• Introduction

• ”C” in MVC • ”M” in MVC • ”V” in MVC • Workflow • Configuring Struts configuration file • Struts custom tags • Validator framework • File upload • Pros and Cons

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Struts is a framework to develop MVC model 2 applications Provides its own controller Separates presentation logic and business logic Open source Approximately 300 java classes divided into 8 top level packages Struts resides in the web tier Struts applications are hosted by a web container Makes heavy use of request and response objects Named in the architectural sense meaning nearly invisible pieces holding up buildings Support different model implementations (Java bean,EJB etc) Supports different view implementations (JSP,XML/XSL)

Struts packages org.apache.struts.action org.apache.struts.actions org.apache.struts.config org.apache.struts.taglib org.apache.struts.upload org.apache.struts.tiles org.apache.struts.util org.apache.struts.validator Jar struts.jar

“C” in MVC

Controller component responsibilities Receive request from client Map request to specific business operation Determine the view to display based on the result of the business operation Controller is implemented by the ActionServlet, RequestProcessor and Action classes ActionServlet Extends HttpServlet Forwards the request to RequestProcessor This in turn forwards the request to helper class (which is a subclass of org.apache.struts.action.Action class)

“C” in MVC
ActionServlet must be configured in web.xml <servlet> <servlet-name>action</servlet-name> <servlet-class> org.apache.struts.action.ActionServlet </servlet-class> <init-param> <param-name>config</param-name> <param-value> WEB-INF/struts-config.xml </param-value> </init-param> </servlet> <servlet-mapping> <servlet-name>action</servlet-name> <url-pattern>*.do</url-pattern> </servlet-mapping> Config parameter should contain the path of the default struts config file.

“C” in MVC

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Container will load the ActionServlet either when starting the server or when the first request arrives for the servlet. Init() method will be called before any request is processed by the servlet. Performs compulsory initializations like initializing the message bundle, struts configuration data, data sources, plug-ins etc. Users can extend the ActionServlet class. One instance of this servlet class receives and processes all requests Delegates the handling of the request to RequestProcessor object RequestProcessor selects and invokes an Action class to perform the requested business operation Users can extend the RequestProcessor class.

“C” in MVC
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Action class is the heart of the struts framework Bridge between a client request and a business operation One action class for one business operation Most important method is the execute method which will be called by the controller when a request is received from a client Signature of the execute method: public ActionForward execute(ActionMapping mapping, ActionForm form, javax.servlet.http.HttpServletRequest request, javax.servlet.http.HttpServletResponse response) throws java.lang.Exception

“C” in MVC

Single instance processes many requests, so care should be taken to ensure that they operate properly in multithreaded environment Can create a base action class (which can contain common logic like checking session timeout etc) and let all other action classes extend the base action class. EncorrAction extends Action OutgoingLogAction extends EncorrAction IncomingLogAction extends EncorrAction

“C” in MVC

DispatchAction class Extends Action class Used to combine many similar actions into a single action class (to combine add, modify and view actions) Dispatches to a public method whose signature should be exactly same as the execute method For ex we can have 3 three methods in the same action class public ActionForward insert(ActionMapping mapping………… public ActionForward update(ActionMapping mapping………… public ActionForward delete(ActionMapping mapping………… http://localhost:8080/myapp/ will call the update method.

EncorrAction extends DispatchAction OutgoingLogAction extends EncorrAction IncomingLogAction extends EncorrAction

“C” in MVC

To summarize controller consists of ActionServlet RequestProcessor Action/DispatchAction

Classes in action package ActionServlet RequestProcessor Action ActionForm ActionForward ActionMapping

“M” in MVC
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Model consists of data and the functions that operate on data Java bean that we use to store data is a model component EJB can also be used as a model component

“V” in MVC

View can be a HTML JSP Struts ActionForm

Struts ActionForm Struts framework automatically collects input from request, passes this data to an Action using a form bean which can then be passed to the business layer. An ActionForm is a JavaBean optionally associated with one or more ActionMappings. Such a bean will have had its properties initialized from the corresponding request parameters before the corresponding Action.execute method is called.

“V” in MVC

Sample ActionForm bean public class UploadForm extends ActionForm { protected String myText; protected FormFile myFile; public void setMyText(String text) { myText = text; } public String getMyText() { return myText; } public void setMyFile(FormFile file) { myFile = file; } public FormFile getMyFile() { return myFile; }


“V” in MVC

Struts DynaActionForm Specialized subclass of ActionForm that allows the creation of form beans with dynamic sets of properties, without requiring the developer to create a Java class for each type of form bean.

So to summarize view consists of HTML JSP or XML/XSL ActionForm/ DynaActionForm




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The ActionServlet receives the request. Based on the request URI, the ActionServlet retrieves the ActionMapping that defines the request. The ActionServlet populates the ActionForm object from the HTTP request. If the ActionMapping specifies that validation is required, the ActionServlet calls the validate() method on the ActionForm object. The ActionServlet invokes the execute() method of the Action object, providing the ActionForm object as a parameter. The method returns an ActionForward object specifying where to forward the request. The ActionServlet forwards the request to the resource specified in the ActionForward object. This is typically a JSP (the view), but it can send the request to another Action. It sends the response back to the browser.

