Struts2 Tutorial for Beginners (XML Config)

1- Instroduction

This document was written based on:
  • Eclipse 4.4 (Luna) (ok for Eclipse 4.5 MARS)
  • Struts 2 (2.3.20)
You are viewing "Hello World Struts2 - XML Example". You can view the same example using the Annotation at:

2- Hello Struts 2 (Xml Configuration)

2.1- Create Maven Project

  • File/New/Other..
  • Group ID: org.o7planning
  • Artifact ID: Struts2XML
  • Package: org.o7planning.tutorial.struts2xml
Do not worry about the error message when the Project has been created. The reason is that you do not declare the Servlet library.
Eclipse create Maven project structure may be wrong. You need to fix
This is the image after Project Completion:

2.2- Configuring Maven

Configuring Maven to declare the library used. Includes library Servlet, Struts 2. Also configure Tomcat Maven Plugin for running web applications directly on Eclipse.
<project xmlns="" xmlns:xsi=""

   <name>Struts2XML Maven Webapp</name>


       <!-- Servlet Library -->
       <!-- -->

       <!-- -->



           <!-- Config: Maven Tomcat Plugin -->
           <!-- -->
               <!-- Config: contextPath and Port (Default: /Struts2XML : 8080) -->
Now your project has no error message.

2.3- Configuring Struts & web.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<web-app xmlns:xsi=""
 id="WebApp_ID" version="3.0">





struts.xml is a resource file, it should be placed in src/main/resources, this file is used to configure the struts.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
 "-//Apache Software Foundation//DTD Struts Configuration 2.0//EN"

 <constant name="struts.enable.DynamicMethodInvocation"
     value="false" />
 <constant name="struts.devMode" value="true" />
 <constant name="struts.custom.i18n.resources"
     value="ApplicationResources" />

 <package name="default" namespace="/" extends="struts-default">
     <action name="login"
         <result name="success">/WEB-INF/pages/UserInfo.jsp</result>
         <result name="error">/WEB-INF/pages/Login.jsp</result>

2.4- Code Project

Create file in src:
label.username= Username
label.password= Password
label.login= Login
error.login= Invalid Username/Password. Please try again.
<%@ page contentType="text/html; charset=UTF-8"%>
<%@ taglib prefix="s" uri="/struts-tags"%>
<title>Struts 2 - Login Application </title>

<h2>Struts 2 - Login Application</h2>
<s:actionerror />
<s:form action="/login" method="post">
  <s:textfield name="username" key="label.username" size="20" />
  <s:password name="password" key="label.password" size="20" />
  <s:submit method="execute" key="label.login" align="center" />
<%@ page contentType="text/html; charset=UTF-8"%>
<%@ taglib prefix="s" uri="/struts-tags"%>
<title>User Info</title>

  <h2>Howdy, <s:property value="username" />...!</h2>
package org.o7planning.tutorial.struts2xml.action;

import com.opensymphony.xwork2.ActionSupport;

public class LoginAction extends ActionSupport {

   private static final long serialVersionUID = 7299264265184515893L;
   private String username;
   private String password;

   public String execute() {
       if (this.username != null && this.password != null
               && this.username.equals("admin")
               && this.password.equals("admin123")) {
           return "success";
       } else {
           return "error";

   public String getUsername() {
       return username;

   public void setUsername(String username) {
       this.username = username;

   public String getPassword() {
       return password;

   public void setPassword(String password) {
       this.password = password;

2.5- The flow of the program

The illustration below depicts the flow of the user program from accessing the website page to receive response
  1. Users type in the path: 
  2. According to the above configuration on web.xml welcome page login.jsp page will be opened up. 
  3. Users type in username & password then click Login 
    • Action named "login" is executed. 
    • The program will search for the configuration in struts.xml action suit seeking behavior of your history (action named "login"). 
  4. Method execute () in LoginAction will be called, this method returns a String 
    • Or returns "success" 
    • Or return the "error" 
  5. Program in the struts.xml to search page returns the String value is returned in the previous step. 
  6. The page site is returned to the user.


2.6- Running application

To run the application directly on Eclipse, you need to configure to run  Tomcat Maven Plugin.
  • Name: Run Struts2XML
  • Base Directory: ${workspace_loc:/Struts2XML}
  • Goals: tomcat7:run
Tomcat Maven Plugin is running
In the browser, enter the path:
If you entered an incorrect username/password, page will be displayed as shown below: