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Spring Validation Example - Spring MVC Form Validator

Published on August 3, 2022
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By Pankaj
Developer and author at DigitalOcean.
Spring Validation Example - Spring MVC Form Validator

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When we accept user inputs in any web application, it becomes necessary to validate them. We can validate the user input at the client-side using JavaScript but it’s also necessary to validate them at server side to make sure we are processing valid data in case the user has javascript disabled.

Spring Validation

Spring MVC Framework supports JSR-303 specs by default and all we need is to add JSR-303 and it’s implementation dependencies in Spring MVC application. Spring also provides @Validator annotation and BindingResult class through which we can get the errors raised by Validator implementation in the controller request handler method. We can create our custom validator implementations in two ways - the first one is to create an annotation that confirms to the JSR-303 specs and implement its Validator class. Second approach is to implement the org.springframework.validation.Validator interface and add set it as validator in the Controller class using @InitBinder annotation. Let’s create a simple Spring MVC project in Spring Tool Suite where we will use JSR-303 specs with it’s implementation artifact hibernate-validator. We will use annotation based form validation and create our own custom validator based on JSR-303 specs standards. We will also create our own custom validator class by implementing Validator interface and use it in one of the controller handler methods. Our final project looks like below image. Spring Validation Example Let’s look at each of the components one by one.

Spring MVC Form Validator

Our final pom.xml file looks like below. Apart from standard Spring MVC artifacts, we have validation-api and hibernate-validator dependencies in the project.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<project xmlns="https://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0" xmlns:xsi="https://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
	xsi:schemaLocation="https://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0 https://maven.apache.org/maven-v4_0_0.xsd">
	<modelVersion>4.0.0</modelVersion>
	<groupId>com.journaldev</groupId>
	<artifactId>spring</artifactId>
	<name>SpringFormValidation</name>
	<packaging>war</packaging>
	<version>1.0.0-BUILD-SNAPSHOT</version>
	<properties>
		<java-version>1.7</java-version>
		<org.springframework-version>4.0.2.RELEASE</org.springframework-version>
		<org.aspectj-version>1.7.4</org.aspectj-version>
		<org.slf4j-version>1.7.5</org.slf4j-version>
	</properties>
	<dependencies>
	<!-- Form Validation using Annotations -->  
		<dependency>
			<groupId>javax.validation</groupId>
			<artifactId>validation-api</artifactId>
			<version>1.1.0.Final</version>
		</dependency>
		<dependency>
			<groupId>org.hibernate</groupId>
			<artifactId>hibernate-validator</artifactId>
			<version>4.1.0.Final</version>
		</dependency>
		
		<!-- Spring -->
		<dependency>
			<groupId>org.springframework</groupId>
			<artifactId>spring-context</artifactId>
			<version>${org.springframework-version}</version>
			<exclusions>
				<!-- Exclude Commons Logging in favor of SLF4j -->
				<exclusion>
					<groupId>commons-logging</groupId>
					<artifactId>commons-logging</artifactId>
				</exclusion>
			</exclusions>
		</dependency>
		<dependency>
			<groupId>org.springframework</groupId>
			<artifactId>spring-webmvc</artifactId>
			<version>${org.springframework-version}</version>
		</dependency>

		<!-- AspectJ -->
		<dependency>
			<groupId>org.aspectj</groupId>
			<artifactId>aspectjrt</artifactId>
			<version>${org.aspectj-version}</version>
		</dependency>

		<!-- Logging -->
		<dependency>
			<groupId>org.slf4j</groupId>
			<artifactId>slf4j-api</artifactId>
			<version>${org.slf4j-version}</version>
		</dependency>
		<dependency>
			<groupId>org.slf4j</groupId>
			<artifactId>jcl-over-slf4j</artifactId>
			<version>${org.slf4j-version}</version>
			<scope>runtime</scope>
		</dependency>
		<dependency>
			<groupId>org.slf4j</groupId>
			<artifactId>slf4j-log4j12</artifactId>
			<version>${org.slf4j-version}</version>
			<scope>runtime</scope>
		</dependency>
		<dependency>
			<groupId>log4j</groupId>
			<artifactId>log4j</artifactId>
			<version>1.2.15</version>
			<exclusions>
				<exclusion>
					<groupId>javax.mail</groupId>
					<artifactId>mail</artifactId>
				</exclusion>
				<exclusion>
					<groupId>javax.jms</groupId>
					<artifactId>jms</artifactId>
				</exclusion>
				<exclusion>
					<groupId>com.sun.jdmk</groupId>
					<artifactId>jmxtools</artifactId>
				</exclusion>
				<exclusion>
					<groupId>com.sun.jmx</groupId>
					<artifactId>jmxri</artifactId>
				</exclusion>
			</exclusions>
			<scope>runtime</scope>
		</dependency>

