Providers generates object collections to be used in web applications, mainly in filling
html select controls with options tags.
When you are creating a JSP page and you have to fill a html select with options, you
have to set the collection in the request or session to be in scope for iterating it and generating
options tag inside select tag. If you have the same select in different use cases and JSPs, you have to get that collection for each use case.
Using providers, you can delegate the collection generation to Providers and just place a tag that creates options tags. You can use a basic provider and create filtering providers.
Providers can use fixed Values provider, JDBC Provider, and you can plug as many providers you need.
These providers are declared in a XML file and are accessed through Taglibs.
Providers comes with some aditional tags for Select manipulation, like ComboSelectTag that allows you to create
dependant drop downs very simply. And SelectTag, that has a listener that matches the leters you write on the select and chooses the right option.