Serving Web Content with Spring MVC

  • By Anil Giri
  • August 4, 2023
  • JAVA Programming
Serving Web Content with Spring MVC

Serving Web Content with Spring MVC

In the world of web development, building robust and scalable applications can be a complex task. Spring MVC (Model-View-Controller) is a powerful framework that simplifies this process by providing a structured approach to designing web applications. In this blog, we will explore Serving Web Content with Spring MVC, its core components, and how it facilitates the creation of web applications with ease and flexibility. 

Understanding Spring MVC 

Spring MVC is a part of the larger Spring Framework, which is a popular open-source framework for Java-based applications. The primary goal of Spring MVC is to provide a clean separation of concerns between the different layers of a web application, namely the model, view, and controller. 

  1. Model: Represents the data and business logic of the application. 
  2. View: Handles the presentation and user interface. 
  3. Controller: Manages user input and acts as an intermediary between the model and view. 


Serving Web Content with Spring MVC

Key Components of Spring MVC 

  1. DispatcherServlet: The DispatcherServlet is the core of Spring MVC. It acts as a front controller that receives all incoming HTTP requests and delegates them to the appropriate handler (controller). It also manages the flow of requests and responses throughout the application. 
  2. Controller: Controllers are responsible for processing user requests, interacting with the model to retrieve data, and returning the appropriate view to display the data. Controllers are annotated with @Controller and can have methods annotated with @RequestMapping to handle specific URLs or HTTP methods. 
  3. Model: The Model is a data structure used to pass data between the controller and the view. In Spring MVC, the model is typically represented by the Model interface or the ModelAndView class, which allows the controller to pass data to the view. 
  4. ViewResolver: The ViewResolver is responsible for mapping the logical view names returned by the controller to the actual view templates. It allows developers to use different view technologies, such as JSP, Thymeleaf, or Velocity. 

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Spring Configuration 

To use Spring MVC in a project, you need to configure the Spring context. This is typically done using Java-based configuration or XML-based configuration (though XML-based configuration is less popular nowadays). You define beans, 

set up the ViewResolver, and enable Spring MVC features like annotation-driven controllers and form handling. Here’s an example of Java-based configuration: 


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@ComponentScan(basePackages = “com.example.controller”) 

public class WebConfig implements WebMvcConfigurer { 

 // Configuration code 

Request Handling 

When a request is sent to the application, the DispatcherServlet determines the appropriate controller to handle the request based on the URL pattern and HTTP method. The controller processes the request, interacts with the model (if needed), and prepares the data to be displayed. It then returns the logical view name, which is resolved by the ViewResolver to the actual view template. 

Here’s an example of a simple controller: 


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public class HelloController { 


 public String hello(Model model) { 

 model.addAttribute(“message”, “Hello, Spring MVC!”); 

 return “hello-page”; 


In this example, when a GET request is sent to the “/hello” URL, the hello() method will be invoked. It adds a “message” attribute to the model and returns the logical view name “hello-page.” 

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View Rendering 

Once the logical view name is returned by the controller, the ViewResolver maps it to the actual view template. Spring MVC supports various view technologies, such as JavaServer Pages (JSP), Thymeleaf, FreeMarker, and more. Each view technology has its advantages, and developers can choose the one that best fits their needs and preferences. 

Here’s an example of a simple JSP view template (hello-page.jsp): 


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 Hello Page 


Form Handling 

Spring MVC provides robust support for form handling, allowing developers to bind HTML form data to Java objects and vice versa. This eliminates the need for manual parsing and validation of form data, making form handling efficient and less error-prone. 

To achieve form handling in Spring MVC, you can use the @ModelAttribute annotation to bind form data to a Java object, and the @Valid annotation with the BindingResult object to handle form validation. 


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public class UserController { 


 public String showRegistrationForm(Model model) { 

 model.addAttribute(“user”, new User()); 

 return “registration-form”; 



public String processRegistrationForm(@Valid @ModelAttribute(“user”) User user, BindingResult result) {  if (result.hasErrors()) { 

 return “registration-form”; 


 // Process the registration 

 return “registration-success”; 


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Interceptors and Filters 

Spring MVC provides features like interceptors and filters to perform tasks that apply to multiple requests. Interceptors are used to intercept and pre/post-process HTTP requests, while filters are used to intercept and pre/post-process HTTP responses. They are beneficial for tasks like logging, authentication, and authorization. 

Exception Handling 

Exception handling is an essential aspect of web application development. In Spring MVC, you can define global exception handlers using the @ControllerAdvice annotation, which allows you to handle exceptions in a centralized manner. This results in cleaner and more maintainable code. 


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public class GlobalExceptionHandler { 


 public ModelAndView handleException(Exception ex) { 

 ModelAndView mav = new ModelAndView(“error”); 

 mav.addObject(“errorMessage”, “An unexpected error occurred.”); 

 return mav; 


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Spring MVC is a powerful and flexible framework that simplifies web application development with its clear separation of concerns and extensive feature set. By utilizing Spring MVC, developers can build scalable, maintainable, and efficient web applications, with features such as request handling, form handling, and exception handling at their disposal. The framework’s rich ecosystem and strong community support make it a top choice for Java developers looking to create high-quality web applications. Are you looking to learn Java and become a skilled programmer? Look no further than our Java Classes in Pune!



Anil Giri

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