The Java EE 6 Tutorial, Volume I

SelectItems Properties

The SelectItems components are children of SelectMany and SelectOne components. Each SelectItems component is composed of a set of either SelectItem instances or anycollection of objects such as an array, or a list or even POJOs..

The following section describes how to write the properties for selectItems tags containing SelectItem instances.

Properties for SelectItems Composed of SelectItem Instances

You can populate the SelectItems with SelectItem instances programmatically in the backing bean.

  1. In your backing bean, create a list that is bound to the SelectItem component.

  2. Then define a set of SelectItem objects, set their values, and populate the list with the SelectItem objects.

Here is an example code snippet from a backing bean that shows how to create a SelectItems property:

import javax.faces.component.SelectItem;
protected ArrayList options = null;
protected SelectItem newsletter0 =
     new SelectItem("200", "Duke’s Quarterly", "");
//in constructor, populate the list
public SelectItem getNewsletter0(){
    return newsletter0;

void setNewsletter0(SelectItem firstNL) {
    newsletter0 = firstNL;
// Other SelectItem properties

public Collection[] getOptions(){
    return options;
public void setOptions(Collection[] options){
    this.options = new ArrayList(options);

The code first initializes options as a list. Each newsletter property is defined with values. Then, each newsletter SelectItem is added to the list. Finally, the code includes the obligatory setOptions and getOptions accessor methods.