Configuring Struts Configuration File
   Element/Value pairs (multi-lingual support) Easy to change properties referenced in many places in the page Can have multiple files for different languages

Sample errors.required={0} is required. errors.minlength={0} can not be less than {1} characters. errors.maxlength={0} can not be greater than {1} characters. exception.outgoinglogcreate.action.error = Internal Server Error in Create Outgoing Log exception.outgoinglogupdate.action.error = Internal Server Error in Update Outgoing Log

Configuring Struts Configuration File
Struts config file
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Core of struts Ties all the components of the struts application together 2 main parts are form bean and action mappings Sections of struts-config.xml

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Data source Form bean (Form property) Exception Forward Action Controller Message Resources PlugIn

Each class in org.apache.struts.config package holds information from the specific section of the configuration file Classes in config package ApplicationConfig Holds configuration information that describes an entire struts application DataSourceConfig Holds information about data source.

Configuring Struts Configuration File
FormBeanConfig To configure multiple DynaActionForm classes that are used by the views FormPropertyConfig To configure form properties
<form-beans> <form-bean name=“newOutgoingLog“ type="org.apache.struts.action.DynaActionForm"> <form-property name=“ccTo" type="java.lang.String" /> <form-property name=“subject" type="java.lang.Integer" initial=”NewsLetter”/> </form-bean> <form-bean name=“newIncomingLog“ type="org.apache.struts.action.DynaActionForm"> <form-property name=“dueDate" type="java.lang.String" /> <form-property name=“assignee" type="java.lang.Integer" initial=”NewsLetter”/> </form-bean> </form-beans>

Configuring Struts Configuration File
In execute method of Action class, import org.apache.commons.beanutils.BeanUtils; DynaActionForm dynaActionForm = (DynaActionForm)form; OutgoingLogBean outgoingLogBean = new OutgoingLogBean(); BeanUtils.copyProperties(outgoingLogBean,dynaActionForm);

Configuring Struts Configuration File
Describes a mapping between a java exception and a handler which is responsible for dealing with the exception

2 types
1.Global exception 2.Action specific exception Global Exception <global-exceptions> <exception key="exception.nullexception.error" type=“java.lang.NullPointerException" path="jsp/ECError.jsp"/> </global-exceptions> When NullPointerException exception occurs, forward the request to ECError.jsp and build an error message using the key exception.nullexception.error (from resource bundle)

Configuring Struts Configuration File
Action specific exception
<action path="/outgoing" name="newOutgoingLog" type="org.worldbank.encorr.ecAction.OutgoingLogAction" scope="request" parameter="method"> <exception key="exception.outgoinglogcreate.action.error" type="org.worldbank.encorr.exception.OutgoingTicketCreationException" path="jsp/ECError.jsp"/> </action> When OutgoingLogAction exception occurs, forward the request to ECError.jsp and build an error message using the key exception.outgoinglogcreate.action.error (from resource bundle) Assume in resource bundle, exception.outgoinglogcreate.action.error = Internal Server Error in Create Outgoing Log So the error message would be Internal Server Error in Create Outgoing Log when OutgoingTicketCreationException is thrown.

Configuring Struts Configuration File
Every action finishes by forwarding or redirecting to a view. Each view would be given a logical name and the framework will forward to the view by referring the logical name.

2 types 1.Global forward 2.Action specific forward

Global forward
<global-forwards> <forward name="success" path="/jsp/Success.jsp"></forward> </global-forwards>

In action class
ActionForward forward = null; forward = mapping.findForward(“success”); return forward;

Configuring Struts Configuration File
Describes a mapping between a specific request URI and a corresponding Action class.
<action path="/outgoing" name="newOutgoingLog" type="org.worldbank.encorr.ecAction.OutgoingLogAction" scope="request" parameter="callMethod"> <exception ……………../> <exception ……………../> <forward ………………/> <forward ………………/> </action>

Attributes path – URI path name – Name of the form bean associated with this Action type – Name of the java class that extends Action/DispatchAction class scope – specifies the scope in which the form bean is placed (request or session) parameter – Name of the request parameter which holds the name of the method to be executed. forward – Name of the servlet/JSP which will be forwarded to instead of calling the Action class include – Name of the servlet/JSP which will be included with the response instead of calling the Action class (type, forward and include are mutually exclusive and exactly one should be specified validate – Boolean value indicating if validate() method should be called before calling Action class method

Configuring Struts Configuration File
ControllerConfig To declaratively assign the processor class (RequestProcessor) and modify its functionality

Configuring Struts Configuration File
Specifies message resource bundle that contains localized messages for an application <message-resources parameter="org.worldbank.encorr.resources.ApplicationResources”/>

Configuring Struts Configuration File
To discover resources dynamically at startup. <plug-in className="org.apache.struts.validator.ValidatorPlugIn"> <set-property property="pathnames" value="/WEB-INF/validator-rules.xml,/WEB-INF/validation.xml" /> </plug-in>

Struts custom tags

struts-html.tld struts-bean.tld struts-logic.tld struts-nested.tld struts-template.tld struts-tiles.tld The "struts-html" tag library contains JSP custom tags useful in creating dynamic HTML user interfaces, including input forms.