		<!-- @Inject -->
		<dependency>
			<groupId>javax.inject</groupId>
			<artifactId>javax.inject</artifactId>
			<version>1</version>
		</dependency>

		<!-- Servlet -->
		<dependency>
			<groupId>javax.servlet</groupId>
			<artifactId>servlet-api</artifactId>
			<version>2.5</version>
			<scope>provided</scope>
		</dependency>
		<dependency>
			<groupId>javax.servlet.jsp</groupId>
			<artifactId>jsp-api</artifactId>
			<version>2.1</version>
			<scope>provided</scope>
		</dependency>
		<dependency>
			<groupId>javax.servlet</groupId>
			<artifactId>jstl</artifactId>
			<version>1.2</version>
		</dependency>

		<!-- Test -->
		<dependency>
			<groupId>junit</groupId>
			<artifactId>junit</artifactId>
			<version>4.7</version>
			<scope>test</scope>
		</dependency>
	</dependencies>
	<build>
		<plugins>
			<plugin>
				<artifactId>maven-eclipse-plugin</artifactId>
				<version>2.9</version>
				<configuration>
					<additionalProjectnatures>
						<projectnature>org.springframework.ide.eclipse.core.springnature</projectnature>
					</additionalProjectnatures>
					<additionalBuildcommands>
						<buildcommand>org.springframework.ide.eclipse.core.springbuilder</buildcommand>
					</additionalBuildcommands>
					<downloadSources>true</downloadSources>
					<downloadJavadocs>true</downloadJavadocs>
				</configuration>
			</plugin>
			<plugin>
				<groupId>org.apache.maven.plugins</groupId>
				<artifactId>maven-compiler-plugin</artifactId>
				<version>2.5.1</version>
				<configuration>
					<source>1.6</source>
					<target>1.6</target>
					<compilerArgument>-Xlint:all</compilerArgument>
					<showWarnings>true</showWarnings>
					<showDeprecation>true</showDeprecation>
				</configuration>
			</plugin>
			<plugin>
				<groupId>org.codehaus.mojo</groupId>
				<artifactId>exec-maven-plugin</artifactId>
				<version>1.2.1</version>
				<configuration>
					<mainClass>org.test.int1.Main</mainClass>
				</configuration>
			</plugin>
		</plugins>
	</build>
</project>

Deployment Descriptor

When you create a Spring MVC project from STS, it creates two context configuration files. I have cleaned it up a bit and have only one spring bean configuration file. My final web.xml file looks like below.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<web-app version="2.5" xmlns="https://java.sun.com/xml/ns/javaee"
	xmlns:xsi="https://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
	xsi:schemaLocation="https://java.sun.com/xml/ns/javaee https://java.sun.com/xml/ns/javaee/web-app_2_5.xsd">
	
	<!-- Processes application requests -->
	<servlet>
		<servlet-name>appServlet</servlet-name>
		<servlet-class>org.springframework.web.servlet.DispatcherServlet</servlet-class>
		<init-param>
			<param-name>contextConfigLocation</param-name>
			<param-value>/WEB-INF/spring/spring.xml</param-value>
		</init-param>
		<load-on-startup>1</load-on-startup>
	</servlet>
		
	<servlet-mapping>
		<servlet-name>appServlet</servlet-name>
		<url-pattern>/</url-pattern>
	</servlet-mapping>

</web-app>

Spring Bean Configuration File

Usually we look into spring wirings at the last, but this time we don’t have much configurations in the spring bean configuration file. Our final spring.xml file looks like below.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<beans:beans xmlns="https://www.springframework.org/schema/mvc"
	xmlns:xsi="https://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
	xmlns:beans="https://www.springframework.org/schema/beans"
	xmlns:context="https://www.springframework.org/schema/context"
	xsi:schemaLocation="https://www.springframework.org/schema/mvc https://www.springframework.org/schema/mvc/spring-mvc.xsd
		https://www.springframework.org/schema/beans https://www.springframework.org/schema/beans/spring-beans.xsd
		https://www.springframework.org/schema/context https://www.springframework.org/schema/context/spring-context.xsd">

	<!-- DispatcherServlet Context: defines this servlet's request-processing infrastructure -->
	
