My coworker Max has argued with me there is no relationship between Java web based frameworks, specially Struts and Spring. Well, I completelly disagreed with him when he raised this question and here I will post one of the possibilities of their integration. This alternative let you configure Spring to manage your Actions as beans, using the ContextLoaderPlugin, and set their dependencies in a Spring context file. Here are the steps to apply this configuration:

Add the following XML snippet to the plug-ins section near the bottom of your struts-config.xml file:

<plug-in className=”org.springframework.web.struts.ContextLoaderPlugIn”/>

Now you can configure your actions to be injected by Spring. One way you can do this is use the DelegatingActionProxy class in the type attribute of your <action-mapping>.

This way of configuration allow you to manage your Actions and their dependencies in the action-context.xml file. The relationship between the Action in struts-config.xml and action-servlet.xml is established by the action-mapping’s
“path” and the bean’s “name”. If you have the following in your struts-config.xml file:

<action path=”/employees” …/>

You must define that Action’s bean with the “/users” name in action-servlet.xml:

<bean name=”/employees” …/>

Defining your Action in a context file let you to use Spring’s IoC features, as well as instantiate new Actions for each request created. To do this, add singleton=”false” to your action’s bean definition.

<bean name=”/employees” singleton=”false” autowire=”byName” class=”org.myapplication.web.EmployeeSearchAction”>

To be more concrete, here is a complete example of an Action described in struts-config.xml:

<action input=”/index.jsp” name=”mainForm” path=”/login” scope=”request” type=”org.springframework.web.struts.DelegatingActionProxy”> <forward name=”main_page” path=”/main_page.jsp”/> </action>

And here is its version in action-servlet.xml:

<bean id=”action.loginAction” singleton=”false” autowire=”byName” name=”/login” class=””/>

There are more alternatives to inject your actions in Spring. If you want to know the other ones, please check out the Spring reference manual.