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Load BLOB images from SQL and display in JSP page using Java Servlet

In this article let discuss on

Load BLOB images from SQL and display in JSP page using Java Servlet

we will guide you how to write code for displaying images stored in database on a JSP page within Java web application. Suppose that the images are stored in the database in BLOB format (Binary Large Object), and your application needs to display the images on web pages without saving the images somewhere on the server’s disk.

Generally, here are the key steps to implement:

  1. Retrieve the image data from the database as an array of bytes, by using JDBC. If you are using Hibernate, this can be done transparently by the framework.
  2. Encode the image’s binary data to String representation in Base64 format.
  3. Display the image on a JSP page using <IMG> tag with image source is the base64 string.

Now, let’s see how to integrate these steps into a typical request-response workflow of a Java web application based on Servlet and JSP. The database we use for the example is MySQL.

Lets see how to integrate request-response of  a Java web application using Servlet and JSP.

The database we use for the example is MySQL.

1. The Database

Suppose that we have a table named user_tbl that has a column called image which is of type LONGBLOB (this type can store files up to 4GB):

user_tbl blob jdbc 

So our ultimate goal is to retrieve image data from this column and display the image on a web page.

2. The Java Model Class

Java model class for the table needs to have a field to store the base64 string representation of the image.

For example:

package live.wecancode.blobdemo;

public class User {

private String username;
private String email;
private String profileImg;

public String getProfileImg() {
return profileImg;
}

public void setProfileImg(String profileImg) {
this.profileImg= profileImg;
}
// other fields...  getters and setters…
}

The field’s setter setProfileImg() will be called by a DAO class that retrieves the image binary data and converts it to a base64 string.

The field’s getter getProfile() will be called by a JSTL tag in the JSP page in order to show the image.

If you are using Hibernate, the profileImg column must be mapped similar to the below sample code.

For example:

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package live.wecancode.blobdemo;
 
public class User {
 
private String username;
private String email;
private String profileImg;
private byte[] image;   
 
@Column(name="image")
public byte[] getImage() {
return this.image;
}
    public String getProfileImg() {
return profileImg;
}
 
public void setProfileImg(String profileImg) {
this.profileImg= profileImg;
}
// other fields...  getters and setters…
}

3. The DAO Class

In the DAO class, we write some additional code for retrieving the image’s binary data and converting it to a base64 string. Given a ResultSet object named result, the following code reads the image column into a byte array, and then converts it to a String in base64 format:

Blob blob = result.getBlob("image");

InputStream inputStream = blob.getBinaryStream();
ByteArrayOutputStream outputStream = new ByteArrayOutputStream();
byte[] buffer = new byte[4096];
int bytesRead = -1;

while ((bytesRead = inputStream.read(buffer)) != -1) {
outputStream.write(buffer, 0, bytesRead);
}

byte[] imageBytes = outputStream.toByteArray();

String base64Image = Base64.getEncoder().encodeToString(imageBytes);

inputStream.close();
outputStream.close();

The Base64 class can be found in the java.util package.

And the following is sample code of a DAO class – UserDAO:

package live.wecancode.blobdemo.dao;

import java.io.ByteArrayOutputStream;
import java.io.IOException;
import java.io.InputStream;
import java.sql.Blob;
import java.sql.Connection;
import java.sql.DriverManager;
import java.sql.PreparedStatement;
import java.sql.ResultSet;
import java.sql.SQLException;
import java.util.Base64;

public class UserDAO {
String databaseURL = "jdbc:mysql://localhost:3306/userdb";
String user = "root";
String password = "pass";

public User get(int id) throws SQLException, IOException {
User user = null;

String sql = "SELECT * FROM user_tbl WHERE user_id = ?";

try (Connection connection = DriverManager.getConnection(databaseURL, user, password)) {
PreparedStatement statement = connection.prepareStatement(sql);
statement.setInt(1, id);
ResultSet result = statement.executeQuery();

if (result.next()) {
user = new User();
String username = result.getString("username");
String email = result.getString("email");
Blob blob = result.getBlob("image");

InputStream inputStream = blob.getBinaryStream();
ByteArrayOutputStream outputStream = new ByteArrayOutputStream();
byte[] buffer = new byte[4096];
int bytesRead = -1;

while ((bytesRead = inputStream.read(buffer)) != -1) {
outputStream.write(buffer, 0, bytesRead);
}

byte[] imageBytes = outputStream.toByteArray();
String base64Image = Base64.getEncoder().encodeToString(imageBytes);

inputStream.close();
outputStream.close();

user.setUsername(username);
book.setEmail(email);
book.setProfileImg(base64Image);
}

} catch (SQLException | IOException ex) {
ex.printStackTrace();
throw ex;
}

return user;
}
}

As you can see, the get(int id) method finds a row in the user_tbl table that associates with the specified id. If the row is found, a new User object is created and populated its information: such as username, email and profileImg.

4. The Servlet Class

In the Servlet class, it receives request from the user with the specified userID, then it calls the DAO to retrieve the User object, which is then stored as a request attribute. Finally the servlet forwards the processing to a destination JSP page.

Here is sample code of the servlet class:

package live.wecancode.blobdemo.servlets;

import java.io.IOException;
import java.sql.SQLException;

import javax.servlet.RequestDispatcher;
import javax.servlet.ServletException;
import javax.servlet.annotation.WebServlet;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletRequest;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletResponse;

@WebServlet("/viewuser")
public class GetUserServlet extends HttpServlet {
private static final long serialVersionUID = 1L;

public GetUserServlet() {
super();
}

protected void doGet(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response)
throws ServletException, IOException {
int userId = Integer.parseInt(request.getParameter("id"));
UserDAO dao = new UserDAO();

try {
User user = dao.get(userId);

request.setAttribute("user", user);

String page = "/index.jsp";
RequestDispatcher requestDispatcher = request.getRequestDispatcher(page);
requestDispatcher.forward(request, response);
} catch (SQLException ex) {
throw new ServletException(ex);
}

}
}

5. Display Image in the JSP Page

To display the image represented by a base64 String, use the <IMG> tag with the following syntax:

For PNG image type:

<img src=”data:image/png;base64,[base_64_String_goes_here]” />

For JPG/JPEG image type:

<img src=”data:image/jpg;base64,[base_64_String_goes_here]” />

And here is code of a sample JSP page that uses JSTL tags mixed with HTML tags:

<!--  userdetail.jsp -->
&lt;%@ taglib uri="http://java.sun.com/jsp/jstl/core" prefix="c" %&gt;
&lt;%@ page language="java" contentType="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1" pageEncoding="ISO-8859-1"%&gt;

</pre>
<h2><c:out value="${user.username}"></c:out></h2>
<h3><c:out value="${user.email}"></c:out></h3>
<img src="data:;base64,${user.profileImg}" width="240" height="300" />
<!-- Use this if the image type is PNG

<img src="data:image/png;base64,${user.profileImg}" width="240" height="300"/>

-->
<pre>

6. Test Image Display

Suppose that the user_tbl table contains some rows with image data. To test if the image gets displayed in the JSP page or not, call the Java Servlet by typing the following URL in a web browser:

http://localhost:8080/Userdetail/viewuser?id=1

Balamurugan T

Balamurugan T

August 05, 2021

Java & C#.NET Developer with 10++ years of IT experience.

Planning to learn ReactJS or Angular or Flutter.!

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