	<!-- Enables the Spring MVC @Controller programming model -->
	<annotation-driven />

	<!-- Handles HTTP GET requests for /resources/** by efficiently serving up static resources in the ${webappRoot}/resources directory -->
	<resources mapping="/resources/**" location="/resources/" />

	<!-- Resolves views selected for rendering by @Controllers to .jsp resources in the /WEB-INF/views directory -->
	<beans:bean class="org.springframework.web.servlet.view.InternalResourceViewResolver">
		<beans:property name="prefix" value="/WEB-INF/views/" />
		<beans:property name="suffix" value=".jsp" />
	</beans:bean>
	
	<beans:bean id="employeeValidator" class="com.journaldev.spring.form.validator.EmployeeFormValidator" />
	
	<beans:bean id="messageSource"
		class="org.springframework.context.support.ReloadableResourceBundleMessageSource">
		<beans:property name="basename" value="classpath:message" />
		<beans:property name="defaultEncoding" value="UTF-8" />
	</beans:bean>
	
	<context:component-scan base-package="com.journaldev.spring" />
	
</beans:beans>

The only important point to note are employeeValidator bean that we will inject into one of the controller and messageSource bean to read the localized data from resource bundles. Rest of the part is to support annotations, view resolvers and providing package to scan for Controller classes and other components.

Model Classes

We have two model classes in this project - the first one where we will use JSR-303 annotation and our custom annotation-based validator and second one where we will use only our Validator implementation. Customer.java code:

package com.journaldev.spring.form.model;

import java.util.Date;

import javax.validation.constraints.Max;
import javax.validation.constraints.Min;
import javax.validation.constraints.NotNull;
import javax.validation.constraints.Past;
import javax.validation.constraints.Size;

import org.hibernate.validator.constraints.Email;
import org.hibernate.validator.constraints.NotEmpty;
import org.springframework.format.annotation.DateTimeFormat;

import com.journaldev.spring.form.validator.Phone;

public class Customer {

	@Size(min=2, max=30) 
    private String name;
     
    @NotEmpty @Email
    private String email;
     
    @NotNull @Min(18) @Max(100)
    private Integer age;
     
    @NotNull
    private Gender gender;
     
    @DateTimeFormat(pattern="MM/dd/yyyy")
    @NotNull @Past
    private Date birthday;
    
    @Phone
    private String phone;
    
    public enum Gender {
		MALE, FEMALE
	}

	public String getName() {
		return name;
	}

	public void setName(String name) {
		this.name = name;
	}

	public String getEmail() {
		return email;
	}

	public void setEmail(String email) {
		this.email = email;
	}

	public Integer getAge() {
		return age;
	}

	public void setAge(Integer age) {
		this.age = age;
	}

	public Gender getGender() {
		return gender;
	}

	public void setGender(Gender gender) {
		this.gender = gender;
	}

	public Date getBirthday() {
		return birthday;
	}

	public void setBirthday(Date birthday) {
		this.birthday = birthday;
	}

	public String getPhone() {
		return phone;
	}

	public void setPhone(String phone) {
		this.phone = phone;
	}
	
}

Notice that we are using @Email, @NotEmpty and @DateTimeFormat annotations that are additional to JSR-303 and provided by the Hibernate validator implementation. Some of the JSR-303 annotations that we are using are @Size, @NotNull, etc. @Phone annotation used is our custom implementation based on JSR-303 specs, we will look into it in the next section. Employee.java code:

package com.journaldev.spring.form.model;

public class Employee {

	private int id;
	private String name;
	private String role;
	
	public int getId() {
		return id;
	}
	public void setId(int id) {
		this.id = id;
	}
	public String getName() {
		return name;
	}
	public void setName(String name) {
		this.name = name;
	}
	public String getRole() {
		return role;
	}
	public void setRole(String role) {
		this.role = role;
	}
	
}

The Employee is a standard java bean and we will use our custom Validator implementation to validate the form with Employee bean.

