We often needs to use multiple JQuery date picker in one HTML or JSP page, classical example is online flight booking for return trips, where you need to pick departure date and arrival date from two separate datepickers. While designing HTML forms either statically or dynamically using JSP, you may want to associate date picker with multiple input text field, paragraph or any other HTML elements. By using JQuery UI and some help from CSS ID and class selector, we can easily use multiple datepicker in one HTML page. All you need to do is, declare a CSS class say .datepicker and apply that class to all HTML elements which needs date picker, for example we have associated date picker with 4 input text fields, which has .datepicker class. By using a class, it becomes extremely easy to select all those element using JQuery class selector, and once you got all those element, you can just call datepicker() methods. This method does all the hard-work and associate a date picker object with selected items, that's it. Now you are ready to use multiple date picker in your HTML or JSP page, let's see the complete code. By the way if you are just starting with jQuery than I highly recommend Head First Query, it’s easy to read and contain some non trivial example to learn jQuery quickly.
Here is our HTML page, which has four date-pickers to pick different dates. These multiple date pickers are associated with input tag, so that when you select a particular date from date-picker, it appear in those input text-fields. By the way, If you wan to build highly interactive web application using jQuery UI, you can learn a lot from jQuery UI 1.8: The User Interface Library for jQuery, one of the finest resource on jQuery
Let's see how they look like if you open this HTML page in browser
1) HTML Page with multiple date picker attached to input text fields
2) HTML page with jQuery UI DatePicker widget selected
3) jQuery UI multiple Date Picker object
4) DatePicker object is not attached to last input field
If you noticed CSS class for last textfield is not date picker instead a, and that's why datepicker is not attached to this input textfield. By applying this technique you can add as many datepicker as you need in your HTML or JSP page. It's very common since several application needs start and end date e.g. while doing online booking for flights, for return trips, we specify departure and return date etc. When I see this kind of solution, my respect to JQuery and JQuery UI teams increased a lot, they have really made web development fast and efficient, with just one function call you have your datepicker ready to pick dates. Not only that, you can customize your datepicker to show calendar in different way, which best suits your need. For example you can display multiple months in a calendar, mostly used in airline booking portal, which permits booking upto 3 months or further. You can provide drop down menus to select month and year, while picking date from calendar etc. If you want to build highly interactive web application using jQuery UI, you also refer jQuery UI 1.8:The User Interface Library for jQuery, one of the finest book on jQuery UI.