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  • Handle Complex Forms

    Hi Guys,

    In the SimpleFormController, we can use the command object to get the information from the form.
    This command object is usually a POJO bean for a entity. The only problem I see is we can get (or pass)
    maximum one Command object and I don't know how to handle complex form fields ()

    I am new to Spring MVC. Can somebody please help?? Thanks

  • #2
    Can you give an example of what you mean by a complex form field?

    Yes, there is only one command object, but it can certainly have nested objects, so that you can bind a text box to, for example, person.contactInfo.homeAddress.streetAddress or some such.

    Similarly, if your command object contains a collection (e.g. a List) you can bind a text box to person.universityDegrees[0].degreeType and then bind another text box to person.universityDegrees[1].degreeType.

    I hope these fictional examples are helpful -- if you give an example of what would be in your form, we should be able to give you advice about how to bind that form to a single command object.

    Comment


    • #3
      It makes sense for nested objects

      Hi,

      Thanks for your reply. It makes sense for nested objects as you said eg. person.contactInfo.homeAddress.streetAddress

      But what if the objects are not nested and they are completely different objects - I mean not related or nested objects.

      Lets say I have object obj1 and object obj2 which I need to come back from the form on submission. How can I retrieve them in my spring controller - as I can get only one command object ?

      Can you please explain? Thanks so much

      Comment


      • #4
        Yeah, I get you.

        Well, you can't, really. The nature of a command or "form-backing object" is that it's just that -- a single object that contains the data from a form.

        So, your options include:

        1) change your form or set of models -- if one form is putting stuff in several unrelated model objects, perhaps your form is trying to do too much (or your models are splitting functionality across too many objects).

        or

        2) create a "container" object to be your command object, that simply contains instances of the various objects that the form will bind to.

        or

        3) some developers prefer to create separate command objects that are just used for a given form, and aren't necessarily the same as the model objects that your business logic act on. You use the command object just to set or retrieve the form data, and then copy that data into the appropriate domain objects. This also has the advantage that you can make your command objects very flat (no nested objects) even if the domain model is not flat (which makes your JSP code simpler).

        or

        4) do some of it manually -- let's say almost all of the fields bind to a single object but you have one extra field that should go to another object. You can always just not use Spring binding for that one field, but instead just use request.getParameter("name_of_field") and put the data into the object manually within your controller. It's messy but an option.

        Hope this helps.

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