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Struts 2 in Action [Paperback]

by Don Brown, Chad Michael Davis, Scott Stanlick
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 1, 2008 193398807X 978-1933988078 1

The original Struts project revolutionized Java web development and its rapid adoption resulted in the thousands of Struts-based applications deployed worldwide. Keeping pace with new ideas and trends, Apache Struts 2 has emerged as the product of a merger between the Apache Struts and OpenSymphony WebWork projects, united in their goal to develop an easy-to-use yet feature-rich framework. Struts 2 represents a revolution in design and ease of use when compared to classic Struts. It adds exciting and powerful features such as a plugin framework, JavaServer Faces integration, and XML-free configuration.

Struts 2 In Action introduces the Apache Struts 2 web application framework and shows you how to quickly develop professional, production-ready modern web applications. Written by Don Brown, one of the leading developers of Struts 2, Chad Davis, a passionate Struts 2 developer, along with Scott Stanlick, this book gently walks you through the key features of Struts 2 in example-driven, easy-to-digest sections.

Struts 2 in Action delivers accurate, seasoned information that can immediately be put to work. This book is designed for working Java web developers-especially those with some background in Struts 1 or WebWork. The core content, covering key framework components such as Actions, Results, and Interceptors, includes new features like the annotation-based configuration options. You'll find chapters on Struts 2 plugins, FreeMarker, and migration from Struts 1 and WebWork 2. Finally, new topics such as the Ajax tags, Spring Framework integration, and configuration by convention give familiar subjects new depth.

Purchase of the print book comes with an offer of a free PDF, ePub, and Kindle eBook from Manning. Also available is all code from the book.


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Don Brown is the Technical Lead for Hosted Services at Atlassian Software Systems, with a background in the commercial and US Department of Defense sectors. He is a member of the Apache Software Foundation, and has been a Struts committer since 2003. He is also a committer on several Apache Commons projects and a frequent speaker at JavaOne, ApacheCon, and Java user groups.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Manning Publications; 1 edition (May 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193398807X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933988078
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,196 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had to learn Struts2 quickly since I recently changed jobs and my new team has several web application projects built using Struts2.

Overall, I thought the book was done very well if you are looking for a good introduction to Struts2. The first 8 chapters are very good.

The main negative is the source code for the book's examples. The authors provide one very large war file with all the source code embedded into the war file along with an overall web application divided into sub-applications for each chapter.

This packaging of the source code into the war file made it difficult for me to create individual projects in my development IDE that demonstrated just the material in a specific chapter. I had to spend quite a bit of time breaking down the source code into individual web projects and then figuring out on my own what jars needed to go into each project, what the struts.xml file needed to have, and what ever else was necessary to separate out just that chapter's sub-application so I could run that example and play with it.

Where this really became a problem was in chapters 9 and 10. Chapter 9 is a very advanced introduction to integrating Spring and Hibernate/JPA into Struts2. I never could get this chapter's example to work correctly.

However, chapter 10 on the validation framework then uses the same code as chapter 9, so you really cannot separate out the code for either chapter 9 and 10.

The validation framework is likely something even beginning Struts2 developers will want to use, while Spring/JPA/Hibernate is for more advanced developers and should have been well after the chapter on how to use the validation framework.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great starter book for Struts 2 May 16, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I took a chance and pre-ordered this book because I have recently started a Struts2 project and wanted to learn more about the framework. The book did not disappoint.

The authors explained the concepts behind the framework clearly and used examples that were immediately useful. The book is a little too short and in many cases a few more details would have been appreciated but it seemed to be a deliberate decision to leave out some of the less common use cases to avoid cluttering up the book. Thus, this book is ideal if you are new to Struts 2 but have some prior experience with Java web development.

I like the fact that an entire chapter was dedicated to integrating Spring and Hibernate into the framework. It brings all the bits and pieces from the online documentation together in a cohesive and comprehensive package.

Chapters were also dedicated to validation, internationalization, best practices and migration from Struts classic. The authors spent several chapters on how the Value Stack and the ActionContext worked and how OGNL fits into this framework.

All in all there is enough information in this book to start and to produce a complete Struts 2 application.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ponderous read June 11, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
First, this book is outdated already. It covers Struts 2.0, and if you use 2.1 (which you should) you will have problems. This is particularly acute because 2.1 uses a lot of newer convention-based mapping to actions, and a lot of the techniques described in the book are now deprecated.

