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ActionForm or DynaActionForm - Making the choice

Posted by srikanth on January 29, 2004 at 11:44 AM PST

Imagine a Struts 1.0 world where an ActionForm was absolutely needed even for prototyping an HTML form in JSP using Struts custom tags. Things were good until the separation of concern came into picture. In real life projects, different people play different roles. Application developers have the responsibility of developing Java code and page authors would exclusively prototype the page and its navigation using JSP markup tags. Since the Java code beingdeveloped is constantly changing, the developer does local builds on his machine. Similarly the page author would certainly like to add or remove fields from the prototype during the page design. Since the HTML forms map to ActionForms, the above scenario implies one of two things.

  1. The page author constantly pesters the Java application developer to modify the ActionForm.
  2. The page author develops the ActionForm all by himself.

While the former hampers the developer productivity, the latter leads to overlap of responsibilities and headaches. Both options are not ideal. Struts 1.1 has solved this problem by introducing DynaActionForm. Although originally designed for developer

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