Custom Validator Implementations

Phone.java code:

package com.journaldev.spring.form.validator;

import java.lang.annotation.Documented;
import java.lang.annotation.Retention;
import java.lang.annotation.Target;
import java.lang.annotation.ElementType;
import java.lang.annotation.RetentionPolicy;

import javax.validation.Constraint;
import javax.validation.Payload;

@Documented
@Constraint(validatedBy = PhoneValidator.class)
@Target( { ElementType.METHOD, ElementType.FIELD })
@Retention(RetentionPolicy.RUNTIME)
public @interface Phone {
 
     
    String message() default "{Phone}";
     
    Class<?>[] groups() default {};
     
    Class<? extends Payload>[] payload() default {};
      
}

Most of the part is boilerplate code to confirm with JSR-303 specs. The most important part is @Constraint annotation where we provide the class that will be used for validation i.e PhoneValidator. PhoneValidator.java code:

package com.journaldev.spring.form.validator;

import javax.validation.ConstraintValidator;
import javax.validation.ConstraintValidatorContext;

public class PhoneValidator implements ConstraintValidator<Phone, String> {

	@Override
	public void initialize(Phone paramA) {
	}

	@Override
	public boolean isValid(String phoneNo, ConstraintValidatorContext ctx) {
		if(phoneNo == null){
			return false;
		}
		//validate phone numbers of format "1234567890"
        if (phoneNo.matches("\\d{10}")) return true;
        //validating phone number with -, . or spaces
        else if(phoneNo.matches("\\d{3}[-\\.\\s]\\d{3}[-\\.\\s]\\d{4}")) return true;
        //validating phone number with extension length from 3 to 5
        else if(phoneNo.matches("\\d{3}-\\d{3}-\\d{4}\\s(x|(ext))\\d{3,5}")) return true;
        //validating phone number where area code is in braces ()
        else if(phoneNo.matches("\\(\\d{3}\\)-\\d{3}-\\d{4}")) return true;
        //return false if nothing matches the input
        else return false;
	}

}

Our JSR-303 specs validator implementation should implement javax.validation.ConstraintValidator interface. If we are using some resource such as DataSource, we can initialize them in the initialize() method. The validation method is isValid and it returns true if data is valid else it should return false. If you are new to regular expressions, you can read more about it at Java Regular Expressions Tutorial. EmployeeFormValidator.java class code:

package com.journaldev.spring.form.validator;

import org.springframework.validation.Errors;
import org.springframework.validation.ValidationUtils;
import org.springframework.validation.Validator;

import com.journaldev.spring.form.model.Employee;

public class EmployeeFormValidator implements Validator {

	//which objects can be validated by this validator
	@Override
	public boolean supports(Class<?> paramClass) {
		return Employee.class.equals(paramClass);
	}

	@Override
	public void validate(Object obj, Errors errors) {
		ValidationUtils.rejectIfEmptyOrWhitespace(errors, "id", "id.required");
		
		Employee emp = (Employee) obj;
		if(emp.getId() <=0){
			errors.rejectValue("id", "negativeValue", new Object[]{"'id'"}, "id can't be negative");
		}
		
		ValidationUtils.rejectIfEmptyOrWhitespace(errors, "name", "name.required");
		ValidationUtils.rejectIfEmptyOrWhitespace(errors, "role", "role.required");
	}
}

EmployeeFormValidator is the validator implementation that is specific to Spring Framework. supports() method implementation by Spring Framework to know objects on which this validation can be used. We implement validate() method and add errors if any field validation fails. Spring provides org.springframework.validation.ValidationUtils utility class for basic validations such as null or empty. Once this method returns, spring framework binds the Errors object to the BindingResult object that we use in our controller handler method. Notice that ValidationUtils.rejectIfEmptyOrWhitespace() last argument takes the key name for message resources. This way we can provide localized error messages to the user. For more information about i18n in Spring, read Spring i18n Example.

Controller Classes

We have two controller classes, one for annotation-based form validation and another for our custom validator. CustomerController.java class code:

package com.journaldev.spring.form.controllers;

import java.util.HashMap;
import java.util.Map;

import javax.validation.Valid;

import org.slf4j.Logger;
import org.slf4j.LoggerFactory;
import org.springframework.stereotype.Controller;
import org.springframework.ui.Model;
import org.springframework.validation.BindingResult;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.RequestMapping;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.RequestMethod;

import com.journaldev.spring.form.model.Customer;

@Controller
public class CustomerController {

	private static final Logger logger = LoggerFactory
			.getLogger(CustomerController.class);
	
	private Map<String, Customer> customers = null;
	
	public CustomerController(){
		customers = new HashMap<String, Customer>();
	}

	@RequestMapping(value = "/cust/save", method = RequestMethod.GET)
	public String saveCustomerPage(Model model) {
		logger.info("Returning custSave.jsp page");
		model.addAttribute("customer", new Customer());
		return "custSave";
	}

