Struts 2 Ajax Tutorial with Example

Welcome to the last part of 7 article series of Struts 2 Framework tutorials. In previous article we saw how to implement File Upload functionality in Struts 2. In this article we will see how we can implement Ajax support in a webapplication using Struts2 framework.

AJAX support in Struts 2

Struts 2 provides built-in support to AJAX using Dojo Toolkit library. If you are new to Dojo, you may want to go through the Introduction of DOJO Toolkit.

Struts 2 comes with powerful set of Dojo AJAX APIs which you can use to add Ajax support. In order to add Ajax support, you need to add following JAR file in your classpath:
struts2-dojo-plugin.jar

Also once we add this JAR file, we need to add following code snippet in whatever JSP file we need to add AJAX support.

<%@ taglib prefix="sx" uri="/struts-dojo-tags"%>

First define the taglib sx which we will use to add AJAX enabled tags.

<sx:head/>

Add this head tag in your JSP between <head> … </head> tags. This sx:head tag will include required javascript and css files to implement Ajax.

AJAX Example: Struts2 Ajax Drop Down

Let us add simple AJAX support in our StrutsHelloWorld web application. We will use the base code that we used in previous articles and add Ajax on top of it.

We will create a drop down which will Autocomplete and suggest the input. For this we will add Dojo support to our webapp.

Step 1: Adding JAR file

As discussed earlier we will add struts2-dojo-plugin.jar in classpath (WEB-INF/lib). Thus, following is the list of required jar files. Note that these jars are needed to run full application including all the samples of previous parts of this tutorial series.
struts2-ajax-jar-files

Step 2: Create AJAX Action class

We will create an action class which will get called for our Ajax example. Create a file AjaxAutocomplete.java in net.viralpatel.struts2 package and copy following content into it.
AjaxAutocomplete.java

package net.viralpatel.struts2;

import java.util.ArrayList;
import java.util.List;
import java.util.StringTokenizer;

import com.opensymphony.xwork2.ActionSupport;

public class AjaxAutocomplete extends ActionSupport {
	private String data = "Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, India, United States, Germany, China, Israel";
	private List<String> countries;
	private String country;
	
	public String execute() {
		countries = new ArrayList<String>();
		StringTokenizer st = new StringTokenizer(data, ",");

		while (st.hasMoreTokens()) {
			countries.add(st.nextToken().trim());
		}
		return SUCCESS;
	}
	public String getCountry() {
		return this.country;
	}

	public List<String> getCountries() {
		return countries;
	}

	public void setCountries(List<String> countries) {
		this.countries = countries;
	}
	public void setCountry(String country) {
		this.country = country;
	}
}

In above code we have created a simple action class with attribute String country and List countries. The countries list will be populated with country names when execute() method is called. Here for this example, we have loaded static data. You may feel free to change this and add data from database.

Step 3: Create JSP

Create JSP file to display Autocomplete textbox for our Ajax action. Create AjaxDemo.jsp in WebContent directory.
AjaxDemo.jsp

<%@ page contentType="text/html; charset=UTF-8"%>
<%@ taglib prefix="s" uri="/struts-tags"%>
<%@ taglib prefix="sx" uri="/struts-dojo-tags"%>
<html>
<head>
	<title>Welcome</title>
	<sx:head />
</head>
<body>
	<h2>Struts 2 Autocomplete (Drop down) Example!</h2>
	
	Country:
	<sx:autocompleter size="1" list="countries" name="country"></sx:autocompleter>
	</action>
</body>
</html>

In above JSP file we have used sx:autocompleter tag to render an autocomplete drop down which users Ajax class to fetch data internally. Note that we have mapped the list attribute with List countries.

Step 4: Creating Struts.xml entry

Add following action entry in Struts.xml file:

<action name="ajaxdemo" class="net.viralpatel.struts2.AjaxAutocomplete">
	<interceptor-ref name="loggingStack"></interceptor-ref>
	<result name="success" type="tiles">/ajaxdemo.tiles</result>
	<result type="tiles">/ajaxdemo.tiles</result>
</action>

Notice that we are using Tiles here in this example. You may want to use AjaxDemo.jsp instead of /ajaxdemo.tiles to render the output directly in JSP.

That’s All Folks

Compile and Run the application in eclipse.
struts2-ajax-drop-down

Download Source Code

Click here to download Source Code without JAR files (24KB)

Conclusion

Struts2 Framework provides wide variety of features to create a rich web application. In this Struts2 series we saw different aspects of Struts 2 like introduction of struts2, hello world application, validation framework, tiles plugin, strurts2 interceptors, file upload and ajax support.



81 Comments

  • Ganeshan 6 June, 2013, 20:03

    Thanks viral for all Struts2 tutorial…………….

  • manjunath 7 June, 2013, 18:53

    Hello patel,
    Its better to put Demo link so that we can see demo live and test application ..

