Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Kevin Sparenberg, Liz McMillan, Karyn Jeffery, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Java IoT

Java IoT: Article

dotJ JSP Tag Library 2.0.7

Master of tags

The expression "Jack of all trades" ends "and master of none," but in the case of the dotJ Custom Tag Library produced by dotJ Software, it should end "master of some." The dotJ tag library is the Swiss Army knife of tag libraries. It provides tags for many different areas of development, from Model-1 form validation to file uploading and text formatting. But it really shows its mastery with its tags for generating sortable grids and calendar widgets.

The dotJ library is a great place to start when planning a new project, especially for those new to JSP. It provides great baseline functionality in handling a lot of different aspects of your site. It has specialized tags for content formatting, e-mail, and forms (including validation), general utility tags for things like code syntax highlighting and file uploading, and presentation tags for making graphically rich grids and calendars.

The library has a free downloadable demo that provides full functionality, but expires at the end of the month. The next demo version is usually out on the first of the month, which means you can continue to demo the library beyond the current month. Installation is almost as easy as any other tag library installation. The only difference is you have to extract a JavaScript file out of the library's JAR and put it in its own directory accessible by the JSP container.

dotJ released the first version of the library several years ago, and some of its functionality has been duplicated in other projects. For example, some of the functionality provided by its content-formatting tags is in the JSP Standard Tag Library (JSTL). Even in the duplicated areas it's still got a few tricks up its sleeve, such as its handy titlecase tag, which will change "jake jones iii, phd" into "Jake Jones III, PhD." Likewise, its form tags were developed before the wide adoption of the Model-View-Controller (MVC) framework, so its validation functionality isn't necessary on some projects. However, with a bit of work, it's possible to integrate the other features of the form tags, such as tooltips, into an MVC framework. Some of the tags are pre-filled with data, such as the states and countries tags, which makes them particularly handy.

The library's e-mail tags make it easy to send e-mail from an application, including attachments. I use it to enable a site to e-mail me or the Web master from selected error pages automatically.

You can use IO tags from the library to show the size of the files on a system, do SQL queries, upload files, or automatically color-code JSP source code. You can extend the showsource tag by adding color-coding settings for additional languages to a properties file, and use the showsourcemask field to show the code on your site without fear of revealing sensitive information.

It provides some nice-to-have utility tags, such as imagerotator, slideshow, and watermark. They rely on the JavaScript that the tags generate on the client side, but I've never had any cross-browser compatibility issues with the ones I've used. A quick look at its JavaScript shows that it tests not just for Internet Explorer and Mozilla, but Safari, Opera, and several others.

Its grid tags make it easy to provide fat-client appearance and functionality without the fat client. You can add image columns and hyperlink columns. If you connect it directly to a datasource, you can enable in-place editing with text boxes, dropdown lists, radio buttons, and checkboxes. The grid has a built-in feature to export the content of the grid to an Excel spreadsheet file.

I have made extensive use of the library's calendar tags, which were introduced in version 2. You can create both fixed and pop-up calendars. Event dates on the fixed calendar are automatically hyperlinked using the eventlistprovider tag.

It's easy to update the appearance of all dotJ output to match the color scheme of your site because all formatting is done with CSS and properties files.

dotJ Software is very responsive to customer feedback, and has incorporated my requests on numerous occasions. It has a Web site with forums where you can post questions, and responds quickly to e-mail requests to its support department.

Summary
The dotJ tag library is a great toolkit that covers a lot of different areas for most Web projects. It is particularly well suited to JSP neophytes, but makes life easier for veteran developers too.

More Stories By David Castro

David Castro has used JSP for four years. During the day he works as a technical writer, but in his off-time he's the lead Web programmer for Cathedral of Praise.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
"We've been engaging with a lot of customers including Panasonic, we've been involved with Cisco and now we're working with the U.S. government - the Department of Homeland Security," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, will examine the regulations and provide insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence...
The financial services market is one of the most data-driven industries in the world, yet it’s bogged down by legacy CPU technologies that simply can’t keep up with the task of querying and visualizing billions of records. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Karthik Lalithraj, a Principal Solutions Architect at Kinetica, discussed how the advent of advanced in-database analytics on the GPU makes it possible to run sophisticated data science workloads on the same database that is housing the rich...
"DX encompasses the continuing technology revolution, and is addressing society's most important issues throughout the entire $78 trillion 21st-century global economy," said Roger Strukhoff, Conference Chair. "DX World Expo has organized these issues along 10 tracks with more than 150 of the world's top speakers coming to Istanbul to help change the world."
DX World EXPO, LLC., a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Massive Networks mission is simple. To help your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions. Improve your customer's experience with outstanding connections to your cloud.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
"The Striim platform is a full end-to-end streaming integration and analytics platform that is middleware that covers a lot of different use cases," explained Steve Wilkes, Founder and CTO at Striim, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calligo, an innovative cloud service provider offering mid-sized companies the highest levels of data privacy and security, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calligo offers unparalleled application performance guarantees, commercial flexibility and a personalised support service from its globally located cloud plat...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution and join Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader, Sergey Grebnov, in his session at @ThingsExpo, for an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
While the focus and objectives of IoT initiatives are many and diverse, they all share a few common attributes, and one of those is the network. Commonly, that network includes the Internet, over which there isn't any real control for performance and availability. Or is there? The current state of the art for Big Data analytics, as applied to network telemetry, offers new opportunities for improving and assuring operational integrity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Frey, Vice President of S...
"We provide IoT solutions. We provide the most compatible solutions for many applications. Our solutions are industry agnostic and also protocol agnostic," explained Richard Han, Head of Sales and Marketing and Engineering at Systena America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We are focused on SAP running in the clouds, to make this super easy because we believe in the tremendous value of those powerful worlds - SAP and the cloud," explained Frank Stienhans, CTO of Ocean9, Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"MobiDev is a Ukraine-based software development company. We do mobile development, and we're specialists in that. But we do full stack software development for entrepreneurs, for emerging companies, and for enterprise ventures," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
In his opening keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Michael Maximilien, Research Scientist, Architect, and Engineer at IBM, discussed the full potential of the cloud and social data requires artificial intelligence. By mixing Cloud Foundry and the rich set of Watson services, IBM's Bluemix is the best cloud operating system for enterprises today, providing rapid development and deployment of applications that can take advantage of the rich catalog of Watson services to help drive insights from the vast t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EnterpriseTech has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. EnterpriseTech is a professional resource for news and intelligence covering the migration of high-end technologies into the enterprise and business-IT industry, with a special focus on high-tech solutions in new product development, workload management, increased effic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...