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Apache Struts

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by , 11-15-2011 at 06:03 PM (747 Views)
Apache Struts is a free open-source framework for creating Java web applications. In this post, I will write about Apache Struts.

In a standard Java EE web application, the client will typically submit information to the server via a web form. The information is then either handed over to a Java Servlet which processes it, interacts with a database and produces an HTML-formatted response, or it is given to a JavaServer Pages (JSP) document which intermingles HTML and Java code to achieve the same result. Both approaches are often considered inadequate for large projects because they mix application logic with presentation and make maintenance difficult.

The goal of Struts is to cleanly separate the model (application logic that interacts with a database) from the view (HTML pages presented to the client) and the controller (instance that passes information between view and model). Struts provides the controller (a servlet known as ActionServlet) and facilitates the writing of templates for the view or presentation layer (typically in JSP, but XML/XSLT and Velocity are also supported). The web application programmer is responsible for writing the model code, and for creating a central configuration file struts-config.xml which binds together model, view and controller.

Apache struts framework provides three key components:

- A "request" handler provided by the application developer that is mapped to a standard URI.
- A "response" handler that transfers control to another resource which completes the response.
- A tag library that helps developers create interactive form-based applications with server pages.

Requests from the client are sent to the controller in the form of "Actions" defined in the configuration file; if the controller receives such a request it calls the corresponding Action class which interacts with the application specific model code. The model code returns an "ActionForward", a string telling the controller which output page to send to the client. Information is passed between model and view in the form of special JavaBeans. A powerful custom tag library allows it to read and write the content of these beans from the presentation layer without the need for any embedded Java code.

The latest release of Struts is Struts 2.0.11. Struts 1 is recognized as the most popular web application framework for Java. The 1.x framework is mature, well-documented, and widely supported. Struts 1 is the best choice for teams who value proven solutions to common problems.

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