Email

Email

Regular Expressions offer a concise and powerful search-and-replace mechanism.
They are patterns of characters used to perform search, extract or replace operations on the given text. Regular expressions can also be used to validate that the input conforms to a given format.

For example, we can use Regular Expression to check whether the user input is a valid Social Security number, a valid phone number or a valid email number, etc.

Regular Expressions are supported by many languages. Sun added support for regular expression in Java 1.4 by introducing java.util.regex package. This package provides the necessary classes for using Regular Expressions in a java application. It consists of following three main classes ,

  • Pattern
  • Matcher
  • PatternSyntaxException



The java.util.regex package has several other features for appending, text replacement, and greedy/non-greedy pattern matching. See the JDK Documentation on java.util.regex to learn more about using regular expressions in Java.

Using this package I created a utility class to validate some commonly used data elements. My FieldsValidation class has following methods:

1. isEmailValid:


Validate email address using Java regex

/** isEmailValid: Validate email address using Java reg ex.
* This method checks if the input string is a valid email address.
* @param email String. Email address to validate
* @return boolean: true if email address is valid, false otherwise.
*/

public static boolean isEmailValid(String email){
boolean isValid = false;


/*
Email format: A valid email address will have following format:
        [\\w\\.-]+: Begins with word characters, (may include periods and hypens).
	@: It must have a '@' symbol after initial characters.
	([\\w\\-]+\\.)+: '@' must follow by more alphanumeric characters (may include hypens.).
This part must also have a "." to separate domain and subdomain names.
	[A-Z]{2,4}$ : Must end with two to four alaphabets.
(This will allow domain names with 2, 3 and 4 characters e.g pa, com, net, wxyz)

Examples: Following email addresses will pass validation
abc@xyz.net; ab.c@tx.gov
*/

//Initialize reg ex for email.
String expression = "^[\\w\\.-]+@([\\w\\-]+\\.)+[A-Z]{2,4}$";
CharSequence inputStr = email;
//Make the comparison case-insensitive.
Pattern pattern = Pattern.compile(expression,Pattern.CASE_INSENSITIVE);
Matcher matcher = pattern.matcher(inputStr);
if(matcher.matches()){
isValid = true;
}
return isValid;
}

Update: Read this post for a more thorough Java regular expression to validate email address.

2. isPhoneNumberValid:

Validate phone number using Java reg ex.

/** isPhoneNumberValid: Validate phone number using Java reg ex.
* This method checks if the input string is a valid phone number.
* @param email String. Phone number to validate
* @return boolean: true if phone number is valid, false otherwise.
*/
public static boolean isPhoneNumberValid(String phoneNumber){
boolean isValid = false;
/* Phone Number formats: (nnn)nnn-nnnn; nnnnnnnnnn; nnn-nnn-nnnn
	^\\(? : May start with an option "(" .
	(\\d{3}): Followed by 3 digits.
	\\)? : May have an optional ")" 
	[- ]? : May have an optional "-" after the first 3 digits or after optional ) character. 
	(\\d{3}) : Followed by 3 digits. 
	 [- ]? : May have another optional "-" after numeric digits.
	 (\\d{4})$ : ends with four digits.

         Examples: Matches following phone numbers:
         (123)456-7890, 123-456-7890, 1234567890, (123)-456-7890

*/
//Initialize reg ex for phone number. 
String expression = "^\\(?(\\d{3})\\)?[- ]?(\\d{3})[- ]?(\\d{4})$";
CharSequence inputStr = phoneNumber;
Pattern pattern = Pattern.compile(expression);
Matcher matcher = pattern.matcher(inputStr);
if(matcher.matches()){
isValid = true;
}
return isValid;
}

3. isValidSSN:

Validate Social Security Number (SSN) using Java reg ex.

/** isSSNValid: Validate Social Security number (SSN) using Java reg ex.
* This method checks if the input string is a valid SSN.
* @param email String. Social Security number to validate
* @return boolean: true if social security number is valid, false otherwise.
*/
 public static boolean isSSNValid(String ssn){
boolean isValid = false;
 /*SSN format xxx-xx-xxxx, xxxxxxxxx, xxx-xxxxxx; xxxxx-xxxx:
         ^\\d{3}: Starts with three numeric digits.
	[- ]?: Followed by an optional "-"
	\\d{2}: Two numeric digits after the optional "-"
	[- ]?: May contain an optional second "-" character.
	\\d{4}: ends with four numeric digits.

        Examples: 879-89-8989; 869878789 etc.
*/

//Initialize reg ex for SSN. 
String expression = "^\\d{3}[- ]?\\d{2}[- ]?\\d{4}$";
CharSequence inputStr = ssn;
Pattern pattern = Pattern.compile(expression);
Matcher matcher = pattern.matcher(inputStr);
if(matcher.matches()){
isValid = true;
}
return isValid;
}

4. isNumeric:

Validate a number using Java regex.

/** isNumeric: Validate a number using Java regex.
* This method checks if the input string contains all numeric characters.
* @param email String. Number to validate
* @return boolean: true if the input is all numeric, false otherwise.
*/

public static boolean isNumeric(String number){
boolean isValid = false;

/*Number: A numeric value will have following format:
         ^[-+]?: Starts with an optional "+" or "-" sign.
	 [0-9]*: May have one or more digits.
	\\.? : May contain an optional "." (decimal point) character.
	[0-9]+$ : ends with numeric digit.
*/

//Initialize reg ex for numeric data. 
String expression = "^[-+]?[0-9]*\\.?[0-9]+$";
CharSequence inputStr = number;
Pattern pattern = Pattern.compile(expression);
Matcher matcher = pattern.matcher(inputStr);
if(matcher.matches()){
isValid = true;
}
return isValid;
}

This example demonstrates how easy it is to validate email address, SSN, phone number in Java using regular expressions. You can read more about regular expression format here .

You can download complete Java code for this class here .

Feel free to modify and use this class in your projects. Let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Enjoy.

crystaljingsr

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