However, this biggest problem with the book is that it's a ponderous read. The author spends countless pages discussing the minutiae of OGNL and type converters ... way more than a beginner needs to know. However, more critical topics like the Struts2 JSP tags are barely covered until Chapter 6. Other important topics like session management are barely covered at all. This book needs a lot of editing and reorganization before it will be useful for most beginners.

Nevertheless, there is some useful information here for those with the patience to dig for it. I thought the discussion of interceptors was very solid. However, much of this doesn't justify the price of the book. I recommend just downloading the Starting Struts 2 docs from the Apache Struts2 website, and working through it. You'll learn a lot quicker through their "bootstrap" tutorial than you will here.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing... September 27, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I agree with many of the comments about this being kind of a long winded book, but that's far from it's biggest failing. In spite of what feels like a barrage of numbing verbage at times, the authors still manage to leave out what I consider to be key info for a text like this. A little better editing and a little more economy of language would have a allowed missed points to be covered without expanding the book.

A good example of this in chapter two, where the authors totally whiff on container setup, which is absolutely critical to continue with the book. They spend nearly an entire page explaining that you need a servlet container, but that they're not going to help you with that because "the benefits gained from learning to install a servlet container far outway any short-term gains to be had from any container-specific quick start we might try to provide."

Bull****. The last thing anybody should have to do while they're trying to get through this book is take a detour to figure the whole servlet container thing. This is not a trivial task to wander off and learn on your own with absolutely no guidance. It can be done, but it's not fast or easy and like I said, it's not a detour you want to have to take just to able to get through the book. If I didn't already know how to set up a servlet container, I would have sent the book back for a refund, and I bet this is a major reason for countless readers never finishing it. There are dozens of tutorials, guides, and FAQs on the web that document exactly how to do this in very nearly the same amount of space the authors used for their excuse for not helping. If they really don't want to provide instructions themselves (whether out of ingorance or apathy), they could just point to one of these websites.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Struts 2 in Action - Very useful
I liked the book very much and its very useful for anyone who is a developer. Its easy to understand as well.
Published 17 hours ago by Karthik
1.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't make sense
Here's a few points about this book and why doesn't make sense:

1) This book is not for beginners. Read more
Published 2 months ago by rJbueno
4.0 out of 5 stars good and detailed
There are many good and bad reviews here. I thought the book was very readable and fairly well written. It may be too heavy for beginners, though. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Lund Wolfe
5.0 out of 5 stars review for struts 2 in action
The criticism about the long read and the exhaustive use of words is correct - but such aspects can be taken in either a positive or negative viewpoint. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Just another guy in IT
5.0 out of 5 stars Good source of information
The book is good. It is one of few books about Java, that gives you ideas and broad prospective and is pleasure to read, not simply a verbose specification. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Dimitri K
3.0 out of 5 stars Helpful guide to Struts 2, but overly verbose
Struts 2 is a pretty simple action framework and anyone that's used Struts 1.x will have no problem getting up to speed with it. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Computer Guru
3.0 out of 5 stars Another poorly written book of the "In Action" Series
This is another poorly written book of the In Action series. The whole book could have been written in 100-150 pages with better content. Read more
Published on June 27, 2011 by James Taylor
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Suitable for Students
I have read some of the other reviews for this book which have high ratings. All I can say is they must be by very experienced Java programmers with years of experience working... Read more
Published on April 29, 2011 by javaStudent
4.0 out of 5 stars Read it for the tutorial, keep it for the reference
At work, I kinda inherited a Struts 2 application that was having some problems, and needed to come up to speed on the technology quickly. Read more
Published on January 27, 2011 by Gregory Cohoon
5.0 out of 5 stars No EJB integration is a oversight
The book actually is very good for getting to know Struts 2. Which is why I gave it 5 stars. I found it interesting that this book had no reference at all to EJB 3.0 integration. Read more
Published on December 12, 2010 by Garth C. Schneider
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How popular is Struts ?
That's a really hard question. I have been trying to find that same answer, and have reached the conclusion that you will not go too far wrong in using any of these. They all seem to have large user communities. I don't think I'd use JSF though - I've heard it's fairly difficult to use. FWIW, I... Read more
Jul 31, 2008 by Gary Bisaga |  See all 2 posts
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