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Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Struts Interview Questions

Struts Interview Questions
1.What is MVC?
Model-View-Controller (MVC) is a design pattern put together to help control change. MVC decouples interface from business logic and data.
  • Model :The model contains the core of the application's functionality. The model encapsulates the state of the application. Sometimes the only functionality it contains is state. It knows nothing about the view or controller.
  • View:The view provides the presentation of the model. It is the look of the application. The view can access the model getters, but it has no knowledge of the setters. In addition, it knows nothing about the controller. The view should be notified when changes to the model occur.
  • Controller:The controller reacts to the user input. It creates and sets the model.

Model-View-Controller (MVC) Architecture


A design pattern describes a proven solution to a recurring design problem, placing particular emphasis on the context and forces surrounding the problem, and the consequences and impact of the solution.
There are many good reasons to use design patterns. Here are three:
  • They are proven. You tap the experience, knowledge and insights of developers who have used these patterns successfully in their own work.
  • They are reusable. When a problem recurs, you don't have to invent a new solution; you follow the pattern and adapt it as necessary.
  • They are expressive. Design patterns provide a common vocabulary of solutions, which you can use to express larger solutions succinctly.

It is important remember, however, that design patterns do not guarantee success. You can only determine whether a pattern is applicable by carefully reading its description, and only after you've applied it in your own work can you determine whether it has helped any. One of these patters is Model-View-Controller (MVC). Smalltalk defined it in the 70's. Since that time, the MVC design idiom has become commonplace, especially in object-oriented systems.

MVC Architecture

The goal of the MVC design pattern is to separate the application object (model) from the way it is represented to the user (view) from the way in which the user controls it (controller).

The Model object knows about all the data that need to be displayed. It also knows about all the operations that can be applied to transform that object. However, it knows nothing whatever about the GUI, the manner in which the data are to be displayed, nor the GUI actions that are used to manipulate the data. The data are accessed and manipulated through methods that are independent of the GUI. The model represents enterprise data and the business rules that govern access to and updates of this data. Often the model serves as a software approximation to a real-world process, so simple real-world modeling techniques apply when defining the model.
The View object refers to the model. It uses the query methods of the model to obtain data from the model and then displays the information. A view renders the contents of a model. It accesses enterprise data through the model and specifies how that data should be presented. It is the view's responsibility to maintain consistency in its presentation when the model changes.
The Controller object knows about the physical means by which users manipulate data within the model. A controller translates interactions with the view into actions to be performed by the model. In a stand-alone GUI client, user interactions could be button clicks or menu selections, whereas in a Web application, they appear as GET and POST HTTP requests. The actions performed by the model include activating business processes or changing the state of the model. Based on the user interactions and the outcome of the model actions, the controller responds by selecting an appropriate view.
In GUIs, views and controllers often work very closely together. For example, a controller is responsible for updating a particular parameter in the model that is then displayed by a view. In some cases a single object may function as both a controller and a view. Each controller-view pair is associated with only one model, however a particular model can have many view-controller pairs.


The MVC architecture has the following benefits:
  • Multiple views using the same model: The separation of model and view allows multiple views to use the same enterprise model. Consequently, an enterprise application's model components are easier to implement, test, and maintain, since all access to the model goes through these components.
  • Easier support for new types of clients: To support a new type of client, you simply write a view and controller for it and wire them into the existing enterprise model.
  • Clarity of design: By glancing at the model's public method list, it should be easy to understand how to control the model's behavior. When designing the application, this trait makes the entire program easier to implement and maintain.
  • Efficient modularity: of the design allows any of the components to be swapped in and out as the user or programmer desires - even the model! Changes to one aspect of the program aren't coupled to other aspects, eliminating many nasty debugging situations. Also, development of the various components can progress in parallel, once the interface between the components is clearly defined.
  • Ease of growth: Controllers and views can grow as the model grows; and older versions of the views and controllers can still be used as long as a common interface is maintained.
  • Distributable: With a couple of proxies one can easily distribute any MVC application by only altering the startup method of the application.