	@RequestMapping(value = "/cust/save.do", method = RequestMethod.POST)
	public String saveCustomerAction(
			@Valid Customer customer,
			BindingResult bindingResult, Model model) {
		if (bindingResult.hasErrors()) {
			logger.info("Returning custSave.jsp page");
			return "custSave";
		}
		logger.info("Returning custSaveSuccess.jsp page");
		model.addAttribute("customer", customer);
		customers.put(customer.getEmail(), customer);
		return "custSaveSuccess";
	}

}

When we use annotation-based form validation, we just need to make little changes in our controller handler method implementation to get it working. First, we need to annotate model object that we want to validate with @Valid annotation. Then we need to have BindingResult argument in the method, spring takes care of populating it with error messages. The handler method logic is very simple, if there are any errors we are responding with the same page or else we are redirecting the user to the success page. Another important point to note is that we are adding “customer” attribute to the model, this is necessary to let Spring framework know which model object to use in the form page. If we won’t do it, object binding to form data will not take place and our form validation will not work. EmployeeController.java class code:

package com.journaldev.spring.form.controllers;

import java.util.HashMap;
import java.util.Map;

import org.slf4j.Logger;
import org.slf4j.LoggerFactory;
import org.springframework.beans.factory.annotation.Autowired;
import org.springframework.beans.factory.annotation.Qualifier;
import org.springframework.stereotype.Controller;
import org.springframework.ui.Model;
import org.springframework.validation.BindingResult;
import org.springframework.validation.Validator;
import org.springframework.validation.annotation.Validated;
import org.springframework.web.bind.WebDataBinder;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.InitBinder;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.ModelAttribute;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.RequestMapping;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.RequestMethod;

import com.journaldev.spring.form.model.Employee;

@Controller
public class EmployeeController {

	private static final Logger logger = LoggerFactory
			.getLogger(EmployeeController.class);

	private Map<Integer, Employee> emps = null;

	@Autowired
	@Qualifier("employeeValidator")
	private Validator validator;

	@InitBinder
	private void initBinder(WebDataBinder binder) {
		binder.setValidator(validator);
	}

	public EmployeeController() {
		emps = new HashMap<Integer, Employee>();
	}

	@ModelAttribute("employee")
	public Employee createEmployeeModel() {
		// ModelAttribute value should be same as used in the empSave.jsp
		return new Employee();
	}

	@RequestMapping(value = "/emp/save", method = RequestMethod.GET)
	public String saveEmployeePage(Model model) {
		logger.info("Returning empSave.jsp page");
		return "empSave";
	}

	@RequestMapping(value = "/emp/save.do", method = RequestMethod.POST)
	public String saveEmployeeAction(
			@ModelAttribute("employee") @Validated Employee employee,
			BindingResult bindingResult, Model model) {
		if (bindingResult.hasErrors()) {
			logger.info("Returning empSave.jsp page");
			return "empSave";
		}
		logger.info("Returning empSaveSuccess.jsp page");
		model.addAttribute("emp", employee);
		emps.put(employee.getId(), employee);
		return "empSaveSuccess";
	}
}

For using custom validator, first we need to inject it in the controller class. We are using spring bean auto wiring to achieve this using @Autowired and @Qualifier annotations. Next we need to have a method that will take WebDataBinder as argument and we set our custom validator to be used. This method should be annotated with @InitBinder annotation. Using @ModelAttribute is another way to add our bean object to the Model. Rest of the code is similar to customer controller implementation.

Form Validation Error Messages Resource Bundle

It’s time to look at our resource bundle where we have different types of messages to be used for validation errors. message_en.properties file:

#application defined error messsages
id.required=Employee ID is required
name.required=Employee Name is required
role.required=Employee Role is required
negativeValue={0} can't be negative or zero

#Spring framework error messages to be used when conversion from form data to bean fails
typeMismatch.int={0} Value must be an integer
typeMismatch.java.lang.Integer={0} must be an integer
typeMismatch={0} is of invalid format

#application messages for annotations, {ValidationClass}.{modelObjectName}.{field}
#the {0} is field name, other fields are in alphabatical order, max and then min  
Size.customer.name=Customer {0} should be between {2} and {1} characters long
NotEmpty.customer.email=Email is a required field
NotNull.customer.age=Customer {0} should be in years

#Generic annotation class messages
Email=Email address is not valid
NotNull=This is a required field
NotEmpty=This is a required field
Past=Date should be Past

#Custom validation annotation
Phone=Invalid format, valid formats are 1234567890, 123-456-7890 x1234

I have provided message key details in the comment itself, so I will skip them here. The only important point to note here is the way messages will be looked up, first key name {ValidationClass}.{modelObjectName}.{field} is looked up and if that is not found then {ValidationClass}.{modelObjectName} is looked up. If that is missing, then finally {ValidationClass} key is looked up. If nothing is found then the default message provided will be returned. Read more about resource messages at Spring Localization Example.

