What Is Scripting Element in JSP?


Heather Bennett

In JSP (JavaServer Pages), a scripting element allows you to insert Java code directly into your HTML pages. This powerful feature gives you the ability to dynamically generate content based on specific conditions or data.

Scripting Elements in JSP

Scripting elements in JSP are denoted by the `<% .. %>` tags. Within these tags, you can write Java code that will be executed when the JSP page is processed on the server side.

There are three types of scripting elements in JSP:

1. Declaration: `<%! . %>`

A declaration element is used to define variables and methods that will be accessible throughout the entire JSP page. These declarations are typically used at the top of the page, before any HTML markup.


<%! int num1 = 10; int num2 = 20; public void printSum() { int sum = num1 + num2; System.out.println("Sum: " + sum); } %>

2. Scriptlet: `<% . %>`

A scriptlet element allows you to include any valid Java code within your JSP page. The code within the scriptlet will be executed when the JSP page is processed.

<% String name = "John Doe"; out.println("Welcome, " + name + "!"); %>

3. Expression: `<%= . %>`

An expression element is used to evaluate and display the result of a Java expression inside an HTML document. The result of the expression is automatically converted to a string and included in the rendered output.


The current year is <%= java.util.Calendar.getInstance().get(java.YEAR) %>.


  • Declaration elements are useful when you need to define variables or methods that will be reused multiple times within the page.
  • Scriptlet elements are handy for performing more complex Java logic or accessing request parameters and session attributes.
  • Expression elements are perfect for displaying the result of calculations, retrieving data from databases, or accessing values from JavaBeans.

Advantages of Scripting Elements in JSP

Using scripting elements in JSP offers several advantages:

  • Simplicity: Scripting elements make it easy to embed dynamic behavior within your HTML pages without needing to switch between different languages.
  • Flexibility: You have full access to Java’s vast array of libraries and APIs, allowing you to perform complex operations and interact with databases or external services.
  • Reusability: With declaration elements, you can define reusable variables and methods that can be accessed from multiple parts of your JSP page.


In summary, scripting elements in JSP provide a powerful way to incorporate dynamic behavior into your HTML pages. Whether you need to define variables, perform complex calculations, or display dynamic content, scripting elements give you the flexibility to achieve your goals. By using declaration, scriptlet, and expression elements appropriately, you can create dynamic and engaging web applications with ease!

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