2.What is a framework?
A framework is made up of the set of classes which allow us to use a library in a best possible way for a specific requirement.
3.What is Struts framework?
Struts framework is an open-source framework for developing the web applications in Java EE, based on MVC-2 architecture. It uses and extends the Java Servlet API. Struts is robust architecture and can be used for the development of application of any size. Struts framework makes it much easier to design scalable, reliable Web applications with Java.
4.What are the components of Struts?
Struts components can be categorize into Model, View and Controller:
  • Model:Components like business logic /business processes and data are the part of model.
  • View:HTML, JSP are the view components.
  • Controller:Action Servlet of Struts is part of Controller components which works as front controller to handle all the requests.
5.What are the core classes of the Struts Framework?
Struts is a set of cooperating classes, servlets, and JSP tags that make up a reusable MVC 2 design.
  • JavaBeans components for managing application state and behavior.
  • Event-driven development (via listeners as in traditional GUI development).
  • Pages that represent MVC-style views; pages reference view roots via the JSF component tree.
6.What is ActionServlet?
ActionServlet is a simple servlet which is the backbone of all Struts applications. It is the main Controller component that handles client requests and determines which Action will process each received request. It serves as an Action factory – creating specific Action classes based on user’s request.

7.What is role of ActionServlet?
ActionServlet performs the role of Controller:
  • Process user requests
  • Determine what the user is trying to achieve according to the request
  • Pull data from the model (if necessary) to be given to the appropriate view,
  • Select the proper view to respond to the user
  • Delegates most of this grunt work to Action classes
  • Is responsible for initialization and clean-up of resources

8.What is the ActionForm?
ActionForm is javabean which represents the form inputs containing the request parameters from the View referencing the Action bean.

9.What are the important methods of ActionForm?
The important methods of ActionForm are : validate() & reset().

10.Describe validate() and reset() methods ?
validate(): Used to validate properties after they have been populated; Called before FormBean is handed to Action. Returns a collection of ActionErroras ActionErrors. Following is the method signature for the validate() method.

public ActionErrors validate(ActionMapping mapping,HttpServletRequest request)

reset():reset() method is called by Struts Framework with each request that uses the defined ActionForm. The purpose of this method is to reset all of the ActionForm's data members prior to the new request values being set.
public void reset() {}

11.What is ActionMapping?
Action mapping contains all the deployment information for a particular Action bean. This class is to determine where the results of the Action will be sent once its processing is complete.

12.How is the Action Mapping specified ?
We can specify the action mapping in the configuration file calledstruts-config.xml. Struts framework createsActionMappingobject from <ActionMapping> configuration element ofstruts-config.xml file

 <action path="/submit"
  <forward name="success" path="/success.jsp"/>
  <forward name="failure" path="/error.jsp"/>

13.What is role of Action Class?
An Action Class performs a role of an adapter between the contents of an incoming HTTP request and the corresponding business logic that should be executed to process this request.

14.In which method of Action class the business logic is executed ?
In the execute() method of Action class the business logic is executed.

public ActionForward execute( 
            ActionMapping mapping,
            ActionForm form, 
            HttpServletRequest request,
            HttpServletResponse response)
            throws Exception ;

execute() method of Action class:
  • Perform the processing required to deal with this request
  • Update the server-side objects (Scope variables) that will be used to create the next page of the user interface
  • Return an appropriate ActionForward object

15.What design patterns are used in Struts?
Struts is based on model 2 MVC (Model-View-Controller) architecture. Struts controller uses the command design pattern and the action classes use the adapter design pattern. Theprocess() method of the RequestProcessor uses the template method design pattern. Struts also implement the following J2EE design patterns.
  • Service to Worker
  • Dispatcher View
  • Composite View (Struts Tiles)
  • Front Controller
  • View Helper
  • Synchronizer Token

16.Can we have more than one struts-config.xml file for a single Struts application?
Yes, we can have more than one struts-config.xml for a single Struts application. They can be configured as follows:


17.What is the directory structure of Struts application?
The directory structure of Struts application :

