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Struts Framework

Contents

• J2EE
 Java’s enterprise application specification
• MVC
 The Model View Controller design pattern
• Struts
 The framework based on MVC
J2EE

The Specification
Introduction

• J2EE is Java’s specification for enterprise


application development
• It cover two major components
 Web Components
• For designing presentation layer

 Distributed Components
• For developing business components
Cont…

• Sun has provided the specification for


developing components
• The structure or flow of the application is all
up to the developer
• In J2EE scenario the application is segregated
into three layers
 Presentation
 Business Logic
 Integration
The J2EE Scenario

Java Beans,
Session DAO,
Client HTML, Beans, Entity
JSP, Message Beans,
Servlet Driven Hibernate
External
Beans
Resources

Business Integration
Presentation
Logic
Advantages

• J2EE Scenario gives extensibility benefits


• The application is loosely coupled
• Presentation, Business Logic and Integration
is independent of each other
• Changes if needed in either of this will not
affect other parts of the application
MVC

Design Pattern
Introduction

• Model View Controller


• It’s a design pattern given by Sun
Microsystems.
• It is a widely used software design pattern
• It brings about better organization and code
reuse
• It has become the recommended pattern for
J2EE platform
MVC

Model
•Encapsulates application
state
•Responds to state
queries
Change •Exposes application
notification
functionality
•Notifies views of changes State
State change
query

View
•Renders the models User requests Controller
•Requests updates from •Defined application
models behavior
•Sends user request to •Maps user actions to
controller View Selection model
•Allows controller to •Select view for response
select view •One for each functionality
Model Tier

• Model represents Business data and rules


• Business rules is for changing business data
• Different parts of the application or even
other different applications can share the
same Model
• The model code is independent of View or
Controller
View Tier

• View is what the end-user sees


• View displays the model data to the user
• View should never modify the model data
directly nor it should interact with rules
• Different types of views (eg. GUI, Web client)
can have the same model
Controller Tier

• You can think of Controller as a mediator


between View and Model
• It defines the flow of the application
• It interprets user requests/events
• Different type of clients require different type
of Controllers
• It parses the user request/event into actions it
performs on the Model
MVC Architecture

• In MVC design pattern, application flow is


mediated by a central Controller
• The Controller delegates requests to an
appropriate handler
• The handlers are tied to a Model, and each
handler act as an adapter between the request
and the Model
• The Model represents business logic or state
of an application
Cont…

• Control is usually then forwarded back


through the Controller to the appropriate
View
• The forwarding can be determined by
consulting a set of mapping usually loaded
from a configuration file
• This provides a loose coupling between the
View and Model
• This makes application significantly easier to
create and maintain
MVC Models

• MVC has 2 models


 Model I
• Model, View + Controller

 Model II
• Model, View, Controller

• Lets try to look at them in a web application


environment
Model I

JSP
Client View + Controller

Java Bean DB
Model
Model II

Servlet
Controller

Client Java Bean DB


Model

JSP
View
Model II

• Model II introduced controller Servlet


between browser and JSP
• Controller centralizes the logic for dispatching
request to the next view based on the request
• It is easier to maintain and extend as views do
not refer to each other directly
Cont…

• Model II controller servlet provides a single


point of control for security and logging
• Model II is recommended for most web
applications
Struts

The Framework
Contents

• What is Struts?
• Why Struts?
• Struts architecture
What is Struts?

• Struts is an open source Web Application


Framework
• It is developed as Apache Jakarta Project
• http://jakarta.apache.org/struts/
Cont… (Technical standpoint)

• It’s a framework based on MVC design


pattern
• It is used for developing Servlet/JSP based
web applications
• It is pattern oriented, leverages J2EE design
patterns
• It has its own Custom Tag libraries
• It has support for utility classes too
Struts lets developer…

• Design their JSP/Servlet web applications


have a MVC touch
• Utilise ready-to-use objects through
configuration files
• Leverage extra features such as form
validation, internationalization
Why Struts?

• Easy to use, Feature rich, stable and mature


framework
• Takes much of the complexity out of building
you own MVC framework
• Encourages good design practice and
modeling
• Flexible and Extensible
• Fits well with J2EE specifications
• Good Tag library support
• More modular: makes long term maintenance
easier
Above all

• Being an Open Source project helps Struts’


adoption
Struts Architecture

Event Dispatch Business


Controller
Logic
Http Servlet
Action
Request

Forward struts-
config.xml

Update Get Model


View
Application
Http JSP <Tag> State
Response
Cont…

• The controller parses a configuration file and


uses it to deploy other control layer objects
• The Struts Configuration defines the Action
Mappings
• The controller servlet consults the Action
Mapping to route request
• Request may be forwarded to JSP or Action
classes provided by developer
• Often it is first forwarded to an Action and
then to JSP
Cont…

• The Action object can handle the request and


respond to the client
• It sometimes indicates that control should be
forwarded elsewhere
• Action objects have access to the application’s
controller servlet
• An Action object can indirectly forward one
or more shared object including Java Beans
Struts Components

• Major components of Struts


 Servlet - Controller
 JSP - View
 BL in any form whichever suits the application -
Model
• Struts is focused on Controller
 Struts framework has a concrete set of
programming API’s for Controller functions
 Struts is Model and View independent
Mapping in Struts

• Configuration file contains action mappings


• It determines forwarding/navigation
• Controller uses mapping to turn HTTP
requests into application actions
• Mapping must specify
 A request path
 Action to act upon the request
Controller
Contents

• What does controller do?


• The Controller components
• Controller in Struts framework
• Controller components in Struts
What does controller do?

• It is the Switch board of MVC architecture


• It is focused on receiving request from the
client
• It is responsible for deciding what business
logic function is to be performed
• It reads configuration file to determine the
flow control
• It delegates responsibility for producing next
phase of the user interface
Controller in Struts

• Struts framework provides a base servlet


 org.apache.struts.action.ActionServlet
 Servlet mapping has to be configured in web.xml
• Configuration done through
struts-config.xml
 Action mapping defines request URI of incoming
request and specifies Action class
 Defines application modules
What we do?

• Write an Action class


 It is an extension of the Action class
 For every request that is received
 Override execute() method
• Write the action mapping file
 A configuration file in XML
 Used to configure the controller servlet
• Update web application descriptor
 For adding necessary Struts components in
application
Controller Components

• ActionServlet
• RequestProcessor
• Action
• ActionMapping
Thank You

Zubair Shaikh
imzubair@gmail.com
Presentation Version 1.0