Spring MVC dropdown box example

In Spring MVC, form tags – <form:select />, <form:option /> or <form:options />, are used to render HTML dropdown box. See following examples :

//SimpleFormController
protected Map referenceData(HttpServletRequest request) throws Exception {
	Map referenceData = new HashMap();
	Map<String,String> country = new LinkedHashMap<String,String>();
	country.put("US", "United Stated");
	country.put("CHINA", "China");
	country.put("SG", "Singapore");
	country.put("MY", "Malaysia");
	referenceData.put("countryList", country);
}

1. <form:select />

Generate a dropbox box with ${countryList}.

<form:select path="country" items="${countryList}" />

HTML code

<select id="country" name="country">
   <option value="US">United Stated</option>
   <option value="CHINA">China</option>
   <option value="SG">Singapore</option>
   <option value="MY">Malaysia</option>
</select>

2. <form:options />

The <form:options /> have to enclosed with the select tag.

<form:select path="country">
    <form:options items="${countryList}" />
</form:select>

HTML code

<select id="country" name="country">
   <option value="US">United Stated</option>
   <option value="CHINA">China</option>
   <option value="SG">Singapore</option>
   <option value="MY">Malaysia</option>
</select>

3. <form:option />

The <form:option /> have to enclosed with the select tag as well, and render a single select option, see the following combination.

<form:select path="country">
   <form:option value="NONE" label="--- Select ---"/>
   <form:options items="${countryList}" />
</form:select>

HTML code

<select id="country" name="country">
   <option value="NONE">--- Select ---</option> 
   <option value="US">United Stated</option>
   <option value="CHINA">China</option>
   <option value="SG">Singapore</option>
   <option value="MY">Malaysia</option>
</select>

4. List box

To render a list box, just add the “multiple=true” attribute in the select tag.

<form:select path="country" items="${countryList}" multiple="true" />

HTML code, with a hidden value to handle the country selections.

<select id="country" name="country" multiple="multiple"> 
    <option value="US">United Stated</option>
    <option value="CHINA">China</option>
    <option value="SG">Singapore</option>
    <option value="MY">Malaysia</option> 
</select>
<input type="hidden" name="_country" value="1"/>
Select a dropdown box value
For dropdown box, list box or “select” options, as long as the “path” or “property” is equal to the “select option key value“, the options will be selected automatically.

Full dropdown box example

Let’s go thought a complete Spring MVC dropdown box example :

1. Model

A customer model class to store the dropdown box value.

File : Customer.java

package com.mkyong.customer.model;
 
public class Customer{
 
	String country;
	String javaSkills;
 
	public String getCountry() {
		return country;
	}
	public void setCountry(String country) {
		this.country = country;
	}
	public String getJavaSkills() {
		return javaSkills;
	}
	public void setJavaSkills(String javaSkills) {
		this.javaSkills = javaSkills;
	}	
}

2. Controller

A SimpleFormController to handle the form dropdown box value. Make the java skills’s “Spring” as the default dropdown box selected value.

File : DropDownBoxController.java

package com.mkyong.customer.controller;
 
import java.util.HashMap;
import java.util.LinkedHashMap;
import java.util.Map;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletRequest;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletResponse;
import org.springframework.validation.BindException;
import org.springframework.web.servlet.ModelAndView;
import org.springframework.web.servlet.mvc.SimpleFormController;
import com.mkyong.customer.model.Customer;
 
public class DropDownBoxController extends SimpleFormController{
 
	public DropDownBoxController(){
		setCommandClass(Customer.class);
		setCommandName("customerForm");
	}
 
	@Override
	protected Object formBackingObject(HttpServletRequest request)
		throws Exception {
 
		Customer cust = new Customer();
 
		//make "Spring" as the default java skills selection
		cust.setJavaSkills("Spring");
 
		return cust;
 
	}
 
	@Override
	protected ModelAndView onSubmit(HttpServletRequest request,
		HttpServletResponse response, Object command, BindException errors)
		throws Exception {
 
		Customer customer = (Customer)command;
		return new ModelAndView("CustomerSuccess","customer",customer);
 
	}
 
	protected Map referenceData(HttpServletRequest request) throws Exception {
 
		Map referenceData = new HashMap();
 
		Map<String,String> country = new LinkedHashMap<String,String>();
		country.put("US", "United Stated");
		country.put("CHINA", "China");
		country.put("SG", "Singapore");
		country.put("MY", "Malaysia");
		referenceData.put("countryList", country);
 
		Map<String,String> javaSkill = new LinkedHashMap<String,String>();
		javaSkill.put("Hibernate", "Hibernate");
		javaSkill.put("Spring", "Spring");
		javaSkill.put("Apache Wicket", "Apache Wicket");
		javaSkill.put("Struts", "Struts");
		referenceData.put("javaSkillsList", javaSkill);
 
		return referenceData;
	}
}

3. Validator

A simple form validator to make sure the “country” and “javaSkills” dropdown box is selected.