18.What is the difference between session scope and request scope when saving formbean ?
when the scope is request,the values of formbean would be available for the current request.
when the scope is session,the values of formbean would be available throughout the session.
19.What are the important tags of struts-config.xml ?
The five important sections are:

20.What are the different kinds of actions in Struts?
The different kinds of actions in Struts are:
  • ForwardAction
  • IncludeAction
  • DispatchAction
  • LookupDispatchAction
  • SwitchAction
21.What is DispatchAction?
The DispatchAction class is used to group related actions into one class. Using this class, you can have a method for each logical action compared than a single execute method. The DispatchAction dispatches to one of the logical actions represented by the methods. It picks a method to invoke based on an incoming request parameter. The value of the incoming parameter is the name of the method that the DispatchAction will invoke.

22.How to use DispatchAction?
To use the DispatchAction, follow these steps :
  • Create a class that extends DispatchAction (instead of Action)
  • In a new class, add a method for every function you need to perform on the service – The method has the same signature as theexecute() method of an Action class.
  • Do not override execute() method – Because DispatchAction class itself provides execute() method.
  • Add an entry to struts-config.xml

23.What is the use of ForwardAction?
The ForwardAction class is useful when you’re trying to integrate Struts into an existing application that uses Servlets to perform business logic functions. You can use this class to take advantage of the Struts controller and its functionality, without having to rewrite the existing Servlets. Use ForwardAction to forward a request to another resource in your application, such as a Servlet that already does business logic processing or even another JSP page. By using this predefined action, you don’t have to write your own Action class. You just have to set up the struts-config file properly to use ForwardAction.

24.What is IncludeAction?
The IncludeAction class is useful when you want to integrate Struts into an application that uses Servlets. Use the IncludeAction class to include another resource in the response to the request being processed.

25.What is the difference between ForwardAction and IncludeAction?
The difference is that you need to use the IncludeAction only if the action is going to be included by another action or jsp. UseForwardAction to forward a request to another resource in your application, such as a Servlet that already does business logic processing or even another JSP page.

26.What is LookupDispatchAction?
The LookupDispatchAction is a subclass of DispatchAction. It does a reverse lookup on the resource bundle to get the key and then gets the method whose name is associated with the key into the Resource Bundle.

27.What is the use of LookupDispatchAction?
LookupDispatchAction is useful if the method name in the Action is not driven by its name in the front end, but by the Locale independent key into the resource bundle. Since the key is always the same, the LookupDispatchAction shields your application from the side effects of I18N.

28.What is difference between LookupDispatchAction and DispatchAction?
The difference between LookupDispatchAction and DispatchAction is that the actual method that gets called in LookupDispatchAction is based on a lookup of a key value instead of specifying the method name directly.

29.What is SwitchAction?
The SwitchAction class provides a means to switch from a resource in one module to another resource in a different module. SwitchAction is useful only if you have multiple modules in your Struts application. The SwitchAction class can be used as is, without extending.

30.What if <action> element has <forward> declaration with same name as global forward?
In this case the global forward is not used. Instead the <action> element’s <forward> takes precendence.

31.What is DynaActionForm?
A specialized subclass of ActionForm that allows the creation of form beans with dynamic sets of properties (configured in configuration file), without requiring the developer to create a Java class for each type of form bean.

32.What are the steps need to use DynaActionForm?
Using a DynaActionForm instead of a custom subclass of ActionForm is relatively straightforward. You need to make changes in two places:
  • In struts-config.xml: change your <form-bean> to be an org.apache.struts.action.DynaActionForm instead of some subclass ofActionForm
<form-bean name="loginForm"type="org.apache.struts.action.DynaActionForm" >
    <form-property name="userName" type="java.lang.String"/>
    <form-property name="password" type="java.lang.String" />

