Preliminary test-builds of Struts 2 are available for download. If you are just getting started with Struts2/WebWork2, we recommend WebWork 2 as an entry point. See the Release Plan 2.0.0 for details and status.
Apache Struts is a free open-source framework for creating Java web applications. For more about the Apache Struts project, visit the project web site.
The documentation is grouped into three areas.
Our tutorials are designed to help you get started with the framework ASAP. We offer an all-purpose "soup to nuts" tutorial as well as specialty tutorials on portlets and database access.
Our in-depth guides focus on specific components of the framework, such as the Core framework, Struts Tags, and optional Extensions, as well as migrating from Struts 1 or WebWork 2.
Our FAQs provide a wide range of rapid-fire "HOWTOs" in question-and-answer format.
An overview of all three areas is available.
The Struts 2 distributions are classified "test-build" quality.
For your convenience, a one-stop all distribution is available. Individual elements of the distribution may also be downloaded separately.
The entire distribution, including all the elements. (43mb)
The example applications, as ready-to-deploy WARs. (22mb)
Just the blank application, ready to deploy as a template for new development. (Also included in apps.) (3mb)
The documentation, as provided on the website. (11mb)
The essential dependencies, including the Struts 2 JARs. (3mb)
The source code for the framework, ready to build as a Maven project. (18mb)
The Java 1.4 versions of the Struts and XWork JARs (prepared using RetoTranslator). (2mb)
Apache Struts 2 in a Nutshell
Apache Struts 2 is a flexible control layer based on standard technologies like Java Filters, JavaBeans, ResourceBundles, Locales, and XML, as well as various OpenSymphony packages, like OGNL and XWork. The framework helps you create an extensible development environment for your application, based on industry standards and proven design patterns.
The framework provides its own web Controller component and integrates with other technologies to provide the Model and the View. For the Model, the framework can interact with standard data access technologies, like JDBC and EJB, as well as most any third-party packages, like Cayenne, Hibernate, or iBATIS. For the View, the framework works well with JavaServer Pages, including JSTL and JSF, as well as FreeMarker or Velocity Templates, PDF, XSLT, and other presentation systems.
The framework's Controller acts as a bridge between the application's Model and the web View. When a request is received, the Controller invokes an Action class. The Action class examines or updates the application's state by consulting the Model (or, preferably, an interface representing the Model). To transfer data between the Model and the View, properties can be placed on the Action class, or on a plain old JavaBean.
Most often, the Model is represented as a graph of JavaBean objects. Alternatively, the Model may be represented as a set of data-driven service methods. Preferably, the Model will do the "heavy lifting", and the Action will act as a "traffic cop" or adapter. The framework provides sophisticated, automatic type conversion to simplify transfering data between rich domain objects and text-only HTTP requests.
To make it easier to access dynamic data obtained by an Action, the framework includes a library of custom tags. The tags interact with the framework's validation and internationalization features, to ensure that input is correct and output is localized. The tag library can be used with JSP, FreeMarker, or Velocity.
Struts configuration in a nutshell
A web application uses a deployment descriptor to initialize resources like filters and listeners. The deployment descriptor is formatted as a XML document and named
web.xml. Likewise, the framework uses a configuration file, named
struts.xml, to initialize its own resources. These resources include action mappings, to direct input to server-side Action classes, and result types, to select output pages.
Here's a simple configuration (
struts.xml) for a login workflow:
<struts> <include file="struts-default.xml"/> <package name="default" namespace="/" extends="struts-default"> <action name="Logon" class="mailreader2.Logon"> <result name="input">/pages/Logon.jsp</result> <result name="cancel" type="redirect-action">Welcome</result> <result type="redirect-action">MainMenu</result> <result name="expired" type="chain">ChangePassword</result> </action> <action name="Logoff" class="mailreader2.Logoff"> <result type="redirect-action">Welcome</result> </action> </package> </struts>
Aside from actions and results, you can also specify exception handlers and interceptors. Interceptors specify the "request-processing lifecycle" for an action. (What happens to the request before and after the Action class fires.) You can specify both global and local lifecycles. If some of your actions respond to AJAX, SOAP, or JSF requests, you can simplify the lifecycle, and even just "pass through" the request, if you like.
Struts 2 is extensible. Very extensible. Every class deployed by the framework is based on an interface. We provide base classes, but you can substitute your own. In the case of Action classes, even the interface is optional. POJO web development is here!
The framework provides general-purpose defaults, so you can start using Struts 2 right away, "out of the box". As needed, you can override any of our defaults in your application's configuration. We provide the base framework, but you can still write your application your way.