I'm wondering what the best way is to access user defined attributes on accounts from jsp pages.

I see two possibilities:

(1) Via soap admin call:
        spAdmin = new SoapProvisioning();
        zimbraAccount = sp.getAccount(accountId, true);
        sp.modifyAttrs(zimbraAccount, mAttrs);

(2) Via direct library call:
        prov = Provisioning.getInstance();
        account = prov.get(AccountBy.fromString("id"), accountId);
        prov.modifyAttrs(account, mAttrs, true);
Which way is the way to go? Does it matter? Does it make a difference whether it is a single server install or a multiple server install?