File : DropDownBoxValidator.java

package com.mkyong.customer.validator;
 
import org.springframework.validation.Errors;
import org.springframework.validation.ValidationUtils;
import org.springframework.validation.Validator;
 
import com.mkyong.customer.model.Customer;
 
public class DropDownBoxValidator implements Validator{
 
	@Override
	public boolean supports(Class clazz) {
	   //just validate the Customer instances
	   return Customer.class.isAssignableFrom(clazz);
	}
 
	@Override
	public void validate(Object target, Errors errors) {
 
	   Customer cust = (Customer)target;
 
	   ValidationUtils.rejectIfEmptyOrWhitespace(errors, "javaSkills", "required.javaSkills");
 
	   if("NONE".equals(cust.getCountry())){
		errors.rejectValue("country", "required.country");
	   }
	}
}

File : message.properties

required.country = Please select a country!
required.javaSkills = Please select a java Skill!

4. View

A JSP page to show the use of Spring’s form tag <form:select />, <form:option /> and <form:options />.

File : CustomerForm.jsp

<%@ taglib prefix="form" uri="http://www.springframework.org/tags/form"%>
<html>
<head>
<style>
.error {
	color: #ff0000;
}
 
.errorblock {
	color: #000;
	background-color: #ffEEEE;
	border: 3px solid #ff0000;
	padding: 8px;
	margin: 16px;
}
</style>
</head>
 
<body>
	<h2>Spring's form select, option, options example</h2>
 
	<form:form method="POST" commandName="customerForm">
		<form:errors path="*" cssClass="errorblock" element="div" />
		<table>
 
			<tr>
				<td>Country :</td>
				<td><form:select path="country">
					  <form:option value="NONE" label="--- Select ---" />
					  <form:options items="${countryList}" />
				       </form:select>
                                </td>
				<td><form:errors path="country" cssClass="error" /></td>
			</tr>
			<tr>
				<td>Java Skills :</td>
				<td><form:select path="javaSkills" items="${javaSkillsList}"
					multiple="true" /></td>
				<td><form:errors path="javaSkills" cssClass="error" /></td>
			</tr>
 
			<tr>
				<td colspan="3"><input type="submit" /></td>
			</tr>
		</table>
	</form:form>
 
</body>
</html>

Use JSTL to display submitted value.

File : CustomerSuccess.jsp

<%@ taglib prefix="c" uri="http://java.sun.com/jsp/jstl/core"%>
 
<html>
<body>
	<h2>Spring's form select, option, options example</h2>
 
	Country : ${customer.country}
	<br /> Java Skills : ${customer.javaSkills}
	<br />
 
</body>
</html>

5. Spring Bean Configuration

Link it all ~

<beans xmlns="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans"
	xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
	xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans 
	http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans/spring-beans-2.5.xsd">
 
  <bean
  class="org.springframework.web.servlet.mvc.support.ControllerClassNameHandlerMapping" />
 
	<bean class="com.mkyong.customer.controller.DropDownBoxController">
		<property name="formView" value="CustomerForm" />
		<property name="successView" value="CustomerSuccess" />
 
		<!-- Map a validator -->
		<property name="validator">
			<bean class="com.mkyong.customer.validator.DropDownBoxValidator" />
		</property>
	</bean>
 
	<!-- Register the Customer.properties -->
	<bean id="messageSource"
		class="org.springframework.context.support.ResourceBundleMessageSource">
		<property name="basename" value="message" />
	</bean>
 
	<bean id="viewResolver"
		class="org.springframework.web.servlet.view.InternalResourceViewResolver">
		<property name="prefix">
			<value>/WEB-INF/pages/</value>
		</property>
		<property name="suffix">
			<value>.jsp</value>
		</property>
	</bean>
</beans>

6. Demo

Access the page – http://localhost:8080/SpringMVCForm/dropdownbox.htm

SpringMVC-DropDownBox-Example-1

If the user did not select any dropdown box value while submitting the form, display and highlight the error message.

