This week's book giveaway is in the OCPJP forum. We're giving away four copies of OCA/OCP Java SE 7 Programmer I & II Study Guide and have Kathy Sierra & Bert Bates on-line! See this thread for details.
Database access code in a JSP is not a good idea. Better to put this sort of stuff in a bean somewhere. Have a look at java.sql.DatabaseMetaData. This gives you a means to interogate the database (be aware though that not all drivers may implement all methods).