Struts 1 vs Struts 2

By: jcarreira, adrian deccico  

If you have worked with Java then choosing versions should not come to you as a surprise. One might wonder how the JDKs have evolved over the years and how every application that was built using a particular version of JDK would be obsolete by the time the application was fully deployed.

Any application you use will always have versions and with each version increase the features and advantages of the newer version should by right increase too. Struts is not an exception. When struts was initially released the struts 1 was quite popular for quite some time. The current release Struts 2 has many differences from the struts 1. This article describes the differences between struts 1 and struts and offers a comparison chart between them.



Feature Struts 1 Struts 2
Action classes Struts 1 requires Action classes to extend an abstract base class. A common problem in Struts 1 is programming to abstract classes instead of interfaces. An Struts 2 Action may implement an Action interface, along with other interfaces to enable optional and custom services. Struts 2 provides a base ActionSupport class to implement commonly used interfaces. Albeit, the Action interface is not required. Any POJO object with a execute signature can be used as an Struts 2 Action object.
Threading Model Struts 1 Actions are singletons and must be thread-safe since there will only be one instance of a class to handle all requests for that Action. The singleton strategy places restrictions on what can be done with Struts 1 Actions and requires extra care to develop. Action resources must be thread-safe or synchronized. Struts 2 Action objects are instantiated for each request, so there are no thread-safety issues. (In practice, servlet containers generate many throw-away objects per request, and one more object does not impose a performance penalty or impact garbage collection.)
Servlet Dependency Struts 1 Actions have dependencies on the servlet API since the HttpServletRequest and HttpServletResponse is passed to the execute method when an Action is invoked. Struts 2 Actions are not coupled to a container. Most often the servlet contexts are represented as simple Maps, allowing Actions to be tested in isolation. Struts 2 Actions can still access the original request and response, if required. However, other architectural elements reduce or eliminate the need to access the HttpServetRequest or HttpServletResponse directly.
Testability A major hurdle to testing Struts 1 Actions is that the execute method exposes the Servlet API. A third-party extension, Struts TestCase, offers a set of mock object for Struts 1. Struts 2 Actions can be tested by instantiating the Action, setting properties, and invoking methods. Dependency Injection support also makes testing simpler.
Harvesting Input Struts 1 uses an ActionForm object to capture input. Like Actions, all ActionForms must extend a base class. Since  other JavaBeans cannot be used as ActionForms, developers often create redundant classes to capture input. DynaBeans can used as an alternative to creating conventional ActionForm classes, but, here too, developers may be redescribing existing JavaBeans.
Struts 2 uses Action properties as input properties, eliminating the need for a second input object. Input properties may be rich object types which may have their own properties. The Action properties can be accessed from the web page via the taglibs. Struts 2 also supports the ActionForm pattern, as well as POJO form objects and POJO Actions. Rich object types, including business or domain objects, can be used as input/output objects. The ModelDriven feature simplifies taglb references to POJO input objects.
Expression Language Struts 1 integrates with JSTL, so it uses the JSTL EL. The EL has basic object graph traversal, but relatively weak collection and indexed property support. Struts 2 can use JSTL, but the framework also supports a more powerful and flexible expression language called "Object Graph Notation Language" (OGNL).
Binding values into views Struts 1 uses the standard JSP mechanism for binding objects into the page context for access. Struts 2 uses a "ValueStack" technology so that the taglibs can access values without coupling your view to the object type it is rendering. The ValueStack strategy allows reuse of views across a range of types which may have the same property name but different property types.
Type Conversion Struts 1 ActionForm properties are usually all Strings. Struts 1 uses Commons-Beanutils for type conversion. Converters are per-class, and not configurable per instance. Struts 2 uses OGNL for type conversion. The framework includes converters for basic and common object types and primitives.
Validation Struts 1 supports manual validation via a validate method on the ActionForm, or through an extension to the Commons Validator. Classes can have different validation contexts for the same class, but cannot chain to validations on sub-objects. Struts 2 supports manual validation via the validate method and the XWork Validation framework. The Xwork Validation Framework supports chaining validation into sub-properties using the validations defined for the properties class type and the validation context.
Control Of Action Execution Struts 1 supports separate Request Processors (lifecycles) for each module, but all the Actions in the module must share the same lifecycle. Struts 2 supports creating different lifecycles on a per Action basis via Interceptor Stacks. Custom stacks can be created and used with different Actions, as needed.

