By: Vilyams Emailed: 1745 times Printed: 2434 times
What is Struts?
Apache Struts is a free open-source framework for creating Java web applications.
Web applications differ from conventional websites in that web applications can create a dynamic response. Many websites deliver only static pages. A web application can interact with databases and business logic engines to customize a response.
Web applications based on JavaServer Pages sometimes commingle database code, page design code, and control flow code. In practice, we find that unless these concerns are separated, larger applications become difficult to maintain.
One way to separate concerns in a software application is to use a Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture. The Model represents the business or database code, the View represents the page design code, and the Controller represents the navigational code. The Struts framework is designed to help developers create web applications that utilize a MVC architecture.
The framework provides three key components:
- A "request" handler provided by the application developer that is mapped to a standard URI.
- A "response" handler that transfers control to another resource which completes the response.
- A tag library that helps developers create interactive form-based applications with server pages.
Which version of Struts to use?
A beta release of Struts 2 is now available, and a stable release is anticipated by the end of the year. In the meantime, the prudent course would be to start new projects with WebWork 2.2, at least until there is a stable release of Struts 2.0.
WebWork 2 is going to be supported for some time to come, just as Struts 1 will be supported. Both products have a robust user community, and many of us have mature projects in production that will never be migrated to a new major release.
Is Struts 1 obsolete?
There is a robust and vibrant community of developers using Struts 1 in production, and we expect that thousands of teams will continue to base new projects on Struts 1, and continue to support existing projects, for many, many years to come.
New and improved extensions for Struts 1 continue to appear regularly. In 2006 alone, we've seen releases of Hoople, Strecks, JSP Control Tags, Sprout, Spring Web Flow, DWR, Calyxo, FormDef, and Java Web Parts. There are dozens of books and hundreds of articles available to help people get started with Struts 1 or improve the application they already have.
Since the merger, Struts 1 has gone on to release a new minor version, Struts 1.3, and new 1.x releases are being planned. Struts 1 continues to be the most popular and best supported web application framework for Java.
Of course, if you are starting a new project, and have your choice of frameworks, this might be a good time to consider whether you would like to continue to use Struts 1 or whether it's time to try Struts 2.
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