Friday, October 27, 2006

Struts 2: Info and Resources

Struts has been the most popular web application framework for the past few years. With this popularity have come enhancements and changes due not only to the changing requirements, but also to provide features available in newer frameworks. The new version Struts 2.0 is a combination of the Sturts action framework and Webwork. According to the Struts 2.0.1 release announcement, some key changes are:
  • Improved Design - All Struts 2 classes are based on interfaces. Core interfaces are HTTP independent.
  • Intelligent Defaults - Most configuration elements have a default value that we can set and forget.
  • Enhanced Results - Unlike ActionForwards, Struts 2 Results can actually help prepare the response.
  • Enhanced Tags - Struts 2 tags don't just output data, but provide stylesheet-driven markup, so that we can create consistent pages with less code.
  • First-class AJAX support - The AJAX theme gives interactive applications a significant boost.
  • Stateful Checkboxes - Struts 2 checkboxes do not require special handling for false values.
  • QuickStart - Many changes can be made on the fly without restarting a web container.
  • Easy-to-test Actions - Struts 2 Actions are HTTP independent and can be tested without resorting to mock objects.
  • Easy-to-customize controller - Struts 1 lets us customize the request processor per module, Struts 2 lets us customize the request handling per action, if desired.
  • Easy-to-tweak tags - Struts 2 tag markup can be altered by changing an underlying stylesheet. Individual tag markup can be changed by editing a FreeMarker template. No need to grok the taglib API! Both JSP and FreeMarker tags are fully supported.
  • Easy cancel handling - The Struts 2 Cancel button can go directly to a different action.
  • Easy Spring integration - Struts 2 Actions are Spring-aware. Just add Spring beans!
  • Easy plugins - Struts 2 extensions can be added by dropping in a JAR. No manual configuration required!
  • POJO forms - No more ActionForms! We can use any JavaBean we like or put properties directly on our Action classes. No need to use all String properties!
  • POJO Actions - Any class can be used as an Action class. We don't even have to implement an interface!
The following are a few resources to get started with writing Struts 2.0 applications

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