How does JSP handle runtime Exception 

Short Answer

In JSP, when something goes wrong while a webpage is running, it’s like tripping while running. This trip is called a runtime exception. JSP has a smart way to handle these trips without letting everything crash down.

Think of JSP as a teacher with a first aid kit. Whenever a student (the webpage) trips, the teacher can quickly help. In JSP, this first aid kit is made of special codes that catch and fix errors.

One main way JSP does this is by using something called an error page. This is a special webpage that shows up when there’s a problem. Instead of showing an ugly error message, it can show a friendly note like “Oops! Something went wrong. We’re fixing it!”

To make this work, the JSP page just needs to tell the server about its buddy, the error page. It does this with a line of code that’s like saying, “If I trip, send them to my friend here.”

This way, JSP makes sure that even if something goes wrong, you get a smooth and friendly experience, just like a teacher making sure playtime stays fun, even if there are a few stumbles.

Detailed Answer

Handling Runtime Exceptions in JSP

JavaServer Pages (JSP) technology allows web developers to create dynamic content easily. But, like any code, JSP can encounter runtime exceptions – unexpected errors that occur while the webpage is running. How JSP handles these exceptions is both smart and user-friendly.

The Basics of Runtime Exceptions in JSP

A runtime exception in JSP is like hitting a sudden pothole on a smooth road. It’s unexpected and can cause the webpage to “crash” if not handled properly. These errors can be anything from a missing file to a database connection issue.

The JSP Safety Net: Error Pages

To catch these errors, JSP uses a mechanism similar to a safety net: custom error pages. Instead of showing a technical and often confusing error message to the user, JSP allows developers to redirect users to a friendly error page. This page can explain the error in simple terms or just say “Sorry, we’re experiencing some problems. Please try again later.”

How It Works

1. Specifying an Error Page

Developers specify an error page for a JSP by adding a directive at the top of the JSP page. This directive tells the server that if an uncaught exception occurs, the user should be redirected to the designated error page.


<%@ page errorPage="error.jsp" %>

In this example, error.jsp is the friendly error page that users will see if something goes wrong.

2. Creating the Error Page

The error page itself is another JSP file. It has a special directive that marks it as an error page. This allows it to access error information, like what went wrong.


<%@ page isErrorPage="true" %>
  1. This makes error.jsp an official error page, where developers can use JSP scripting to display details about the error.

3. Advanced Handling with try-catch

While specifying an error page is straightforward for handling all exceptions, sometimes more control is needed. For specific sections of code, JSP allows the use of try-catch blocks, just like in standard Java programs.


try {
    // Code that might throw an exception
} catch (Exception e) {
    // Handle exception here

This method is useful for handling exceptions in a more granular way, allowing the page to continue operating even if a part of it encounters a problem.

Best Practices for Exception Handling in JSP

  1. Use Meaningful Error Pages: Instead of generic messages, provide helpful information or next steps on your error pages.
  2. Log Errors: For developers to understand and fix the underlying issues, make sure to log error details either in the catch block or on the error page.
  3. User Experience: Always keep the user in mind. Make sure the error page fits the look and feel of the rest of your site, and try to offer users a way back or alternative actions they can take.
  4. Security: Be cautious about the amount of error detail you display on the error page. Exposing too much information can be a security risk.

Real-world Example

Imagine an e-commerce site where a user tries to view a product that has been removed or whose details are missing in the database. Instead of showing a default browser error or a stack trace, the user is redirected to a custom error page saying, “Whoops! The product you’re looking for can’t be found. Here are some similar items you might like.” This approach keeps the user engaged and offers them alternatives, turning a potential site exit into continued browsing.


Runtime exceptions in JSP don’t have to mean the end of the road for a user’s experience. By utilizing JSP’s built-in error handling mechanisms, developers can provide a safety net that catches these exceptions, gracefully informing the user and even logging the issue for further investigation. This approach not only improves the reliability of a JSP application but also enhances user satisfaction by maintaining a professional appearance even when things go wrong.