View Pages with Form and Errors

Since we are using Spring framework validation implementation, we will have to use Spring Form tags to get the errors and set the form bean and variable names. Our custSave.jsp file code is given below.

<%@ page language="java" contentType="text/html; charset=UTF-8"
	pageEncoding="UTF-8"%>
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN" "https://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd">
<%@ taglib uri="https://www.springframework.org/tags/form"
	prefix="springForm"%>
<html>
<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8">
<title>Customer Save Page</title>
<style>
.error {
	color: #ff0000;
	font-style: italic;
	font-weight: bold;
}
</style>
</head>
<body>

	<springForm:form method="POST" commandName="customer"
		action="save.do">
		<table>
			<tr>
				<td>Name:</td>
				<td><springForm:input path="name" /></td>
				<td><springForm:errors path="name" cssClass="error" /></td>
			</tr>
			<tr>
				<td>Email:</td>
				<td><springForm:input path="email" /></td>
				<td><springForm:errors path="email" cssClass="error" /></td>
			</tr>
			<tr>
				<td>Age:</td>
				<td><springForm:input path="age" /></td>
				<td><springForm:errors path="age" cssClass="error" /></td>
			</tr>
			<tr>
				<td>Gender:</td>
				<td><springForm:select path="gender">
						<springForm:option value="" label="Select Gender" />
						<springForm:option value="MALE" label="Male" />
						<springForm:option value="FEMALE" label="Female" />
					</springForm:select></td>
				<td><springForm:errors path="gender" cssClass="error" /></td>
			</tr>
			<tr>
				<td>Birthday:</td>
				<td><springForm:input path="birthday" placeholder="MM/dd/yyyy"/></td>
				<td><springForm:errors path="birthday" cssClass="error" /></td>
			</tr>
			<tr>
				<td>Phone:</td>
				<td><springForm:input path="phone" /></td>
				<td><springForm:errors path="phone" cssClass="error" /></td>
			</tr>
			<tr>
				<td colspan="3"><input type="submit" value="Save Customer"></td>
			</tr>
		</table>

	</springForm:form>

</body>
</html>

commandName="customer" is used to set the name of the model attribute under which form object is exposed. Its default value is “command” by default, hence we should set it to the model attribute name we are using in our controller classes. springForm:errors is used to render the errors, if any, found when the page is rendered. path attribute is used to define the object property to be used for data binding. Rest of the code is standard HTML with some CSS for error messages styling. Our custSaveSuccess.jsp file is given below.

<%@ taglib uri="https://java.sun.com/jsp/jstl/core" prefix="c" %>
<%@ taglib prefix="fmt" uri="https://java.sun.com/jsp/jstl/fmt" %>

<%@ page session="false" %>
<html>
<head>
	<title>Customer Saved Successfully</title>
</head>
<body>
<h3>
	Customer Saved Successfully.
</h3>

<strong>Customer Name:${customer.name}</strong><br>
<strong>Customer Email:${customer.email}</strong><br>
<strong>Customer Age:${customer.age}</strong><br>
<strong>Customer Gender:${customer.gender}</strong><br>
<strong>Customer Birthday:<fmt:formatDate value="${customer.birthday}" type="date" /></strong><br>

</body>
</html>

Simple JSP page showing the customer values if there are no validation errors and this page is returned as response. Its name is empSave.jsp.

<%@ page language="java" contentType="text/html; charset=UTF-8"
	pageEncoding="UTF-8"%>
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN" "https://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd">
<%@ taglib uri="https://www.springframework.org/tags/form"
	prefix="springForm"%>
<html>
<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8">
<title>Employee Save Page</title>
<style>
.error {
	color: #ff0000;
	font-style: italic;
	font-weight: bold;
}
</style>
</head>
<body>

	<springForm:form method="POST" commandName="employee"
		action="save.do">
		<table>
			<tr>
				<td>Employee ID:</td>
				<td><springForm:input path="id" /></td>
				<td><springForm:errors path="id" cssClass="error" /></td>
			</tr>
			<tr>
				<td>Employee Name:</td>
				<td><springForm:input path="name" /></td>
				<td><springForm:errors path="name" cssClass="error" /></td>
			</tr>
			<tr>
				<td>Employee Role:</td>
				<td><springForm:select path="role">
						<springForm:option value="" label="Select Role" />
						<springForm:option value="ceo" label="CEO" />
						<springForm:option value="developer" label="Developer" />
						<springForm:option value="manager" label="Manager" />
					</springForm:select></td>
				<td><springForm:errors path="role" cssClass="error" /></td>
			</tr>
			<tr>
				<td colspan="3"><input type="submit" value="Save"></td>
			</tr>
		</table>

