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I am trying to learn java servlet/jsp with the MVC concept and built the simplest MVC application. Now I want give more detail to it to enhance my understanding.

If I would need to register a new row in a table in the database, how should we pass the various value of column into the system?

For example, the user might want to register a new event in his planner and the detail of the event involves the 'where', 'when', 'who', 'detail', etc. Should pass all this long value from the servlet's parameter, i.e: the http link?

String accNo = request.getParameter("account_number");
String a = request.getParameter("...");
String b = request.getParameter("...");
String c = request.getParameter("...");
String d = request.getParameter("...");

To illustrate my view that it is really unprofessional to show all the parameter on the link:

http://localhost:8080/domain1/servlet1?param1=55555555555555&param2=666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666&param3='Some random detail written by user.........................'

Is there other way to pass them?

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Model binding,, I know that's but spring for java is similar. – Daniel Little May 14 '12 at 4:31

2 Answers 2

Parameter passing at multiple levels:

As an example, Spring MVC binds similarly named request parameters (whether post body parameters or url query string parameters) to parameters on the controller method. That breaks the parameters out of their representation in the HTTP request and makes them reasonable Java parameters to a method. If you're passing data to services in your model from your controller there are three avenues of thought.

The first is to pass model objects which you fill out from the parameter data and pass them to your services. Given that you are probably using some sort of O/R mapper like JPA or Hibernate, you will need to merge those objects into the hibernate session or jpa persistence context. However, you have more tightly coupled your models to your controllers.

Second is to pass simple Java types to keep your services and your controllers more loosely coupled. For complex objects with several fields, this is a pain. Also, when you have several int parameters in a row, the chance you might flip two by accident is pretty good.

The third options is to define a data transfer object which is passed to the service method, which in turn manipulates your model. The DTO could contain fields that you might map to two or more objects in your model, but now your controller logic is only coupled to the DTO and you could still evolve your model independently of the Controller.

Okay, so that takes the data from HTTP land through the controller to your model. That's the current "best practice" way to build Java applications but may not be the best for your application. (However, it probably is since it works for a large majority of applications).

As far as where to put those values (request body or parameters) it might be helpful to think in terms of REST. Generally, when you have a form to add new data or to update data, you will send the parameters in the post body. You can think of operations as being "dangerous" (they alter the state of your application) or "safe" (they change nothing). (Note that incidental changes like logging don't count.) Operations can also be idempotent - meaning they can be executed more than once and the state of the system is the same as it was after the first invocation.

Dangerous, non-idempotent operations should be a POST. Dangerous but idempotent operations should be a DELETE or PUT. (Note that some browsers only support POST, so you can just stick with POST). The parameters should be encoded in the POST body. You generally wouldn't use query string parameters.

Safe, idempotent operations should be a GET. It is perfectly acceptable to encode additional parameters in the URL string to facilitate the operation of the GET. For example, if searching by the username, adding ?username=the+user as a query parameter is fine. Or to distinguish records ?id=23. Some people believe that URLs can be restful only if they include the identifying component as part of the document path /users/23, but I don't believe that's correct since /users?id=23 is just as unique as /users/23. (And I don't recall it from Fielding's dissertation - but I have lousy memory).

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The first thing I will suggest is to never pass data to controller either using get method or appending data to the URL you did. Because anyone can modify the URL using Firefox's Firebug extension and send unwanted data, or, after seeing the URL, they can find the data send to server.

USE POST method: and the better approach is to use jQuery-Ajax submit to pass data to the server. like:

      name: ${}.val(),
      age: ${}.val()
type: POST,
url: "localhost......"

You can find the detailed syntax on JQuery's website.

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Please type out 'you' instead of shortening it to 'u'. – XQYZ Jun 26 '12 at 12:51
many browsers have a number of plug-ins that make tampering with post data just about as trivial as tampering with urls. If that is the only thing you are doing to protect from bad input you have a much larger issue. – Bill Jun 26 '12 at 19:11

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