spring vs struts

Spring Vs Struts | A Detailed List Of Differences

When we say Java web framework, two of the most popular names that come to light are Spring and Struts. As the Java language lacks internal organization, both Spring and Struts provide a web development framework that allows users to concentrate on developing reliable web applications. 

Most people do not know much about spring vs struts. They often fail to choose a better Java web framework for their project. So, today, we will tell you about every crucial difference between the Spring and Struts frameworks. So, let’s get started.

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What Is Spring Framework?

The Spring Framework (Spring) is an open-source application framework that supports the development of Java applications by providing infrastructure support. Rod Johnson released the Spring Framework in June 2003 under the Apache 2.0 licence, and SourceForge hosts it. 

Spring is one of the most widely used Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE) frameworks, allowing developers to design high-performing applications with plain old Java objects (POJOs). 

Spring is regarded as a safe, flexible, and low-cost framework. As Spring is lightweight, it is efficient at exploiting system resources. It enhances coding productivity and reduces overall application development time.

It’s sometimes referred to as a framework of frameworks because it supports a variety of frameworks, including Struts, Tapestry, Hibernate, EJB, JSF, and others. 

In a larger sense, the framework can be regarded as a structure in which we discover solutions to diverse technical difficulties. There are several modules in the Spring framework, such as IOC, DAO, AOP, ORM, Context, WEB MVC, etc.

Popular Companies That Use Spring Framework

Here is the list of popular companies that use the Spring framework:

  • Udemy
  • Intuit
  • Trivago
  • iFood
  • MercadoLibre
  • Quinto Andar
  • PedidosYa
  • Rappi

Features Of Spring Framework

Lightweight

The Spring Framework is extremely lightweight, considering its functionality and size. This is due to its POJO implementation, which does not need to inherit or implement any classes or interfaces.

Aspect-Oriented Programming (AOP)

It is a crucial component of the Spring Framework. AOP is used to separate cross-cutting issues (such as security, logging, and so on) from the application’s business logic. 

Container

The Spring framework creates and manages application object lifecycles and configurations.

Transaction Management

It is used to coordinate transactions for Java objects and to unify multiple transaction management APIs. It is also used in containerless contexts and is not bound to the J2EE environment.

Dependency Injection

This Spring Framework feature is very useful for creating loosely coupled apps. So, it becomes easier to unit test these weakly coupled apps. This also enables the developer to replace parts of the modules as needed.

What Is Struts Framework?

The Struts framework is an open-source web application framework for easily and quickly developing Java Enterprise Edition web applications. Craig McClanahan created the Struts Framework, which was given to the Apache Foundation in May 2000 as part of the Apache Jakarta Project and became known as Jakarta Struts. 

Struts promote the model-view-controller (MVC) architecture by utilising and extending the Java Servlet API. It was subsequently succeeded by Struts 2, which was launched in February 2007 and became a top-level Apache project in 2005.

The goal of the Struts Framework was to separate the “model,” which is the application logic that communicates with the database, from the “view,” which is the HTML pages presented to the client/user, and from the “controller,” which is the instance that passes data between the model and the client’s view. 

Struts already include the controller, which is simply a Java servlet called ActionServlet that generates the view templates. The Web application programmer must next write the model code and, by extension, the “struts-config.xml” central configuration file, which connects the model, view, and controller.

Popular Companies That Use Struts Framework

Here is the list of popular companies that use the Struts framework:

  • Coinatstar
  • doubleSlash
  • Aspen
  • Spookies
  • Office of Technology
  • softgarden network
  • QDP

Features of Struts 2 Framework

Simplified Design

The majority of Struts 2 classes are interface-based, and most of its basic interfaces are HTTP-independent. Action classes in Struts 2 are framework-independent and simplified to seem like simple POJOs. It is attempted to maintain framework components loosely linked.

Tag support

The form tags in Struts2 have been updated, and the new tags allow developers to write less code.

Easy Plugins

It is easier to add plugins by just dropping in a JAR file. There is no need for manual configuration!

Easy to modify tags

Freemarker templates can be used to customise tag markups in Struts2. This does not necessitate any prior understanding of JSP or Java. You only need a basic knowledge of HTML, XML, and CSS to change the tags.

AJAX Support

The AJAX theme provides a considerable boost to interactive applications. Even on Dojo, the framework provides a set of tags to enable you to Ajaxify your apps.

QuickStart

Without restarting a web container, many modifications can be made on the fly.

Stateful Checkboxes

Checkboxes in Struts 2 don’t require any extra processing for false values.

Spring vs Struts: Important Key Differences

The most significant distinction between spring vs struts MVC is the difference between Aspect-Oriented Programming (AOP) and Object-Oriented Programming. Spring uses Dependency Injection, which makes the applications loosely linked. The IoC container lies at the core of the Spring Framework.