	</springForm:form>

</body>
</html>

empSaveSuccess.jsp file:

<%@ taglib uri="https://java.sun.com/jsp/jstl/core" prefix="c" %>
<%@ page session="false" %>
<html>
<head>
	<title>Employee Saved Successfully</title>
</head>
<body>
<h3>
	Employee Saved Successfully.
</h3>

<strong>Employee ID:${emp.id}</strong><br>
<strong>Employee Name:${emp.name}</strong><br>
<strong>Employee Role:${emp.role}</strong><br>

</body>
</html>

Test the Spring MVC Form Validation Application

Our application is ready to deploy and run some tests, deploy it in your favorite servlet container. I am using Apache Tomcat 7 and below images show some of the pages with validation error messages. Based on your input data, you might get different error messages too. Spring Validator Example Spring Validation Example Spring Form Validation example That’s all for Spring MVC Form validation with different ways and using resource bundles for localized error messages. You can download the sample project from below link and play around with it to learn more.

Download Spring Form Validation Project


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About the authors
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Pankaj

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Developer and author at DigitalOcean.

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I have implemented validator using org.springframework.validation.Validator (that you have done for employee class). Eveythine works fine but when I add @Size(min = 1, max = 6,message = “Size.course.title”) in my Entity class 's field(title) it doesn’t work. ERROR: SEVERE: Servlet.service() for servlet [dispatcher] in context with path [/CourseWebApp] threw exception [Request processing failed; nested exception is org.springframework.transaction.TransactionSystemException: Could not commit JPA transaction; nested exception is javax.persistence.RollbackException: Error while committing the transaction] with root cause javax.validation.ConstraintViolationException: Validation failed for classes [net.therap.model.Course] during update time for groups [javax.validation.groups.Default, ] List of constraint violations:[ ConstraintViolationImpl{interpolatedMessage=‘Size.course.title’, propertyPath=title, rootBeanClass=class net.therap.model.Course, messageTemplate=‘Size.course.title’} ] at org.hibernate.cfg.beanvalidation.BeanValidationEventListener.validate(BeanValidationEventListener.java:140) at org.hibernate.cfg.beanvalidation.BeanValidationEventListener.onPreUpdate(BeanValidationEventListener.java:88) … Note: I have a dao layer calling to validate duplicate tilte inside my validate method of Validator interface implementation.

