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You can be also interested in checking the page HTML form buttons HOWTO

Original solution

Introduction

Often, we have multiple submit buttons within a single form. The below is just a simple way of identifying which button was clicked, and which actions to take.

There are, of course, many ways of doing this, including the use of JavaScript to identify the actions, etc... You're welcome to pick and choose whichever method you find most useful. Struts 2 is flexible enough.

Form

Action with boolean properties

Explanation

The boolean properties 'submit' and 'clear' will be set to 'true' or 'false' according weather the submit or clear form element is present in the submitted form.

In this case, the properties are boolean, therefore the values set would be boolean.

There is another method, using String properties, described below...

Form

Action with String properties

Explanation

In this case, the properties are String, therefore the values set are also String in nature.

I don't really like this method, as it ties in the Action to the Form. (What happens if you want different text to show up on the button ? You would have to change both the form as well as the corresponding action.)

Conclusion

There are other ways to achieve the same functionality. There are pros and cons to each methods. Feedback welcome.

Nyong Nyong's solution

This was originally taken from comment posted by Nyong Nyong to this page - you can see it here

The more elegant solution is probably by using multiple mappings for same Action. This way you don't need to set "struts.enable.DynamicMethodInvocation" to "true".

In JSP

In struts.xml

Then in MyAction class


For best practice, if you have common data loaded / managed by your actions (submit & clear), then for example, you can define a MyBaseAction class, extended by MySubmitAction and MyClearAction class. Then this is how they looks like:

In struts.xml

You don't need to specify a method name anymore, that means we will use the default execute() method.

Then in the MyAction, MySubmitAction and MyClearAction class

MyAction.java
MySubmitAction.java
MyClearAction.java

Credit: Andrea Ligios

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13 Comments

  1. Unknown User (lfsoft)

    This doesn't work for all cases. If there are validation errors (e. g. a field is missing) the execute() method never will be executed.
    So you can't use this technique for a "cancel" button in a form with validation "errors".

  2. Unknown User (lucastex)

    This example isn't working...

    When we submit this form, the param interceptor try to set the "submit" or "clear" boolean to the text in 'value' field.

    To get this working, we have to build the buttons this way:

    <button type="submit" value="true" name="variable_A_Name">Button_A_Label</button>
    <button type="submit" value="true" name="variable_B_Name">Button_B_Label</button>

    Cya!

    1. Thanks, it works, although it doesn't work with <s:submit> tag.

  3. I tried to update the page but, unfortunately I don't have permission. A more elegant solution than setting booleans and using in if/else ladder in your action is to use the new features incorporated into Struts 2, the method attribute of the submit tag:

    //In the struts.xml
     <action name="Person!*" class="myorg.myproject.struts.PersonAction" method="{1}">
        <result name="PERSON_FORM">/pages/person_form.jsp</result>
        <result name="SUCCESS">/pages/success.jsp</result>
     </action>

    //in the JSP
    //this will call the save() method of your PersonAction
     <s:form action="Person">
     <s:textfield name="person.FirstName"/>
     <s:submit method="save" value="Save Person"/>

     //in the action
     private Person person;
     private PersonService service;
     public Person getPerson()
     {
        return person;
     }
     public void setPerson(Person person)
     {
        this.person = person;
     }
     public String save() throws Exception
     {
        service.save(person);
        return SUCCESS;
     }

    1. Thanks, it works but I had to set "struts.enable.DynamicMethodInvocation" to "true" first

  4. A solution which has been posted on the struts-user mailinglist:

    Ian Roughley wrote:
    >
    > you can always use <s:submit name="method:delete" value="Delete" /> and
    > <s:submit value="Execute" /> - then you don't need the logic to
    > determine which button was clicked in the execute() method, and you can
    > use the validation config below.

    This is an elegant solution.
    The Java Action would look contain the methods execute(), which is triggered by the second example tag and delete(), triggered by the first submit button.

    1. Same as previous, it works but you need to set "struts.enable.DynamicMethodInvocation" to "true" first.

      Also, it can be made a bit more elegant:

      <s:submit value="Delete" method="delete"/>

  5. The boolean properties solution doesn't work because the string Value can't be converted to boolean. You can use lucastex solution (see previous comments) or use this trick to make it work:

    The advantage of this solution is that it can be applied to <s:submit> tag.

    Reference: http://serpensalbus.com/blog/tricking-struts2-multiple-submit-buttons/

  6. But the more elegant solution is probably by using multiple mappings for same Action. This way you don't need to set "struts.enable.DynamicMethodInvocation" to "true".

    In JSP

    In struts.xml

    Then in MyAction class


    For best practice, if you have common data loaded / managed by your actions (submit & clear), then for example, you can define a MyBaseAction class, extended by MySubmitAction and MyClearAction class. Then this is how they looks like:

    In struts.xml

    You don't need to specify a method name anymore, that means we will use the default execute() method.

    Then in the MyAction, MySubmitAction and MyClearAction class

    MyAction.java
    MySubmitAction.java
    MyClearAction.java

    Credit: Andrea Ligios

    1. Can I add your comment as an additional solution ? Comments aren't exported with the docs :\