How to use pagination on portlet

Liferay provides its own way for pagination using SearchContainer class. But if you’re not familiar with this, and you prefer to use displaytag as your paging solution, you can do so since Liferay ext environment already included displaytag library on its package.

In this article I’ll explain step by step how to use displaytag on portlet, which is basically the same with the way you use it on your web application. For every paging action, we don’t want to bring the whole record into session variable, which will make our portal not scalable. Rather we just want to limit the record , say 10 records per query, and put the result into request attribute.

So here are the steps :

  1. On the java class, count the total record. Put the total into request attribute
  2. Still on the java class, get the page number from request parameter, which will determine the start and end of our query.
  3. Query the records using start and end which we calculate on step 2.
  4. Put the total record and the records into request attribute
  5. Add displaytag custom tag into the JSP

Let’s say that I have a Project entity, with properties projectId, title, startdate, duration. So I’ve created method on ProjectLocalServiceUtil to count total record and to query the records.

Now in my java class I do the query :

protected void doSearch(ActionForm form, ActionRequest req) throws SystemException {

  // ... get all query parameters here

  int total = ProjectLocalServiceUtil.countByAllCriteria(description, locationId, employmentTypeId, isHotjob );

  int recordperpage = 10;

  int start = 0;

  int end = 0;

 // get the page number

  String paramPageNumber = (new ParamEncoder("project").encodeParameterName(TableTagParameters.PARAMETER_PAGE));

            start = Integer.parseInt(req.getParameter(paramPageNumber));
            if(start == 0 || start ==1){
                start = 0;
                start = (start-1)*recordperpage;

    end = start+recordperpage;

List projects = ProjectLocalServiceUtil.findByAllCriteria(description, locationId, employmentTypeId, isHotjob,start,end);    

req. setAttribute("PROJECTS", projects);

req.setAttribute("TOTAL", new Integer(total) );


Now on the JSP part

<display:table name="requestScope.PROJECTS" id="project" partialList="true" requestURI="/ext/onlineproject/search?actionURL=true&windowState=maximized" size="TOTAL" pagesize="10">
<display:column property="title"  />
<display:column property="startdate" />
<display:column property="duration" />

Take a look on the JSP part (line 1)

requestURI attribute is URL of your search action.
id=”project” is the variable that contains Project entity instance for iteration inside the displaytag table. This value should be used to get the page number parameter inside the java class (See line 15 on java class. ).
If you change the value of id attribute, for example : id=”firm”, then to get the page number you should write like this:
String paramPageNumber = (new ParamEncoder(“firm”).encodeParameterName(TableTagParameters.PARAMETER_PAGE));

If you want a column to be clickable ( for example, you add hyperlink for editing or show detail of the record ) you can just make the jsp like this :

<display:table name="requestScope.PROJECTS" id="project" partialList="true" requestURI="/ext/onlineproject/search?actionURL=true&windowState=maximized" size="TOTAL" pagesize="10">
<display:column property="title" href="/ext/onlineproject/detail?actionURL=true&windowState=maximized" paramId="projectId" paramProperty="projectId" />
<display:column property="startdate" />
<display:column property="duration" />

By default, displaytag has its own localization mechanism. So how to enable displaytag to read our localization files, that are defined with Liferay’s Language-ext.*.properties. If you use struts framework to develop your portlet, you can create a file, put this file on $SERVER_WEB_ROOT/ROOT/WEB-INF/classes, and create these two properties :


Tested on Liferay 4.3.3

11 comments so far

  1. Khomeini on

    thx for sharing…
    does it work the same for LR 5.1.2?

  2. Khomeini on

    thx for sharing…
    does it work the same for LR 5.1.2?


  3. Angelo on

    I’m using this environment:

    Display-tag 1.1
    Spring and Spring MVC 2.5.6
    AjaxTags 1.5

    I have built my own portlet; and i used your code to paginate result in my page. It seems tha display tag, altough query is pretty good executed and results are correctly taken, it doesn’t change then page number….can u help me?

  4. Kalyan on


    i am using struts portlet .. and i am using displaytag for pagination.. allz is well but when i am clicking on the links i mean numbers 1,2,3 or next or prev.. the url is changing and it is becoming normal struts application. what is solution for this..

    Thanks in advance

    kalyan… please urgent

  5. guest on

    @kalyan, you can probably filter out display tag pagination request they are started with “-d”. for more details see here

  6. […] can look out these threads pagination-on-portlet and pagination Flag Please sign in to flag this as […]

  7. amarateidiko on

    can we use display tag in JSR 286

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