Using Seam s:validateEquality to compare two fields for equality

I sometimes forget about some of the built in Seam Converters and Validators. While working on a project recently I had a requirement that had two password fields. This was to ensure that the password was spelled correctly. Pretty standard stuff when registering a new user. When I got to this requirement I started to roll my own validator and then remembered Seam had already done this for me. Here is the code.

<s:decorate id="passwordField" template="layout/new.xhtml">
  <ui:define name="label">Password:</ui:define>
  <h:inputSecret id="password" value="#{user.password}" required="true" immediate="true" redisplay="true">
    <a:support event="onblur" bypassUpdates="true" ajaxSingle="true" reRender="passwordField"/>
<s:decorate id="verifyPasswordField" template="layout/new.xhtml">
  <ui:define name="label">Verify Password:</ui:define>
  <h:inputSecret id="verifyPassword" value="#{register.verifyPassword}" required="true" redisplay="true">
    <a:support event="onblur" bypassUpdates="true" ajaxSingle="true" reRender="verifyPasswordField"/>
    <s:validateEquality for=":#{rich:clientId('password')}" message="Passwords don't match." />

That is all there is to it. Pretty slick. Now when the user tabs or clicks out of the Verify Password field the two fields are compared for equality and if they aren’t equal a validation error is displayed so the user can be made aware that there was a spelling mistake.

One thing to keep in mind is that there is a bug in this validator and the way it finds the id. In the Seam documentation example it shows the following.

<s:validateEquality for ="password"/>

When I tried this it didn’t work.

After some digging around in the Seam forums I found a post explaining that this was a bug and needed to be changed to the following.

<s:validateEquality for=":#{rich:clientId('password')}/>

The s:validateEquality can not only check for equality but it can also check for not equal, greater than, greater than or equal to, less than, and less than or equal to. Check out the Seam documentation for the complete listing of attributes.


  1. giuna June 25th

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    I’m using seam 2.2.0
    if I’m right in this version there is no validateEquality.

    how can I use this feature?


  2. Brian June 26th

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    giuna – Seam 2.2.0 has s:validateEquality.

    Seam Doc

  3. Selman January 10th

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    Good tip dude. Thanks

  4. Brian January 11th

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    Selman – glad it helped you.

  5. Tim B. May 10th

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    Just found out that it’s mandatory to use the “a:support” for the first input even though it doesn’t make much sense to me.

    In case you don’t the message defined for validateEquality will always be rendered. This doesn’t mean validation was not succesful – you are able to submit the form – but the message will be displayed when you tab out of the second field.

  6. Brian May 15th

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    Tim – I will check into that. Thanks.

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Brian Abston is a Java Developer in Oklahoma who also loves technology.