OOP can do everything AOP can do but in a different way. In other words, AOP complements OOP by offering a different perspective on program structure. Sometimes you need to make the same modifications to multiple files. Working with Struts to add the same code to hundreds of files should be tedious. 

At the same time, Spring writes new changes somewhere else and injects them into the files. 

Now, let’s see the important key differences- Spring vs Struts:

  • The Spring framework is described as non-invasive, which implies that it does not force a developer to implement or modify a class or interface defined by the spring API. On the other hand, Struts is invasive because it forces the developer to extend the base class given by the struts API.
  • The Spring framework was mainly popular for its various benefits, such as messaging support, transaction management, and connection with other frameworks. At the same time, the Struts framework is popular for its great support for the tag libraries widely used in the industry and is simple to combine with various client-side technologies. It is an important thing to consider in Spring vs Struts.
  • Spring has independent layers that make it simple to interface with other frameworks, while Struts make it more complicated.
  • Spring supports Velocity, JSP, Excel, Free Maker, and PDF for viewing components. At the same time, only JSP can view components in Struts.
  • Although Spring MVC supports basic HTML form tags, struts provide a plethora of alternative JSF-styled composite and complex tags.
  • More handler mappings are available in Spring MVC. Action mappings are used instead of particular handler mappings in Struts.
  • Middleware services are important to mention in Spring vs Struts. Spring includes middleware services such as logging, transaction, connection pooling, etc. In contrast, there are no built-in middleware services in Struts.
  • The containers are provided in the Spring by activating classes. On the other hand, Struts provided the containers by explicitly configuring classes.
  • The spring clears the module division between MVC(model, view, and controller). On the other hand, the controller and model are mixed in struts.
  • Spring MVC code is easier to test. In comparison to Spring, Strut code is less testable.

The Good And The Bad Of Spring and Struts

The good and the bad of these frameworks are also important to consider in Spring vs Struts. As the designs of each iteration solve problems with the legacy application, there isn’t much difference between Spring and Struts at this point. 

The components are also compatible with a few changes, making integration a breeze. MVC is a loosely linked framework that allows for more rapid prototyping and testing. 

Thanks to decoupling, you can treat test functions like real apps. There is an object to use with your user’s actual requests. The struts are inextricably coupled. 

As you must apply any changes to many files, struts require a lot more work for file components. If you’ve created an enterprise system, even making basic, easy updates could be a pain. 

On the other hand, Sring’s MVC handles those components for you because your triad is three different entities. So, when you make a change, you simply inject the code into place. 

There is a distinct line between controllers. It allows you to be more flexible. This is a crucial difference between spring and struts.

How To Integrate Spring and Struts 2

The Spring framework makes managing dependencies easier. It’s simple to integrate with the struts 2 framework. You can use the ContextLoaderListener class to communicate struts 2 with spring applications. It must be defined in the web.xml file. You can follow the below steps to integrate Spring with Struts.

  1. Add spring jar files to the struts2 application.
  2. Define the ContextLoaderListener class in the web.xml file.
  3. Define the bean name for the action class in the struts.xml file.
  4. Create the bean in the applicationContext.xml file. The action class name, for example, JAH, should be used. The action class of the struts.xml file should match the login and id.
  5. Define extra properties in the action class, such as message.

Spring vs Struts: Head To Head Comparison

Here is the head to head comparison table of Spring vs Struts:

ParametersSpring Struts
Developed ByRod JohnsonCraig McClanahan
Released InOctober 2002June 2001
ArchitectureLayered architectureNot layered architecture
Integratingeasy integration with JDBC and ORM technologiesintegrated with technologies but require manual coding
FrameworkLightweight frameworkHeavyweight framework
modulesloosely coupled modulestightly coupled programming modules
ProsFlexible
Easy to integrate 
Easy Code Testing
Simple design
Multiple view options
Good tag features
ConsLess stable than Struts
Complex to learn
Poor documentation
Has frequent compatibility issues

Conclusion

We have discussed every important detail about spring vs struts. Both are excellent Java frameworks for developing web applications. You can choose the best framework for your project based on the requirements. Hopefully, now you have a clear idea of spring vs Struts in your mind, you will choose the better Java web framework as per your need.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Struts and Spring be used together?

Yes. Struts and Spring can be used together. There is a plugin available for struts 2 that allows spring integration. 

What is the difference between Struts and Spring boot?

The main distinction between structs and spring MVC is that Struts is a tightly coupled framework, whereas Spring MVC is a loosely coupled framework. For enterprise applications, you should build them as loosely connected as possible, as this will make them more robust, reusable, and distributed.

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