2: Request Sent To Server
The Request received is from clients browser is sent to the web server
Step3: JSP Container
The web server passes the request to JSP Container for processing.
Step4: Process of generating servlet
JSP files are compiled by the JSP Container into a servlet. This step creates the .jsp file as a Java servlet source file (.java file)
Step5: Process of generating servlet to class file
.java files are converted into .class file and to execute the business logic
Step6:- Instantiation of Servlet:
The instantiation of servlet is performed using the init () and service () methods.
Step7:- Generating Output:
The request received from client is executed and the output is generated as HTML.
Step8:- Client receives the Output:
The web server sends the response back to client in the form of HTML displayed in browser
Life cycle of a JSP can be divided into following phases
When a request is made by client for JSP page, the JSP container will check that JSP page is correctly formed and syntax is correct. If the syntax check is successful then the JSP container will translate the JSP into standard Java servlet. Servlet will be compiled into a class file by the JSP container and will be ready for use.
Whenever container receives a request, it first checks if the JSP file has be modified or since it was last translated. If it is not translated, it retranslated so that the response generated will have the most up-to-date information of the JSP file.
Once the translation phase has been completed, the JSP container will load the generated class file and creates an instance of the servlet in order to continue processing of the initial request.
Once the JSP container has completed all the preliminary work, the initial request will be serviced. The important methods that are generated in this phase are
This method is used to initialize the servlet for further processing.
This method provides all of the functionality for handling a request and returning a response to the client.
After processing the clients request the servlet has to be destroyed. The servlet container will call the jspdestroy() method to destroy the servlet. Once this method is called the servlet will no longer will respond to client request.
To write an effective JSP page, we have to understand all these elements or tags used in JSP.
JSP Tags are divided into
We need to learn how to incorporate these elements in JSP which affects the JSP servlets that result from the translation of JSP pages for processing the request.
Directives are messages to the JSP container which contains information on how the container must translate a JSP page into a corresponding servlet.
For single attribute
<%@ directive (attribute="value") %>
For Multiple attribute
<%@ directive attribute1="value1" attribute2="value2"%>
Note: Each attribute value must be quoted.
Directives are further divided into
All the information pertaining to JSP Page such as language used, contentType, import and so on has to declared in page directive.
The following table will give more information about the page directives
Example for page directive:
<%@ page language="java" contentType="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1" pageEncoding="ISO-8859-1"%>
Note: In JSP page we can write as many page directives as we wish.
Include directive enables JSP page owner to include the contents of other files in the current JSP page.
Example for Include directive
Tag library directives
Tag library directives are used to include custom tags into JSP Page.
A custom tag is a user-defined JSP language element which can be used to create a JSP page.
We will discuss custom tags later in this chapter
Scripting elements allows us to insert java code into the JSP page.
There are three types of scripting elements
Declarations allow us to declare methods and variables that can be used in the JSP page.
A declaration tag starts with a <%! and ends with a %> and can appear anywhere throughout the page
<%! Declarative element %>
Scriptlets are the code blocks of a JSP page where actual logic is written.
Scriptlets start with an opening <% tag and end with a closing %> tag.
<% Scriplet element %>
Expressions are used to print the result evaluated in a JSP page
When the JSP page is requested and their results are converted into a String and printed using Expression.
If the result cannot be converted into a String, an error will be raised at translation time or request processing time. ClassCastException will be raised.
An expression starts with a <%= and ends with a %>.
<%= Expression element %>
Comments are ignored by JSP container during page translation.
<%- – Comment should be written here- -%>
Implicit objects are predefined java objects or variables provided by JSP container for minimizing the use of Scriplets and Expressions used in JSP page.
Usage of Implicit objects minimizes the time required for processing of JSP request.
Few of them are given below
request Implicit Object
This variable is of type HTTP request and implements interface javax.servlet.http.HttpServletRequest
It gives you access to the request parameters, the request type (e.g. GET or POST), and the incoming HTTP request headers (e.g. cookies etc).
String firstName = request.getParameter("firstName");
out.println("First name: " + firstName);
response Implicit Object
This variable is of type HTTP response and implements interface javax.servlet.http.HttpServletResponse
By using it, you can set HTTP status codes, content type and response headers etc.
out Implicit Object
This is the object of JspWriter.
It used to send output to the client.
session Implicit Object
This variable is of type HTTP session and implements interface javax.servlet.http.HttpServletResponse
It is used to work with Session Object
application Implicit Object
represents the servlet context for the Web application that implements the javax.servlet.ServletContext
Allows to store values in key-value pair form that are shared by all servlets in same web application
config Implicit Object
Represents the servlet configuration for a JSP page
This implements javax.servlet.ServletConfig interface
Represents the JSP configuration options e.g. init-parameters etc.
pageContext Implicit Object
This variable is instance of javax.servlet.jsp.PageContext, to give a single point of access to many of the page attributes.
This object is used to store the object values associated with the JSP Page.
page Implicit Object
This is an instance of the JSP page implementation class and is created when the page is translated.
The page implementation class implements the interface javax.servlet.jsp.HttpJspPage.
exception Implicit Object
This variable is of type java.lang.Throwable.
It represents the exception that is passed to JSP or error page.
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