Servlet Web Fragment with Example Project

[Last Updated: Nov 4, 2018]

In the previous topic we saw how frameworks can add the web components dynamically by implementing ServletContainerInitializer as opposed to the old style of web.xml configuration on the application side. But there are things where we still need the deployment descriptor e.g. ordering of components, list of welcome pages, login and error pages etc.

Servlet 3.0 introduced the notion of web module deployment descriptor fragments (web fragment). Now we can do all those web.xml configuration in our jar project in META-INF/web-fragment.xml file and bundle the project as a library or framework.

As we mentioned before, jar level annotation scanning can be turned off by using metadata-complete="true", that applies to web fragments too. By turning off scanning, the application is responsible to provide all necessary configuration in it's own web.xml.

Example Project

In this example we are going to extend the example from last topic. This time, we are also going to bundle servlet container managed, form based authentication functionality. The idea is, the client side developer should be free from writing commonly repeated code. The framework should bundle as much functionality as it can.

In this example, we would need deployment descriptor (web-fragment.xml) to configure <security-constrain> along with <login-config>. We would also specify <error-page>. We are going to include couple of JSP pages too. As last example there's going to be two projects, one for the framework and other one for the framework client

Creating the Framework project based on Web Fragment

  1. Prepare project
    • Create a simple maven project (name it servlet-fragment-framework) using your IDE or maven-archetype-quickstart. See an example here.
    • In pom.xml add dependencies of javax.servlet-api:3.0.1 and jstl:1.2.
  2. Create implementation of ServletContainerInitializer as AppInitializer as we did in the last example.
  3. Create the file META-INF/services/javax.servlet.ServletContainerInitializer and put fully qualified class name of AppInitializer in it.
  4. Create a servlet class AppController.
  5. Create web-fragment.xhtml and specify all security stuff etc.
  6. Create JSP pages under META_INF/resources. META-INF must be in your class path. As we are using maven project, I put that into main maven's resources folder.
  7. Now as this project is not executable, we are just going to install it in local repository using mvn clean install

    We will include this project's dependency in our client project.

Dependencies and Technologies Used:

  • Java Servlet API 3.0.1
  • javax.servlet:jstl 1.2
  • JDK 1.8
  • Maven 3.0.4

Servlet Fragment Project Select All Download
  • servlet-fragment-framework
    • src
      • main
        • java
          • com
            • logicbig
              • servlet
        • resources
          • META-INF
            • resources
            • services
            • web-fragment.xml

    Client Project

    Now we are going to create a war project as client of above example framework.

    1. Preparing the project
      • Create web application using maven-archetype-webapp, steps here.
      • Delete web.xml.
      • Add dependency of above project servlet-fragment-framework in pom.xml
      • In pom.xml add tomcat7-maven-plugin to run it as embedded server. Also note we have to provide tomcat-users.xml file. In standard installation of tomcat we can find that file under $CATALINA_BASE/conf/ folder.
    2. Create two implementations of Page as PageOne and PageTwo
    3. That's it. Now we are going to run our web application from root folder:
      mvn clean tomcat7:run-war

    Dependencies and Technologies Used:

    • com.logic.servlet:servlet-fragment-framework 1.0-SNAPSHOT
    • JDK 1.8
    • Maven 3.0.4

    Servlet Fragment Client Select All Download
    • servlet-fragment-client
      • src
        • main
          • java
            • com
              • logicbig
                • servlet
          • webapp
            • config
      • pom.xml

      Put following url:


      You will be redirected to login page.

      Enter the user/password as specified in tomcat-users.xml. On successful login you will be redirected to home page showing all page list.

      See Also