<%@ taglib uri="/WEB-INF/struts-html.tld" prefix="html" %> <html:javascript>

Struts custom tags
Custom tag that generates JavaScript for client side validation based on the validation rules loaded by the ValidatorPlugIn <html:javascript formName="newOutgoingLog"/>

Custom tag that represents an input form, associated with a bean whose properties correspond to the various fields of the form. <html:form action="" method="post" onsubmit="return onClickSave(this);">

Custom tag for input fields of type "hidden". <html:hidden property="ticketStatus" value="C"/>

Custom tag that represents an HTML select element, associated with a bean property specified by our attributes

Tag for creating multiple <select> options from a collection.

Struts custom tags
public class ListData { public String optLabel = null; public String optValue = null; public String getOptLabel() { return optLabel; } public void setOptLabel(String optLabel) { this.optLabel = optLabel; } public String getOptValue() { return optValue; } public void setOptValue(String optValue) { this.optValue = optValue; } }

Struts custom tags
ArrayList al = new ArrayList(); ListData ld = new ListData(); ld.setOptValue(“100”); ld.setOptLabel(“English”); al.add(ld); ld = new ListData(); ld.setOptValue(“101”); ld.setOptLabel(“Tamil”); al.add(ld); ld = new ListData(); ld.setOptValue(“102”); ld.setOptLabel(“Hindi”); al.add(ld); request.setAttribute("languageList",al); <html:select property="language"> <html:options collection="languageList" property=“optValue"

Struts custom tags
Custom tag that renders error messages if an appropriate request attribute has been created. <html:errors/>

Custom tag for input fields of type "file".

Validator framework
For performing data validations on form data. If any validation fails the application redisplays the HTML form so that the invalid data can be corrected Pluggable system of validation routines that can be applied to form beans.

2 XML configuration files 1.validator-rules.xml Declares the validation routines with a logical name for each routine. 2.validation.xml Defines which validation routine should be applied to which form bean property. It uses logical names of form beans from the struts-config.xml file along with the logical names of validation routines from validator-rules.xml

Validator framework
Struts-config.xml <form-bean name="newOutgoingLog" type="org.apache.struts.action.DynaActionForm"> <form-property name="subject" type="java.lang.String"></form-property> </form-bean> <action path="/outgoing" name="newOutgoingLog" type="org.worldbank.encorr.ecAction.OutgoingLogAction" scope="request" parameter="method"> </action>

Validator framework
Validator-rules.xml <validator name="required" classname="org.apache.struts.validator.FieldChecks" method="validateRequired" methodParams="java.lang.Object, org.apache.commons.validator.ValidatorAction, org.apache.commons.validator.Field, org.apache.struts.action.ActionErrors, javax.servlet.http.HttpServletRequest" msg="errors.required"> <javascript><![CDATA[ function validateRequired(form) { ………………………………………………………. }]]> </javascript> </validator>

Validator framework
Validation.xml <form name="newOutgoingLog"> <field property="subject" depends="required"> <arg0 key=“Subject field" resource="false"/> </field> </form> In resource bundle, errors.required={0} cannot be left blank.

File upload
In jsp, <html:file name="IncomingLogBean" property="fileAttachment1"/> In struts-config.xml, <form-bean name="newOutgoingLog" type="org.apache.struts.action.DynaActionForm"> <form-property name="fileAttachment1" type="org.apache.struts.upload.FormFile" /> </form-bean> In OutgoingLogBean, private FormFile fileAttachment1; public FormFile getFileAttachment1() { return fileAttachment1; } public void setFileAttachment1(FormFile fileAttachment1) { this.fileAttachment1 = fileAttachment1; }

File upload
In Action class, DynaActionForm dynaActionForm = (DynaActionForm)form; OutgoingLogBean outBean = new OutgoingLogBean(); BeanUtils.copyProperties(outBean,dynaActionForm); FormFile fileAttachment = outBean.getFileAttachment1(); String fileName = fileAttachment.getFileName() ; byte b[] = fileAttachment.getFileData();

Pros and Cons
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Open source Reduces the development time No hard codings as struts values are represented in XML or properties file HTML custom tags (Minimize Java code in JSP) Form field validation

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Bigger learning curve (understanding of servlets,JSPs is required) Less transparent (lot more goes behind the scenes) Rigid approach (suggests only MVC approach.Cant use other approaches)

Thank You

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