  • In your Action subclass that uses your form bean:
    • import org.apache.struts.action.DynaActionForm
    • downcast the ActionForm parameter in execute() to a DynaActionForm
    • access the form fields with get(field) rather than getField()

import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletRequest;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletResponse;
import org.apache.struts.action.Action;
import org.apache.struts.action.ActionForm;
import org.apache.struts.action.ActionForward;
import org.apache.struts.action.ActionMapping;
import org.apache.struts.action.ActionMessage;
import org.apache.struts.action.ActionMessages;
import org.apache.struts.action.DynaActionForm;
public class DynaActionFormExample extends Action {
 public ActionForward execute(ActionMapping mapping, ActionForm form,
   HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response)
            throws Exception {             
  DynaActionForm loginForm = (DynaActionForm) form;
                ActionMessages errors = new ActionMessages();        
        if (((String) loginForm.get("userName")).equals("")) {
            errors.add("userName", new ActionMessage(
        if (((String) loginForm.get("password")).equals("")) {
            errors.add("password", new ActionMessage(

33.How to display validation errors on jsp page?
<html:errors/> tag displays all the errors. <html:errors/> iterates over ActionErrors request attribute.

34.What are the various Struts tag libraries?
The various Struts tag libraries are:
  • HTML Tags
  • Bean Tags
  • Logic Tags
  • Template Tags
  • Nested Tags
  • Tiles Tags
35.What is the use of <logic:iterate>?
<logic:iterate> repeats the nested body content of this tag over a specified collection.

<table border=1>  
  <logic:iterate id="customer" name="customers"> 
      <td><bean:write name="customer" property="firstName"/></td> 
      <td><bean:write name="customer" property="lastName"/></td> 
      <td><bean:write name="customer" property="address"/></td> 

36.What are differences between <bean:message> and <bean:write>
<bean:message>: is used to retrive keyed values from resource bundle. It also supports the ability to include parameters that can be substituted for defined placeholders in the retrieved string.
<bean:message key="prompt.customer.firstname"/>
<bean:write>: is used to retrieve and print the value of the bean property. <bean:write> has no body.
<bean:write name="customer" property="firstName"/>

37.How the exceptions are handled in struts?
Exceptions in Struts are handled in two ways:
  • Programmatic exception handling :Explicit try/catch blocks in any code that can throw exception. It works well when custom value (i.e., of variable) needed when error occurs. 
  • Declarative exception handling :You can either define <global-exceptions> handling tags in your struts-config.xml or define the exception handling tags within <action></action> tag. It works well when custom page needed when error occurs. This approach applies only to exceptions thrown by Actions.
 <exception key="some.key"
<exception key="some.key" 
38.What is difference between ActionForm and DynaActionForm?
  • An ActionForm represents an HTML form that the user interacts with over one or more pages. You will provide properties to hold the state of the form with getters and setters to access them. Whereas, using DynaActionForm there is no need of providing properties to hold the state. Instead these properties and their type are declared in the struts-config.xml
  • The DynaActionForm bloats up the Struts config file with the xml based definition. This gets annoying as the Struts Config file grow larger.
  • The DynaActionForm is not strongly typed as the ActionForm. This means there is no compile time checking for the form fields. Detecting them at runtime is painful and makes you go through redeployment.
  • ActionForm can be cleanly organized in packages as against the flat organization in the Struts Config file.
  • ActionForm were designed to act as a Firewall between HTTP and the Action classes, i.e. isolate and encapsulate the HTTP request parameters from direct use in Actions. With DynaActionForm, the property access is no different than using request.getParameter( .. ).
  • DynaActionForm construction at runtime requires a lot of Java Reflection (Introspection) machinery that can be avoided.

39.How can we make message resources definitions file available to the Struts framework environment?
We can make message resources definitions file (properties file) available to Struts framework environment by adding this file to struts-config.xml.
<message-resources parameter="com.login.struts.ApplicationResources"/>

40.What is the life cycle of ActionForm?
The lifecycle of ActionForm invoked by the RequestProcessor is as follows:
  • Retrieve or Create Form Bean associated with Action
  • "Store" FormBean in appropriate scope (request or session)
  • Reset the properties of the FormBean
  • Populate the properties of the FormBean
  • Validate the properties of the FormBean
  • Pass FormBean to Action