The Java EE 6 Tutorial

Overview of the EL

The EL allows page authors to use simple expressions to dynamically access data from JavaBeans components. For example, the test attribute of the following conditional tag is supplied with an EL expression that compares 0 with the number of items in the session-scoped bean named cart.

<c:if test="${sessionScope.cart.numberOfItems > 0}">

JavaServer Faces technology uses the EL for the following functions:

See Using the EL to Reference Backing Beans for more information on how to use the EL in JavaServer Faces applications.

To summarize, the EL provides a way to use simple expressions to perform the following tasks:

The EL is also used to specify the following kinds of expressions that a custom tag attribute will accept:

Finally, the EL provides a pluggable API for resolving expressions so custom resolvers that can handle expressions not already supported by the EL can be implemented.