jsp jsf xhtml faces url-pattern

JSP is an old view technology and widely used in combination with JSF 1.x. Facelets (XHTML) is the successor of JSP and introduced as default view technology of JSF 2.x at end of 2009. When you were seeing JSPs, you were perhaps reading old/outdated books/tutorials/resources targeted on JSF 1.x. You should generally ignore them when developing with JSF 2.x and head to resources targeted on JSF 2.x, otherwise you may end up in confusion because many things are done differently in JSF 2.x on Facelets.

The *.jsf is just one of widely used URL patterns of the FacesServlet mapping in web.xml. Other ones are *.faces and /faces/*. They all do not represent the concrete file extension/path, but just a virtual file extension/path and is to be specified in URLs only like sohttp://localhost:8080/contextname/page.jsf. This way the FacesServlet will be invoked. When using JSPs, this would actually serve page.jsp. When using Facelets, this would actually servepage.xhtml.

Since JSF 2.x you can also use *.xhtml as URL pattern. This way you don’t need to get confused when specifying URLs. Using *.xhtml as URL pattern was not possible in JSF 1.x with Facelets 1.x, because the FacesServlet would then run in an infinite loop calling itself everytime. An additional advantage of using *.xhtml is that the enduser won’t be able to see raw JSF source code whenever the enduser purposefully changes the URL extension in browser address bar from for example .jsf to.xhtml.



The .jsf extension is where the FacesServlet is often by default mapped on in the web.xml.


The .xhtml extension is of the actual Facelets file as you’ve physically placed in the webcontent of your webapp, e.g. Webapp/WebContent/page.xhtml.

If you invoke this page with the .jsf extension, e.g. http://localhost:8080/webapp/page.jsf then theFacesServlet will be invoked, locate the page.xhtml file and parse/render its JSF components.

Sometimes a *.faces extension or /faces/* foldermapping is been used. But this was from back in the JSF 1.0/1.1 ages. You’re free to choose and use whatever mapping you’d like to let FacesServletlisten on, even if it’s a nothing-saying *.xyz. The actual page itself should always have the .xhtmlextension, but this is configureable by the following <context-param> in web.xml:


This will change the FacesServlet to locate page.xml instad of (default) page.xhtml.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s