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CSCI 6962: Server-side Design and Programming Input Validation and Error Handling.

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Presentation on theme: "CSCI 6962: Server-side Design and Programming Input Validation and Error Handling."— Presentation transcript:

1 CSCI 6962: Server-side Design and Programming Input Validation and Error Handling

2 Outline Overall goals of input validation Numeric inputs Regular expressions Dates and validation 2

3 Form Validation Detecting user error –Invalid form information –Inconsistencies of forms to other entities Enter ID not in database, etc. Correcting user error –Providing information or how to correct error –Reducing user memory load Preventing user error –Good instructions –Field types/values that prevent error –Error tolerance Example: Accepting phone numbers in multiple formats

4 Example 4 ValidationBean public String validate() { // Validate form elements // Return “valid” if all valid // Return “invalid” otherwise // and return to page

5 Error Pages Put error message next to source of error –Allows user to see where correction is needed

6 What to Validate Required fields have input –Text inputs non-empty Trim method useful to remove leading, trailing spaces name = name.trim(); if (name.equals(“”)) { … –Radio button groups and other lists have selection where required

7 Error Prevention Tell user what is required, optional Set default values where appropriate by setting initial values

8 Numeric Conversions in Java All values entered in text elements passed as string in request Must convert to numeric type before manipulating Methods built into Java static classes: int Integer.parseInt(String) for integer values double Double.parseDouble(String) for decimal values Example: int quantNum = Integer.parseInt(quantity); double cost = quantNum * 9.95; 8

9 Validating Numeric Inputs What if user enters non-numeric value? int quantNum = Integer.parseInt(quantity); Exception thrown in Java ValidateBean validate method Integer class parseInt method “five” NumberFormatException thrown Cannot parse “five”

10 Validating Numeric Inputs Unhandled exceptions cause error screen Must handle with try/catch block try { code which might cause exception … } catch (ExceptionType variable) { code to handle exception } code after block Jump here if exception Skip if no exception Set return value to forward to original or error page

11 Validating Numeric Inputs Jump here if NumberFormat exception due to quantity not being a number Skip if no exception Return to original page

12 Numeric Conversions in C# 12

13 Numeric Conversions in C# Similar exception handling format for non-numeric values: try { code that might cause exception } catch (exception type) { code to handle exception } 13

14 Numeric Error Prevention Avoid direct numeric input if possible Provide dropdowns that list values if possible Can use loop to generate array of SelectItem objects

15 Numeric Error Prevention Adding items to list using code (usually in Page_Load ): listname.Items.Add(new ListItem(string)) –Note: Only add elements to list in Page_Load if no elements already in list Otherwise, re-added every time page reloaded! Example: generating list of months using loop from 1 to 12

16 Validating Input Is numeric input valid? –Negative quantity invalid –What about quantity of 0? Is combination of choices legal? Is format of input legal? –Credit card number 15 or 16 digits –Phone number in correct format

17 Error Prevention Tell user if format or other rules apply

18 Regular Expressions Tool for verifying an input string is in a given format –Easier than parsing it yourself! Examples: –Credit card contains 16 digits –Phone number in form (3 digits) 3 digits - 4 digts – in form Note that correct format  legal –Nonexistent phone number, etc. –Will need to verify against database

19 Regular Expressions Matching single characters a Matches character a. Matches any character [aeiou] Matches any character in list [^aeiou] Matches any character not in list [a-n] Matches any character in range a - n [a-d1-7] Matches any character in range a - n and 1 - 7

20 Regular Expressions Metacharacters match characters of a certain type –Note: the extra “\” in front is required by Java \\d Matches any digit 0-9 \\D Matches any non-digit \\w Matches “word” character a-z, A-Z, 0-9 \\W Matches any non-“word” character \\s Matches any “space” character (, tab, return) \\S Matches any non-“space” character

21 Regular Expressions Combining regular expressions Quantifiers give number of times a char must appear * Any number of times (including 0) + At least once {number} Exactly number times {num1, num2} Between num1 and num2 times XY Regex X and Y must occur in sequence X | Y Matches regex X or Y (X)(X) Used to group regular expressions

22 Regular Expressions Examples: –Credit card number: \\d{16} –Phone number: \\d{3}-\\d{3}-\\d{4} – address:

23 Regular Expressions in Java Java syntax: String.match(“regularexpression”) –Returns true if String is in form regularexpression

24 Regular Expressions in C# Construct Regex object from expression string Regex r = new –Need using System.Text.RegularExpressions; Match input string with Regex object if (r.IsMatch(input string)) {… 24

25 Error Tolerance Don’t reject based on format if any chance input valid –Example: other legal phone numbers (555) … Choose most tolerant pattern to prevent false rejection –“Phone number is 10 digits separated by any number of non- digits” –Pattern: (\\d\\D*){10} digitAny number of non-digits 10 times

26 Dates and Validation Validity of user input may be related to current date Example: Credit card expiration date must not be before current month/year –Expiration year < current year  invalid –Expiration year == current year and Expiration month < current month  invalid Caution: –Date for user may be different from server Inaccurate clocks, international date boundary –Safest to only use for month, year 26

27 Calendar Dates in Java Construct a new GregorianCalendar object –Contains information about current date when created –Must import java.util.* library Use get(Calendar.fieldname) method to get component of that date –Field names = YEAR, MONTH, etc. –Returns an integer

28 Calendar Dates in Java Can use to generate values from current date Get current year Generate new SelectItem for each of the next 10 years

29 Calendar Dates in Java Can validate things about dates entered by user

30 Dates in ASP Key: DateTime object –DateTime.Now used to get current time/date –DateTime.Now.property gets specific values (Year, Month, Day, Hour, …)

31 Dates in ASP Example: Generating next 10 years starting with current year in Page_Load


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