Friday, 24 April 2009

Configuring JDeveloper 11g to use Struts 2

I was recently asked how to setup JDeveloper 11g web projects to use Struts 2 here is what I did to get this working. Keep in mind JDeveloper has design time support for Struts 1.x but not Struts 2 so this is a manual process.

1. Start Jdeveloper 11g
2. Select File | New | General | Applications | Generic Application
3. Name the application "Struts2Demo" and click next
4. Name the project "Demo" and press finish

Now at this point we want to add a simple JSP page to the project so
we end up with a web project , we will need to configure this to use
struts2 manually which we will do soon.

5. Right click on the project and select "New | Web Tier | JSP"
6. call the JSP "sayhello.jsp" and append "\pages" to the end of
the directory path so it creates the JSP in a sub directory called

At this point you will need to download the Struts libraries. At a minimum,
you will need to put the following in your WEB-INF/lib directory of your
JDeveloper project:

* struts2-core.jar (The framework itself)
* xwork.jar (Struts 2 is built on the XWork 2 framework)
* ognl.jar (Object Graph Notation Language is used throughout the framework)
* freemarker.jar (Freemarker is used to create UI tag templates in Struts 2)
* commons-logging.jar (Used to log to log4j or JDK logging)

Download struts2 from here. I am using 2.1.6 here.

7. Refresh the navigator to ensure your project shows the WEB-INF\lib folder
and the required struts2 libraries.
8. Double click on the project to invoke project properties dialog and
select "Libraries\Classpath"
9. Add the 5 jars files to the project and press OK. You could create
a single library and add the 5 JAR files to that library if you like.

Now we are ready to configure our project to use struts2.

10. Open up the web.xml and add the following entries

<?xml version = '1.0' encoding = 'windows-1252'?>
<web-app xmlns:xsi=""
<description>Empty web.xml file for Web Application</description>

11. Create a java class as follows

package demo.struts2.action;

import com.opensymphony.xwork2.ActionSupport;

public class ExampleAction extends ActionSupport
private String message;

public String execute() throws Exception
this.message = "Hello from Struts 2";
return SUCCESS;

public void setMessage(String message)
this.message = message;

public String getMessage()
return message;

12. Struts places its configuration in a struts.xml file. Create the file
at the root of your source folder for the project as follow. We’ll need
to add our new action to the struts.xml file.

<!DOCTYPE struts PUBLIC "-//Apache Software Foundation//DTD Struts Configuration 2.0//EN" "">

<!-- Configuration for the default package. -->
<package name="default" extends="struts-default">
<action name="ExampleAction" class="demo.struts2.action.ExampleAction">
<result name="success">/pages/sayhello.jsp</result>

13. Finally ensure the "sayhello.jsp" looks as follows

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"
<%@ page contentType="text/html;charset=windows-1252"%>
<%@ taglib uri="/struts-tags" prefix="s"%>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=windows-1252"/>
<h2><s:property value="message" /></h2>

Now we need to add the Struts2 tag library to our project.

14. Double click on the project to invoke the project properties and
select "JSP Tag Libraries"
15. Click the "Add" button
16. Select "Project" and then press the "New" button
17. Navigate to "public_html\WEB-INF\lib\struts2-core.jar" and
press 'Open"
18. Verify it finds "Struts tage 2.2.3".
19. Press OK
20. Again double click on the project to invoke the project properties
and select "Java EE Application" and set the context root to "struts2demo"
and press Ok
21. Select File | save All
22. Select Build | Demo.jpr to ensure it compiles fine.
23. Navigate to the default domain directory LIB folder of the integrated server
and add the 5 JAR files we need for struts 2

eg: D:\jdev11g-boxer\jdeveloper\jdev\system11.\DefaultDomain\lib


Now JDeveloper doesn't provide support for running struts2 applications so you
will need to create some sort of index.jsp page which will redirect to our action
we created. Here we will just run the JSP and then alter the URL to invoke
your action so that the view page will render correctly.

23. Right click on "sayhello.jsp" and select "Run" to start the Integrated

You will notice it displays nothing , that is due to the fact we have not
run the actual action which we do by altering the URL as follows

Note: I am not 100% sure why I need to add the struts2 JAR files to
the defualt domain LIB folder of my WLS server as I would expect it to find
those files in the WEB-INF\lib directory of the application which is how
struts1 works and I believe how struts2 should work. I even went back
to JDeveloper 10.1.3 and found that indeed it works there without
having to manilpulate it's classpath which proves the files in WEB-INF\lib
of the application is all that is needed.

Not sure why WLS doesn't work that way?


lidiot said...

Fantastic works a treat and a real boon to be able to use Struts 2 in Jdev Struts 1 is begining to look very old hat so this is just the job.

Thanks Again.

Vijay said...

IN which version of JDeveloper you explained is it works fine for JDeveloper 10.1.3.X also

Pas Apicella said...

I tested this with 10.1.3.x and JDeveloper 11g and yes as you stated it works in 10.1.3.x as well.

To be honest having DT support in JDeveloper for Struts 2 itself would be a lot more useful.

Anonymous said...

hi, new to the site, thanks.

Mauricio said...

I'm new in Struts and I'll give it a try on your example. Thanks