Archived Comments

1. Superb article
View Tutorial          By: Raj at 2015-01-29 11:18:22

2. Hi , it was nice tutorial to understand the difference between struts1 and struts2, can you please s
View Tutorial          By: jagan at 2014-06-05 05:13:59

3. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or som
View Tutorial          By: Smithk654 at 2014-06-03 14:22:36

4. This article helped me a lot to learn struts 2 and the differences between struts 1 and 2.

View Tutorial          By: Shiv Prakash at 2012-12-07 07:37:35

5. nice article...........................
View Tutorial          By: abhijit at 2012-09-24 11:12:46

6. This article is help full for i will start to use struts 2

View Tutorial          By: shobha B at 2012-08-31 06:23:31

7. OGNL is not Object Graphic Notational Language rather it is Object Graph Navigation Language
View Tutorial          By: siva at 2012-04-24 08:43:59

8. This article is clearly showing the beauty of the struts-2 framework

Thank you.

View Tutorial          By: ashok at 2012-02-25 12:51:01

9. Thanks for the useful tutorials abt strtus 1 vs Struts2
View Tutorial          By: Sudharsan at 2011-12-03 11:54:58

10. Can any one help me writing the code...
In struts2... i want to validate username and passwor

View Tutorial          By: Prajwal at 2011-11-08 10:19:58

11. super article for freshers and good
View Tutorial          By: santhosh at 2011-11-03 14:32:44

12. it was nice article.... and it gives the basic as well as detail clear cut idea about the Struts....
View Tutorial          By: Hemen at 2011-09-27 11:05:55

13. It's simply nice.
View Tutorial          By: ghani at 2011-07-01 07:18:35

14. The same article is originally given on struts apache website.

Here is the link

View Tutorial          By: Fact at 2011-05-09 16:19:18

15. yes , this article is good & very help ful to the beginners.
View Tutorial          By: Laxmipriya at 2011-05-02 02:36:36

16. Excellent Article.
View Tutorial          By: Praveen Kumar S at 2011-03-24 23:14:44

17. good article
View Tutorial          By: Avinash Paul at 2011-02-10 09:39:28

18. I will definitely use Struts 2 from now on.
View Tutorial          By: GustoAds at 2011-02-08 23:18:49

19. I think it is the best article for freshers.thanks for giving this article...
View Tutorial          By: srikanth at 2010-11-01 23:27:53

20. what about memory in case of struts 2 at a time number of users are access the application
View Tutorial          By: lakku at 2010-08-13 06:24:02

21. nice article, can have lots of clearance in struts 1 and struts 2. .
View Tutorial          By: Konan at 2010-07-30 03:27:32

22. Informative article
View Tutorial          By: Kishore Ande at 2010-07-15 22:14:24

23. it,s very helpful to each and every devolepper in the s/w organisation,i hope that.
View Tutorial          By: prasad at 2010-07-05 00:37:35

24. yesh this is very help full for every body.
View Tutorial          By: venkat at 2010-06-29 12:18:57

25. yiu
View Tutorial          By: yu at 2010-06-13 22:58:17

26. Awesome article...
View Tutorial          By: Jiten TAluja at 2010-06-03 06:33:10

27. I am quite new to Struts and this article, quite clearly, helped me understand the differences betwe
View Tutorial          By: Jenghiz at 2010-01-27 23:19:48

28. Excelent article, I will start to use struts 2 now! Thanks.
View Tutorial          By: Alex at 2010-01-20 16:13:34

29. Nice article, which gives an introduction for the deferences between struts 1 & struts 2.
View Tutorial          By: Sreejith at 2008-10-28 22:58:43

30. Good site.

Visit this too

View Tutorial          By: sourabh at 2008-05-06 07:09:17

31. Hi,

Just wonder if there is a way to get value from request.getServletPath() and put

View Tutorial          By: Bank at 2007-12-18 04:30:26

Most Viewed Articles (in Struts )

Latest Articles (in Struts)

Comment on this tutorial