Struts vs. Struts2

What's the Difference?

Struts and Struts2 are both popular Java web application frameworks, but they have some key differences. Struts is an older framework that follows the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture pattern. It uses XML configuration files and has a complex and verbose syntax. On the other hand, Struts2 is a newer version that also follows the MVC pattern but with a more simplified and flexible approach. It uses annotations and convention over configuration, making it easier to develop and maintain applications. Struts2 also provides better support for AJAX and has improved performance compared to Struts. Overall, Struts2 is considered a more modern and advanced framework compared to its predecessor, Struts.


VersionStruts 1.xStruts2.x
ArchitectureMVC (Model-View-Controller)MVC (Model-View-Controller)
Java VersionJava 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE)Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition (J2SE)
Request ProcessingServlet-basedServlet-based
Tag LibraryStruts Tag Library (JSTL)Struts2 Tag Library (S2TL)
ValidationValidator FrameworkValidation Interceptor
InterceptorsCustom InterceptorsInterceptor Stacks
Convention over ConfigurationNoYes
SupportCommunity SupportCommunity Support

Further Detail


Struts and Struts2 are both popular Java web application frameworks that have been widely used for building scalable and maintainable web applications. While they share a similar name, there are significant differences between the two versions. In this article, we will explore and compare the attributes of Struts and Struts2, highlighting their key features, advantages, and disadvantages.


Struts, the original framework, follows the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architectural pattern. It provides a set of components, such as ActionForms, Actions, and JSPs, to separate the concerns of data, business logic, and presentation. Struts2, on the other hand, introduces a more flexible and extensible architecture known as the Interceptor-based architecture. It allows developers to define custom interceptors to handle cross-cutting concerns, such as logging, authentication, and validation, in a modular and reusable manner.


Struts relies on an XML-based configuration file, typically named struts-config.xml, to define the application's behavior. This configuration file contains mappings between URLs, Actions, and result views. Struts2, however, adopts a convention-over-configuration approach, reducing the need for extensive XML configuration. It leverages annotations and convention-based naming to automatically map URLs to Actions, reducing the overall configuration effort and making the development process more streamlined.

Tag Libraries

Both Struts and Struts2 provide tag libraries to simplify the creation of dynamic web pages. Struts uses the Struts Tag Library (S-Tags), which offers a wide range of tags for form handling, data presentation, and control flow. Struts2, on the other hand, introduces a more powerful and flexible tag library called Struts UI Tags. This tag library provides a rich set of tags for form generation, internationalization, and AJAX support, making it easier to develop interactive and user-friendly web applications.


Validation is an essential aspect of web application development to ensure data integrity and user input correctness. Struts provides a built-in validation framework based on XML configuration, where developers define validation rules for form fields. Struts2, however, takes a more intuitive and flexible approach to validation. It integrates with popular validation frameworks like XWork and Hibernate Validator, allowing developers to use annotations and declarative validation rules directly in their Action classes, reducing the need for separate XML configuration files.


Both Struts and Struts2 can be easily integrated with other frameworks and technologies. Struts supports integration with various view technologies like JSP, Velocity, and FreeMarker. It also provides integration with popular ORM frameworks like Hibernate and iBATIS. Struts2, on the other hand, offers seamless integration with modern web technologies like AJAX, JSON, and RESTful web services. It provides built-in support for popular JavaScript frameworks like Dojo and jQuery, making it easier to develop rich and interactive web applications.

Community and Support

Struts, being the older framework, has a larger and more mature community compared to Struts2. It has been widely adopted and has a vast amount of online resources, tutorials, and forums available for developers. Struts2, although relatively newer, has gained significant popularity and has an active community that continues to contribute to its development and improvement. Both frameworks have good documentation and provide commercial support options, ensuring developers have access to assistance when needed.


When it comes to performance, Struts2 generally outperforms its predecessor. Struts2 has a more efficient request processing mechanism, thanks to its Interceptor-based architecture. It allows developers to fine-tune the request handling flow and optimize performance by selectively enabling or disabling interceptors based on specific requirements. Struts2 also provides better support for AJAX and asynchronous processing, enabling developers to build highly responsive and performant web applications.


Migrating from Struts to Struts2 can be a significant effort, especially for large and complex applications. Struts2 introduces several changes in the API and configuration, requiring developers to update their code and configuration files accordingly. However, Struts2 provides migration tools and guides to assist developers in the migration process, making it more manageable. It is recommended to carefully plan and test the migration process to ensure a smooth transition and minimize any potential issues.


Struts and Struts2 are both powerful frameworks for building Java web applications. While Struts follows a more traditional MVC architecture and relies on XML configuration, Struts2 introduces a more flexible and extensible Interceptor-based architecture with convention-over-configuration principles. Struts2 offers improved performance, better integration with modern web technologies, and a more intuitive validation approach. However, migrating from Struts to Struts2 can be a complex task. Ultimately, the choice between the two frameworks depends on the specific requirements of the project and the familiarity and expertise of the development team.

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