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How to use regular expressions with spring expression language?


This page shows how to use regular expressions with in the spring expression language. You can use regular expressions by simply using the word 'match'. Below example shows how to use regex in the annotations. The same expression language pattern works for xml based configurations as well.

package com.java2novice.beans;

import org.springframework.beans.factory.annotation.Value;
import org.springframework.stereotype.Component;

@Component("empFormBean")
public class EmployeeForm {

	private String nameRegEx = "^[a-zA-Z\\s]+$";
	
	@Value("Java2Novice")
	private String empName; 
	
	@Value("#{empFormBean.empName matches empFormBean.nameRegEx}")
	private boolean empNameValid;
	
	@Value("25")
	private int age;
	
	@Value("#{empFormBean.age matches '[0-9]{2}' and empFormBean.age < 60}")
	private boolean validAge;
	
	public void printValidationResults(){
		
		StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder();
		sb.append("empNameValid: ").append(empNameValid).append("\n");
		sb.append("validAge: ").append(validAge).append("\n");
		System.out.println(sb.toString());
	}
	
	public String getNameRegEx() {
		return nameRegEx;
	}

	public void setNameRegEx(String nameRegEx) {
		this.nameRegEx = nameRegEx;
	}

	public String getEmpName() {
		return empName;
	}

	public void setEmpName(String empName) {
		this.empName = empName;
	}

	public boolean isEmpNameValid() {
		return empNameValid;
	}

	public void setEmpNameValid(boolean empNameValid) {
		this.empNameValid = empNameValid;
	}

	public int getAge() {
		return age;
	}

	public void setAge(int age) {
		this.age = age;
	}

	public boolean isValidAge() {
		return validAge;
	}

	public void setValidAge(boolean validAge) {
		this.validAge = validAge;
	}
}

Here is the xml based configuration, you must enable component scan.

<beans xmlns="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans"
	xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
	xmlns:context="http://www.springframework.org/schema/context"
	xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans
	http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans/spring-beans-3.0.xsd
	http://www.springframework.org/schema/context
	http://www.springframework.org/schema/context/spring-context-3.0.xsd">

    <context:component-scan base-package="com.java2novice.beans" />
</beans>

Spring bean demo class:

package com.java2novice.test;

import org.springframework.context.ConfigurableApplicationContext;
import org.springframework.context.support.ClassPathXmlApplicationContext;

import com.java2novice.beans.EmployeeForm;

public class SpringDemo {

	public static void main(String a[]){
		String confFile = "applicationContext.xml";
		ConfigurableApplicationContext context 
							= new ClassPathXmlApplicationContext(confFile);
		EmployeeForm empForm = (EmployeeForm) context.getBean("empFormBean");
		empForm.printValidationResults();
	}
}

Output:
empNameValid: false
validAge: true
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