    • Viral Patel 8 June, 2013, 3:07

      Hi Manjunath, Thanks.. Although I always try to add demo links for html, css, javascript tutorials; for Struts its not that simple. You’ll need a running Java container in order to execute your application which is not always feasible. Also there is no reliable Java hosting that can be used to put such live demo. I hope you can download the application and run it in your local machine with easy.

      • manjunath 10 June, 2013, 12:13

        Its ok Bro.. any how great explanation yar..

      • purnasri 7 October, 2013, 12:55

        i want the country,state,city 3 dependent dropdown list boxes example by using struts mvc developed using myeclipse

        • krishna 20 November, 2013, 15:20

          Even I want this, did you solve this? please let me know.

  • anvit 18 June, 2013, 20:04

    can u provide jar files also…i need it…

  • Dave 18 July, 2013, 5:39

    I try to add exact the same code but it is not working. how AjaxDemo.jsp know which action to trigger in Struts.xml. I did not see any action in JSP link to “ajaxdemo” in Struts.xml?

  • sri 22 July, 2013, 22:58

    Hi,

    Can you put on an example showing on how to pass data from one action to another action, using scopemodeldriven or scope interceptors.

    the use case is like this. we use ORM , so on the retrieval entire domain object is populated , say with 20 fields in database . Now in the form I can only update 10 fields , so these 10 fields data only to be updated , but as we are using ORM we need to update the object/table which has all the 20 fields. So if I can carry that 20 fields from one action to another action and then i will update only those fields that are visible in form.

  • Sujata 25 July, 2013, 13:45

    good site best example

  • Wasil 26 August, 2013, 10:33

    Simply the best on web :)
    Thanks !

  • Imran Khan 5 September, 2013, 15:07

    Thanks for Struts Example.
    Best and Simple,
    Thanks Again

  • Andrew 15 September, 2013, 15:36

    I learn a lot from this tutorial :D
    Thanks !

  • Yuvaraj 17 September, 2013, 19:25

    Is there anyway to achieve pure ajax call with dojo tag? that is list should populate only after I typed any text in field.?

  • purnasri 7 October, 2013, 12:58

    use 3 dependent dropdown boxes example in strutsmvc using myeclipse ide

  • Naman 23 October, 2013, 12:27

    Hey virat,
    Was a great learning experience, but can u help me to autocomplete from my database so i doesnt need to populate the “list”

  • Rahul 25 November, 2013, 16:43

    Hi viral……. you mentioned we can add database content in ajax feature. Like in this case name of countries are displayed. So how could i get name of countries which are in database.

  • Rahul 27 November, 2013, 0:04

    hi Viral,
    Your tuts are good but could have been better if you could also provide jar files.

  • Saumitra Tewari 22 January, 2014, 13:48

    Hello, I want to know where are declaring action name=”ajaxdemo” and where is your opening action tag.
    New to struts 2.

  • Manne 20 February, 2014, 17:11

    Hi Viral,
    In AjaxDemo.jsp, there is a piece of code that went in the body as below( which don’t have any sense here). But seems more html piece of code missing. Can you please clarifiy on this

     
    <body>
        <h2>Struts 2 Autocomplete (Drop down) Example!</h2>
         
        Country:
        <sx:autocompleter size="1" list="countries" name="country"></sx:autocompleter>
        </action>
    </body>
     
    • Manne 20 February, 2014, 17:20

      Self Correction:
      Please remove the tag “” in the jsp body and it works well.

      Also to load the countries in the drop down, please use the link as like below which works fine to me.

      link: http://localhost:8080//ajaxdemo.action

  • Rajdeep 3 March, 2014, 1:05

    Sir,
    I am getting this error

    Error reading included file template/~~~ajax/controlheader-core.ftl – Class: freemarker.core.Include

  • Gagandeep Singh 21 March, 2014, 15:34

    Even I am facing similar issue. On exploring a bit, found its a known issue with struts 2.3.16 and did not exist in 2.3.15. Could someone please confirm is any fix is available by now or is it still an issue. The error I got is :
    Error reading included file template/~~~ajax/controlheader-core.ftl
    The problematic instruction:
    ———-
    ==> include “/${parameters.templateDir}/${parameters.expandTheme}/controlheader-core.ftl” [on line 23, column 1 in template/xhtml/controlheader.ftl]
    in include “/${parameters.templateDir}/xhtml/controlheader.ftl” [on line 24, column 9 in template/ajax/controlheader.ftl]
    in include “/${parameters.templateDir}/ajax/controlheader.ftl” [on line 23, column 1 in template/ajax/autocompleter.ftl]
    ———-

  • Sravya 4 June, 2014, 13:15

    hai can u please give code for three dynamic dropdowns in struts2

  • Pravlaya 1 August, 2014, 12:38

    Hi Viral, can u please post an example of struts2 with html5.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Note

To post source code in comment, use [code language] [/code] tag, for example:

  • [code java] Java source code here [/code]
  • [code html] HTML here [/code]

Current ye@r *