Struts Example

Struts is modeled after the MVC design pattern, you can follow a standard development process for all of your Struts Web applications.

Identificaty of the application Views, the Controller objects that will service those Views, and the Model components being operated on.

1. Define and create all of the Views, in relation to their purpose, that will represent the user interface of our application. Add all ActionForms used by the created Views to the struts-config.xml file.
2. Create the components of the application’s Controller.
3. Define the relationships that exist between the Views and the Controllers (struts-config.xml).
4. Make the appropriate modifications to the web.xml file, describe the Struts components to the Web application.

Lets Start with step one. we will create the view file named index.jsp

<%@ page language="java" %>
<%@ taglib uri="/WEB-INF/struts-html.tld" prefix="html" %>

<title>Sample Struts Application</title>
  <html:form action="Name" name="nameForm" type="example.NameForm">
    <table width="80%" border="0">
        <td><html:text property="name" /></td>
        <td><html:submit /></td>

We have used some Struts-specific Form tag like <html:form /> instead of HTML tags.

In the Form tags the attributes you can find some attributes defined in we will go through it.

action : Represents the URL to which this form will be submitted. This attribute is also used to find the appropriate ActionMapping in the Struts configuration file, which we will describe later in this section. The value used in our example is Name, which will map to an ActionMapping with a path attribute equal to Name.

name :Identifies the key that the ActionForm will be referenced by. We use the value NameForm. An ActionForm is an object that is used by Struts to represent the form data as a JavaBean. It main purpose is to pass form data between View and Controller components. We will discuss NameForm later in this section.
type :Names the fully qualified class name of the form bean to use in this request. For this example, we use thevalue example.NameForm, which is an ActionForm object containing data members matching the inputs of this form.

To use the HTML tags, you must first add a taglib entry in the application’s web.xml file that references the URI /WEB-INF/struts-html.tld. This TLD describes all of the tags in the HTML tag library. The following snippet shows the <taglib> element that must be added to the web.xml file:


The struts-html.tld is placed in the /WEB_INF directory.

Next Step is to create the action form

The ActionForm used in this example contains a single data member that maps directly to the name input parameter of the form defined in the index.jsp View. When an <html:form/> is submitted, the Struts framework populates the matching data members of the ActionForm with the values entered into the <html:input/> tags. The Struts framework does this by using JavaBean reflection. The accessors of the ActionForm must follow the JavaBean standard naming convention for example

private String name;
public void setName(String name);
public String getName();

The file is shown below

package example;
//import statements
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletRequest;
import org.apache.struts.action.ActionForm;
import org.apache.struts.action.ActionMapping;

public class NameForm extends ActionForm {
  private String name = null;
public String getName() {
    return (name);
  public void setName(String name) { = name;
  public void reset(ActionMapping mapping, HttpServletRequest request) { = null;

To deploy the NameForm to our Struts application, you need to compile this class, move it to the /WEB-INF/classes/example directory, and add the following line to the <form-beans> section of the /WEB-INF/struts-config.xml file:

<form-bean name="nameForm" type="example.NameForm"/>

This makes the Struts application aware of the NameForm and how it should be referenced.

Now we create the out page for the sample application.
Lets name it diplayname.jsp

<title>Sample Struts Display Name</title>
    <table width="80%" border="0">
        <td>Hello <%= request.getAttribute("NAME") %> !!</td>

Now we move to the step two of creating the application's controller

In a Struts application, two components make up the Controller. These two components are the org.apache.struts.action.ActionServlet and the org.apache. struts.action.Action classes. In most Struts applications, there is one org. apache.struts.action.ActionServlet implementation and can have many org.apache. struts.action.Action implementations.

The org.apache.struts.action.ActionServlet is the Controller component that handles client requests and determines which org.apache.struts.action.Action will process the received request. When assembling simple applications, such as the one we are building, the default ActionServlet will satisfy your application needs, and therefore, you do not need to create a specialized org.apache.struts.action.ActionServlet implementation.

The second component of a Struts Controller is the org.apache.struts. action.Action class. As opposed to the ActionServlet, the Action class must be extended for each specialized function in your application. This class is where your application’s specific logic begins.

package example;

import javax.servlet.ServletException;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletRequest;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletResponse;
import org.apache.struts.action.Action;
import org.apache.struts.action.ActionForm;
import org.apache.struts.action.ActionForward;
import org.apache.struts.action.ActionMapping;

public class NameAction extends Action {
  public ActionForward execute(ActionMapping mapping, ActionForm form,
HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response)
throws IOException, ServletException {
    String target = new String("success");
if ( form != null ) {
      // Use the NameForm to get the request parameters
NameForm nameForm = (NameForm)form;
String name = nameForm.getName();
    // if no mane supplied Set the target to failure
if ( name == null ) {
      target = new String("failure");
    else {
      request.setAttribute("NAME", name);
  return (mapping.findForward(target));

Moving to step three, to deploy the NameAction to our Struts application, we need to compile the NameAction class and move the class file to /WEB-INF/classes/example directory, and add the following entry to the <action-mappings> section of the /WEB-INF/struts-config.xml file:

<action path="/Name" type="example.NameAction" name="nameForm" input="/index.jsp">
  <forward name="success" path="/displayname.jsp"/>
<forward name="failure" path="/index.jsp"/>

For step four we modify the web.xml file. We have to to tell the Web application about our ActionServlet. This is accomplished by adding the following servlet definition to the /WEB-INF/web.xml file:

<servlet-class> org.apache.struts.action.ActionServlet </servlet-class>

Once we have told the container about the ActionServlet, we need to tell it when the action should be executed. To do this, we have to add a <servlet-mapping> element to the /WEB-INF/ web.xml file:


You will notice in the previously listed index.jsp that our action does not include a .do at the end of the URL. We do not have to append the .do because it is automatically appended if we use the <html:form /> tag. If you do not use the <html:form /> tag, then you will need to append .do to the action's URL. This mapping tells the Web application that whenever a request is received with .do appended to the URL, the servlet named action should service the request.

Now you are ready to run the application, to begin using this application, you need to open your Web browser to the following URL:

Downloading Struts
Installing Struts
Configuring Struts
Struts 1.0 and 1.1
Struts Controller
Struts Model
Struts View
Struts Tag Library
Struts Example
Struts Internationalization

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