Show JDBC ResultSet in HTML in JSP page using MVC and DAO pattern

In a well designed MVC approach, the JSP file should not contain any line of Java code and the servlet class should not contain any line of JDBC code.

Assuming that you want to show a list of products in a webshop, the following code needs to be created.

  • A Product class representing a real world entity of a product, it should be just a Javabean.

    public class Product {
        private Long id; 
        private String name;
        private String description;
        private BigDecimal price;
        // Add/generate getters/setters/c'tors/equals/hashcode boilerplate.
  • A DAO class which does all the nasty JDBC work and returns a nice List<Product>.

    public class ProductDAO {
        private DataSource dataSource;
        public ProductDAO(DataSource dataSource) {
            this.dataSource = dataSource;
        public List<Product> list() throws SQLException {
            List<Product> products = new ArrayList<Product>();
            try (
                Connection connection = dataSource.getConnection();
                PreparedStatement statement = connection.prepareStatement("SELECT id, name, description, price FROM product");
                ResultSet resultSet = statement.executeQuery();
            ) {
                while ( {
                    Product product = new Product();
            return products;
  • A servlet class which obtains the list and puts it in the request scope.

    public class ProductsServlet extends HttpServlet {
        @Resource(name="jdbc/YourDB") // For Tomcat, define as <Resource> in context.xml and declare as <resource-ref> in web.xml.
        private DataSource dataSource;
        private ProductDAO productDAO;
        public void init() {
            productDAO = new ProductDAO(dataSource);
        protected void doGet(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response) throws ServletException, IOException {
            try {
                List<Product> products = productDAO.list();
                request.setAttribute("products", products); // Will be available as ${products} in JSP
                request.getRequestDispatcher("/WEB-INF/products.jsp").forward(request, response);
            } catch (SQLException e) {
                throw new ServletException("Cannot obtain products from DB", e);
  • Finally a JSP file in /WEB-INF/products.jsp which uses JSTL <c:forEach> to iterate over List<Product> which is made available in EL by ${products}, and uses JSTL <c:out> to escape string properties in order to avoid XSS holes when it concerns user-controlled input.

    <%@ taglib uri="" prefix="c" %>
    <%@ taglib uri="" prefix="fmt" %>
        <c:forEach items="${products}" var="product">
                <td><c:out value="${}" /></td>
                <td><c:out value="${product.description}" /></td>
                <td><fmt:formatNumber value="${product.price}" type="currency" currencyCode="USD" /></td>

To get it to work, just call the servlet by its URL. Provided that the servlet is annotated @WebServlet("/products") or mapped in web.xml with <url-pattern>/products</url-pattern>, then you can call it by

See also:

  • How to avoid Java code in JSP files?
  • doGet and doPost in Servlets
  • How should I connect to JDBC database / datasource in a servlet based application?
  • Design Patterns web based applications
  • RequestDispatcher.forward() vs HttpServletResponse.sendRedirect()
  • How to map a ResultSet with unknown amount of columns to a List and display it in a HTML table?
  • How do I pass current item to Java method by clicking a hyperlink or button in JSP page?

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