Java Server Pages (JSP) offers two distinct mechanisms to control the flow of a web application: redirection and forwarding. Both are essential for seamless page navigation but differ in functionality and purpose. Understanding the differences and use cases of both methods is crucial for effective web development. This tutorial explains how to implement page redirection and forwarding in JSP.

What is Page Redirection?

Page redirection is a client-side action where the web server sends a response to the browser, instructing it to request a different page. This results in a change in the URL displayed in the browser's address bar, which is visible to the user.

Page redirection is helpful when a page is moved to a new URL, such as redirecting a user to a secure page after login. It is also used after form submission to prevent duplicate submissions when users refresh the page.

Page Redirection in JSP

To redirect any JSP page, you need to call the response.sendRedirect() method. Once you implement this method, the server will respond to the client, displaying the subsequent request's URL. You can use the implicit object response to redirect the browser to another specific resource.


// Redirect to a new URL
String redirectURL = "";

Alternatively, the setStatus() and setHeader() methods can also send a response to the browser by setting the status code and a new page location. These methods are commonly used to gain better control over response headers.


response.setStatus(301); // Set status code
response.setHeader("Location", ""); // Set new location
response.setHeader("Connection", "close"); // Close the connection

Page Forwarding in JSP

Forwarding in JSP involves directing a request from one JSP to another within the same web application. It is a server-side action, and the client's browser does not participate in this process. To redirect any JSP page, you need to call the RequestDispatcher interface's forward() method:


RequestDispatcher dispatcher = request.getRequestDispatcher("nextPage.jsp");
dispatcher.forward(request, response);

Difference Between Forward and Redirect

Aspect Redirect Forward
Action Type Client-Side Server-Side
URL Change Yes No
Number of Requests Two (new request initiated) One (same request forwarded)
Use Case Page relocation, prevent form resubmission Internal navigation, maintaining request data


In JSP, both redirect and forward are essential for managing page navigation. Redirect involves client-side redirection, resulting in a URL change and initiating a new request. In contrast, forward is a server-side mechanism that retains the URL and transfers the request within the server. The choice between redirect and forward should be based on your web application's specific navigation structure needs.

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