- Wafi

    Jul 31, 2019 5:23:22 PM org.apache.catalina.core.StandardWrapperValve invoke SEVERE: Servlet.service() for servlet [jsp] in context with path [/Spring_Howtodo] threw exception [java.lang.IllegalStateException: Neither BindingResult nor plain target object for bean name ‘employee’ available as request attribute] with root cause java.lang.IllegalStateException: Neither BindingResult nor plain target object for bean name ‘employee’ available as request attribute at org.springframework.web.servlet.support.BindStatus.(BindStatus.java:141) at org.springframework.web.servlet.tags.form.AbstractDataBoundFormElementTag.getBindStatus(AbstractDataBoundFormElementTag.java:174) at org.springframework.web.servlet.tags.form.AbstractDataBoundFormElementTag.getPropertyPath(AbstractDataBoundFormElementTag.java:194) at org.springframework.web.servlet.tags.form.AbstractDataBoundFormElementTag.getName(AbstractDataBoundFormElementTag.java:160) at org.springframework.web.servlet.tags.form.AbstractDataBoundFormElementTag.autogenerateId(AbstractDataBoundFormElementTag.java:147) at org.springframework.web.servlet.tags.form.AbstractDataBoundFormElementTag.resolveId(AbstractDataBoundFormElementTag.java:138) at org.springframework.web.servlet.tags.form.AbstractDataBoundFormElementTag.writeDefaultAttributes(AbstractDataBoundFormElementTag.java:122) at org.springframework.web.servlet.tags.form.AbstractHtmlElementTag.writeDefaultAttributes(AbstractHtmlElementTag.java:409) at org.springframework.web.servlet.tags.form.InputTag.writeTagContent(InputTag.java:140) at org.springframework.web.servlet.tags.form.AbstractFormTag.doStartTagInternal(AbstractFormTag.java:102) at org.springframework.web.servlet.tags.RequestContextAwareTag.doStartTag(RequestContextAwareTag.java:79) at org.apache.jsp.empSave_jsp._jspx_meth_springForm_005finput_005f0(empSave_jsp.java:434) at org.apache.jsp.empSave_jsp._jspService(empSave_jsp.java:137) at org.apache.jasper.runtime.HttpJspBase.service(HttpJspBase.java:70) at javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet.service(HttpServlet.java:731) at org.apache.jasper.servlet.JspServletWrapper.service(JspServletWrapper.java:439) at org.apache.jasper.servlet.JspServlet.serviceJspFile(JspServlet.java:395) at org.apache.jasper.servlet.JspServlet.service(JspServlet.java:339) at javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet.service(HttpServlet.java:731) at org.apache.catalina.core.ApplicationFilterChain.internalDoFilter(ApplicationFilterChain.java:303) at org.apache.catalina.core.ApplicationFilterChain.doFilter(ApplicationFilterChain.java:208) at org.apache.tomcat.websocket.server.WsFilter.doFilter(WsFilter.java:52) at org.apache.catalina.core.ApplicationFilterChain.internalDoFilter(ApplicationFilterChain.java:241) at org.apache.catalina.core.ApplicationFilterChain.doFilter(ApplicationFilterChain.java:208) at org.apache.catalina.core.StandardWrapperValve.invoke(StandardWrapperValve.java:218) at org.apache.catalina.core.StandardContextValve.invoke(StandardContextValve.java:122) at org.apache.catalina.authenticator.AuthenticatorBase.invoke(AuthenticatorBase.java:505) at org.apache.catalina.core.StandardHostValve.invoke(StandardHostValve.java:169) at org.apache.catalina.valves.ErrorReportValve.invoke(ErrorReportValve.java:103) at org.apache.catalina.valves.AccessLogValve.invoke(AccessLogValve.java:958) at org.apache.catalina.core.StandardEngineValve.invoke(StandardEngineValve.java:116) at org.apache.catalina.connector.CoyoteAdapter.service(CoyoteAdapter.java:452) at org.apache.coyote.http11.AbstractHttp11Processor.process(AbstractHttp11Processor.java:1087) at org.apache.coyote.AbstractProtocol$AbstractConnectionHandler.process(AbstractProtocol.java:637) at org.apache.tomcat.util.net.JIoEndpoint$SocketProcessor.run(JIoEndpoint.java:316) at java.util.concurrent.ThreadPoolExecutor.runWorker(ThreadPoolExecutor.java:1145) at java.util.concurrent.ThreadPoolExecutor$Worker.run(ThreadPoolExecutor.java:615) at org.apache.tomcat.util.threads.TaskThread$WrappingRunnable.run(TaskThread.java:61) at java.lang.Thread.run(Thread.java:724)

    - kolanjinathan

      Nice, good explanation with spring mvc integration with rest webservices, can we integrate soap with spring mvc?

      - guru

        wonderful article, clear, full functional.

        - kevin

          Hi, The article is so good , but in real time no body will go for spring validation approach to validate form . client side validation is simple and good, any body really use spring validator for validation ?

          - shan

            explained in detail thanks

            - Arun SIngh

              Cannot find class [com.journaldev.spring.form.validator.EmployeeFormValidator] for bean with name ‘employeeValidator’ defined in ServletContext resource [/WEB-INF/spring/spring.xml]; nested exception is java.lang.ClassNotFoundException: com.journaldev.spring.form.validator.EmployeeFormValidator I am getting this error while running.I have checked all possibilities but unable to resolve Could you please help me.??

              - Manas Kumar

                please help me out in one problem related to validation how to validate the Path Variable in spring application? if possible then please provide me example also.

                - Ankit kumar gupta

                  localhost:8080/SpringFormValidation/emp/save.do showing HTTP 404 error. Not getting the form page. !!A

                  - Aatif

                    Hi Pankaj, Thanks, example is good. I have two question regarding Spring MVC validation. I want to know how to register more than one validators for single command object by using @IntBinder annotated method so that I need not to call them explicitly in my controller method for validation. My second question is I want to use JSR 303 validation annotation such as @NotBlank as well as my own custom designed validation annotation for example @Phone ( which you have shown in this example) but these two validation are annotations are different then how can I use them without loosing other one? Can I use @Valid @Validated to command argument of request handling method of controller or there is some other way. Wanting for your reply

                    - Farhan