SpringMVC-DropDownBox-Example-2

If the form is submitted successfully, just display the submitted dropdown box values.

SpringMVC-DropDownBox-Example-3

Download Source Code

Download it – SpringMVCForm-DropDownBox-Example.zip (10KB)
Tags :

About the Author

mkyong
Founder of Mkyong.com and HostingCompass.com, love Java and open source stuff. Follow him on Twitter, or befriend him on Facebook or Google Plus. If you like my tutorials, consider make a donation to these charities.

Comments

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  • sumit Deshpande

    Where is the mapping for dropdownbox.htm. I dig out the whole code but didnot fin anything.If I want to change the mapping from where can I achieve this??

  • RamZ

    Neither BindingResult nor plain target object for bean name ‘customerForm’ available as request attribute. Am getting above exception when i implemented the same. kindly help me.

  • Hieu

    How can I display “China” instead of “CHINA” on the last image of this tutorial?

  • Java

    Could please make it work for edit version. I am able to get it working for add.
    Values selected are going to join table.

    But for the edit screen not able to show selected values in multi select.
    Any solution?

  • lucho

    as does the same with “Spring MVC 3.0″?

  • Mauricio Magnani

    Thanks Man :)

  • Breed Hansen

    Hello,

    I have a question. Is it possible to send object to spring form and get object from form?

  • Daniel Robertus

    Hi thanks it help so much..

  • John

    How is this file being accessed through dropdownbox.htm? I don’t understand where this mapping is coming from because I’ve dug through the code and there isn’t anything relating to dropdownbox or htm.

    Thanks.

  • Anji

    Hi I have one qstn, If i submit my form ,based on some Spring form values it should go to different jsps. For example if I provide XXX value for one of Spring Form field it should go to SOMEXXX.jsp and similarly if i Provide YYY Value for that field it should go to SOMEYYY.jsp. Can u pls help me how to do that ?

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  • http://www.bizipic.de GB

    Thanks for this nice Tutorial! It helped me a lot.

  • http://www.bizipic.de GB

    Thanks for this nice Tutorial.

  • thanooj

    How & where to set default dropdown value using Spring based tag?
    i mean, i have a Spring based ‘Gender’ tag which provide 2 options: male and female, but by default male whould be selected.
    in this case, could you please help…
    How to set default value for Spring based tag.

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    Thanks for this nice Tutorial! It helped me a lot.

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    i don’t want to import, i want to buy here in Ecuador direct from the big importers of electronics, mp3, video cameras, etc
    some clue?

  • http://www.ja-pics.net Gb Pics

    Thanks for this nice Tutorial. I have a question regarding the multiple select. If a User have the ability to select mor than one value how can I recieve a list of object so that I can map them to my database. Like I understand it here we only get back on Object so it only works if one value is selected right?

  • Madhu

    Hi,

    Good example for Select option. I am new to Springs. I am working on Spring form I am getting an error

    2011-10-05 22:27:14,971 [ERROR] [http-0.0.0.0-8080-1] org.springframework.web.servlet.tags.form.SelectTag – Neither BindingResult nor plain target object for bean name ‘categoryFinder’ available as request attribute
    java.lang.IllegalStateException: Neither BindingResult nor plain target object for bean name ‘categoryFinder’ available as request attribute.

    In my JSP I have given the commandName correctly. The name I have given is what I am passing from the controller. In controller I am passing ModelAndView(“”,”categoryFinder”,categoryFinder). This I am passing from get as well as in Post as I need same page for multiple entries.

    Also when using select option how to set the default value and when passing the value from controller, I want to display that as default value.

    could you help me on this.

    Thanks in advance
    Madhu

    • http://[email protected] shan

      I m geeting same problem..did you find the solution?

      • RamZ

        Getting the same problem. let me know how u resolved it….

  • Anil

    mkyong can we implement the same using MultiActionController & how?

  • Pingback: Andi's Blog- » Spring MVC forms with select drop down list()

  • nambi

    I want to display a drop-down box, and select an option on that drop-down box.
    The selected value will differ each time the page is loaded, based on the user.

    Can you please explain in more detail how it can be accomplished?

    • Santhosh

      Were you able to find a solution to select value that differs each time the page is loaded? I’m encountering a similar problem. Your reply would be helpful?

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