September 14th, 2009 by Lincoln Baxter III

JSF2: How to add the magic of EL (EL2) to JSF

Ever wonder why you can’t pass parameters to EL method-expressions? Well, now you can, and it’s easy to incorporate!

This quick guide assumes you are using Maven. And is a followup to the post: h:dataTable vs ui:repeat – how to get the selected row.

Get the EL dependencies through maven

You can get EL2 here, just include the desired repository and implementation:


Configuring Faces to use the new ExpressionFactory

Then register EL in web.xml


That’s it! You should now be able to pass parameters like a pro.

	<h:commandButton value="Save" action="#{taskController.saveTaskAjax(cc.attrs.story, cc.attrs.task)}">
		<f:ajax execute="taskBlock" render="taskBlock" />
	<!-- or -->
	<h:commandLink id="removeTask" title="remove" styleClass="m5t"
		immediate="true" onclick="return confirm('Really delete this task?');"
		action="#{taskController.removeTask(cc.attrs.story, cc.attrs.task)}">
			<f:ajax execute="@this" render="@form" />

Posted in JSF2


  1. Dan Allen says:

    Technically JBoss EL 2.1 is not the same as EL 2 (which isn’t EL 2 at all, but rather the EL being delivered in MR2 of the JSR-245: JSP 2.1 specification). I know, it’s really confusing.

    You should see if you can use the actual EL implementation from the Java EE 6 reference implementation (GlassFish V3).

  2. Faisal Basra says:

    That sound cool, but what about JSF 1.2? can we use EL 2.0 with JSF 1.2 ???

    Any idea….

  3. Lincoln says:

    I don’t know the answer to that one. Try it out 🙂

  4. Jay says:

    You can add JSF 2.0 and Unified EL (EL 2) magic to Glassfish V2.1.1 in 2 ways.

    1) If you want to completly replace JSF 1.x with 2.x in your glassfish V2.1.1 installation
    a) Remove existing jsf-impl.jar in ${com.sun.aas.installRoot}/lib
    b) Add following JSF2 and unified EL jars. i.e. jsf-api-2.1.jar, jsf-impl-2.1.jar,el-api-2.1.jar, el-impl-2.1.jar in in ${com.sun.aas.installRoot}/lib.
    c) Add or update classpath-prefix=”${com.sun.aas.installRoot}/lib/jsf-api.jar;${com.sun.aas.installRoot}/lib/jsf-imp.jar;${com.sun.aas.installRoot}/lib/el-api.jar;${com.sun.aas.installRoot}/lib/el-impl.jar” in ${com.sun.aas.installRoot}/domains//config/domain.xml under as an attribute.

    2) If you want to keep JSF 1.x as the default implementation on your glassfish instance but want to implement JSF 2.x only on one of your applications
    a) Add el-api-2.1.jar, el-impl-2.1.jar in ${com.sun.aas.installRoot}/lib.
    b) Include jsf-api-2.1.jar, jsf-impl-2.1.jar in lib directory of your application war.
    c) Add add sun-web.xml under /WEB-INF/ directory of your application war with following properties


    d) Add or update classpath-prefix=”${com.sun.aas.installRoot}/lib/el-api.jar;${com.sun.aas.installRoot}/lib/el-impl.jar” in ${com.sun.aas.installRoot}/domains//config/domain.xml under as an attribute.

    Hope this helps. Enjoy!!!

    Note: (This does not work in Glassfish V2.0 or V2.1)

    1. Jay says:

      classpath-prefix=”${com.sun.aas.installRoot}/lib/el-api.jar;${com.sun.aas.installRoot}/lib/el-impl.jar” in ${com.sun.aas.installRoot}/domains/your domain name/config/domain.xml under as an attribute.

  5. René says:

    Thanks for this article! i tried to add the new EL to my Struts project which is working with JSPs AND JSF/facelets (this is working all right, no problem there). But when i put the context-param for the new ELFactory in web.xml and call my facelets-page it logs: “The ELResolvers for JSF were not registered with the JSP-Container” and all EL-strings on the page are ignored.

    Any idea where this might come from?!
    I’m using tomcat 6 and the JSF2.0 reference implementation.

    Thx in advance!

  6. xsalefter says:

    Hi, Lincoln. I try this on top of Tomcat 6 and spring 3. Unfortunately I cannot get it works. I’m still always get java.lang.NoSuchMethodError: javax.el.ELResolver.invoke() . Can you help for this?


  7. dasgin says:


    remove el-api.jar from tomcat6 /lib directory or use tomcat7 without requiring explaned above.

  8. Jesse Orloff says:

    To get this working on Weblogic 10.3 I had to include the following lines in my weblogic-application.xml:


  9. Jesse Orloff says:

    well that still did not work…… the tags are

    wls:package-name com.sun.el.* /wls:package-name
    wls:package-name javax.el.* /wls:package-name

    1. Ad says:

      I’m trying out this as well… figuring how to add EL 2.2 to Weblogic 10.3.4.

      Do you have to replace/remove any libs in WL?

      1. Jesse Orloff says:

        I did not have to remove any libs, but I had to declare the entries (see above) for wls:prefer-application-packages in weblogic-application.xml.

        I just put the two jars (which I downloaded manually; I’m not using maven) into my WebContent/WEB-INF/lib. Declared the web.xml entry (as in the above article) and declared the prefer-application-packages entries. After all that it worked on WL 10.3.3.

    2. Ad says:

      Hmm, I’m getting the following exceptions; seems like I need to do some JSP lib stuffs?

      “com.sun.faces.config.ConfigurationException: It appears the JSP version of the container is older than 2.1 and unable to locate the EL RI expression factory, com.sun.el.ExpressionFactoryImpl. If not using JSP or the EL RI, make sure the context initialization parameter, com.sun.faces.expressionFactory, is properly set.”

    3. Ad says:

      Hmm, my bad, some typo in the config file. EL2.2 seems to be working now… however, now I’m getting JSF1027: [null] The ELResolvers for JSF were not registered with the JSP.

      Did you get this? I wonder what are the side effects.

  10. mika says:

    you forgot to mention that this article is for glassfish container, and for using exactly EL 2.2 since above is not valid in EL 2.1 AFAIK.
    to use EL 2.2 with tomcat, you can use the EL 2.2 shipped with tomcat 7 and add the EL dependency in pom and mark it as provided, hope that will help anyone.

  11. […] this post from Lincoln Baxter I downloaded el-api-2.2.jar and […]

Leave a Comment

Please note: In order to submit code or special characters, wrap it in

[code lang="xml"][/code]
(for your language) - or your tags will be eaten.

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment from appearing. There is no need to resubmit your comment.