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)

About the Author

author image
mkyong
Founder of Mkyong.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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Alex Smith
Guest
Alex Smith

The downloaded example doesnt even have the spring config file.

Alex Smith
Guest
Alex Smith

This does not work. I have downloaded it and ran it fresh and i get the following error:

org.springframework.beans.factory.BeanCreationException: Error creating bean with name ‘org.springframework.web.servlet.mvc.support.ControllerClassNameHandlerMapping#0’ defined in ServletContext resource [/WEB-INF/mvc-dispatcher-servlet.xml]: Initialization of bean failed; nested exception is org.springframework.beans.factory.CannotLoadBeanClassException: Cannot find class [com.mkyong.customer.controller.DropDownBoxController] for bean with name ‘com.mkyong.customer.controller.DropDownBoxController#0’ defined in ServletContext resource [/WEB-INF/mvc-dispatcher-servlet.xml]; nested exception is java.lang.ClassNotFoundException: com.mkyong.customer.controller.DropDownBoxController

Please help.

Mostafa Zeinali
Guest
Mostafa Zeinali

THANK YOU!! The referenceData method is NEVER called!! The form backing controller needs to return a MAV with customer as an object on it and also mav.addObject(“countryList”, referenceData()); This shows the “keys” of the map in the combo. How to change it to values, no fking clue

Stanic Ng
Guest
Stanic Ng

Thanks for the tutorial. I have a problem showing the item/description of the selected value in the view page. Like the CustomerSuccess.jsp page is display the value of the dropdown. How can i display the item/description instead of value. For example, the country field diaplay MY instead of Malaysia.

dell ket
Guest
dell ket

hello Mkyong, can you post an example which gives information about how to populate a dropdown and retrieve values selected in a multiple select dropdown on form submit.

Ucup Timposu
Guest
Ucup Timposu

do you have example dropdown box for relation table ?

Manikandan Arunachalam
Guest
Manikandan Arunachalam

hi, your example really uses all possible options of that technology..good work. and then you named

DropDownBoxController for the form controller, instead you can name it as CustomerFormController,

it will be more specifically understandable right?

Lewis Florez R
Guest
Lewis Florez R

how make select dependent de other for example country state where state have Long id and String name, do you have any example?

Elden Caro Granda
Guest
Elden Caro Granda

hello with which version of java what made the project go?

hola con que version de java lo haz realizado el proyecto?

Johaness
Guest
Johaness

It doesnt works this way.

Janny
Guest
Janny

Hello, i am new in Spring, please help me, why do we need “formView” and “succesessView” in spring bean configuration?

miha
Guest
miha

Ic not multipl select bean

public class Customer{

String country;
String javaSkills; //this do bi multiple select possible List

Trung Nguy?n
Guest
Trung Nguy?n

C?m ?n !
Thanks you !

idle
Guest
idle

??????????????????????????

sumit Deshpande
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
Hieu

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

Java
Guest
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
Guest
lucho

as does the same with “Spring MVC 3.0”?

Mauricio Magnani
Guest
Mauricio Magnani

Thanks Man :)

Breed Hansen
Guest
Breed Hansen

Hello,

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

Daniel Robertus
Guest
Daniel Robertus

Hi thanks it help so much..

John
Guest
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
Guest
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 ?

Bilder
Guest
Bilder

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

GB
Guest
GB

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

GB
Guest
GB

Thanks for this nice Tutorial.

thanooj
Guest
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.

GB Bilder
Guest
GB Bilder

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

China wholesale Gadget
Guest
China wholesale Gadget

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?

Gb Pics
Guest
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?