Monday, 20 August 2012

Struts Interview Questions

1.What is MVC?
Model-View-Controller (MVC) is a design pattern put together to help control change. MVC decouples interface from business logic and data.
  • Model : The model contains the core of the application's functionality. The model encapsulates the state of the application. Sometimes the only functionality it contains is state. It knows nothing about the view or controller.
  • View: The view provides the presentation of the model. It is the look of the application. The view can access the model getters, but it has no knowledge of the setters. In addition, it knows nothing about the controller. The view should be notified when changes to the model occur.
  • Controller: The Controller is typically a servlet that recieves requests for the application and manages the flow of data between the Model layer and the View Layer.
2.What is a framework?
A framework is made up of the set of classes which allow us to use a library in a best possible way for a specific requirement.
3.What is Struts framework?
Struts framework is an open-source framework for developing the web applications in Java EE, based on MVC-2 architecture. It uses and extends the Java Servlet API. Struts is robust architecture and can be used for the development of application of any size. Struts framework makes it much easier to design scalable, reliable Web applications with Java.
4.What are the components of Struts?
Struts components can be categorize into Model, View and Controller:
  • Model: Components like business logic /business processes and data are the part of model.
  • View: HTML, JSP are the view components.
  • Controller: Action Servlet of Struts is part of Controller components which works as front controller to handle all the requests.
5.What are the core classes of the Struts Framework?
Struts is a set of cooperating classes, servlets, and JSP tags that make up a reusable MVC 2 design.
  • JavaBeans components for managing application state and behavior.
  • Event-driven development (via listeners as in traditional GUI development).
  • Pages that represent MVC-style views; pages reference view roots via the JSF component tree.
6.What is ActionServlet?
ActionServlet is a simple servlet which is the backbone of all Struts applications. It is the main Controller component that handles client requests and determines which Action will process each received request. It serves as an Action factory - creating specific Actionclasses based on user's request.
7.What is role of ActionServlet?
ActionServlet performs the role of Controller:
  • Process user requests
  • Determine what the user is trying to achieve according to the request
  • Pull data from the model (if necessary) to be given to the appropriate view,
  • Select the proper view to respond to the user
  • Delegates most of this grunt work to Action classes
  • Is responsible for initialization and clean-up of resources
8.What is the ActionForm?
ActionForm is javabean which represents the form inputs containing the request parameters from the View referencing the Action bean.
9.What are the important methods of ActionForm?
The important methods of ActionForm are : validate() & reset().
10.Describe validate() and reset() methods ?
validate() : Used to validate properties after they have been populated; Called before FormBean is handed to Action. Returns a collection of ActionError as ActionErrors. Following is the method signature for the validate() method.
public ActionErrors validate(ActionMapping mapping,HttpServletRequest request)

reset(): reset() method is called by Struts Framework with each request that uses the defined ActionForm. The purpose of this method is to reset all of the ActionForm's data members prior to the new request values being set.
public void reset() {}
11.What is ActionMapping?
Action mapping contains all the deployment information for a particular Action bean. This class is to determine where the results of the Action will be sent once its processing is complete.
12.How is the Action Mapping specified ?
We can specify the action mapping in the configuration file called struts-config.xml. Struts framework creates ActionMapping object from <ActionMapping> configuration element of struts-config.xml file
 <action path="/submit"
  <forward name="success" path="/success.jsp"/>
  <forward name="failure" path="/error.jsp"/>
13.What is role of Action Class?
An Action Class performs a role of an adapter between the contents of an incoming HTTP request and the corresponding business logic that should be executed to process this request.
14.In which method of Action class the business logic is executed ?
In the execute() method of Action class the business logic is executed.
public ActionForward execute( 
     ActionMapping mapping,
             ActionForm form,
             HttpServletRequest request,
             HttpServletResponse response)
          throws Exception ;

execute() method of Action class:
  • Perform the processing required to deal with this request
  • Update the server-side objects (Scope variables) that will be used to create the next page of the user interface
  • Return an appropriate ActionForward object
15.What design patterns are used in Struts?
Struts is based on model 2 MVC (Model-View-Controller) architecture. Struts controller uses the command design pattern and the action classes use the adapter design pattern. The process() method of the RequestProcessor uses the template method design pattern. Struts also implement the following J2EE design patterns.
  • Service to Worker
  • Dispatcher View
  • Composite View (Struts Tiles)
  • Front Controller
  • View Helper
  • Synchronizer Token
16.Can we have more than one struts-config.xml file for a single Struts application?
Yes, we can have more than one struts-config.xml for a single Struts application. They can be configured as follows:









17.What is the directory structure of Struts application?
The directory structure of Struts application :
Struts Directory Structure
18.What is the difference between session scope and request scope when saving formbean ?
when the scope is request,the values of formbean would be available for the current request.
when the scope is session,the values of formbean would be available throughout the session.
19.What are the important tags of struts-config.xml ?
The five important sections are: struts-config.xml
20.What are the different kinds of actions in Struts?
The different kinds of actions in Struts are:
  1. DispatchAction
  2. DownloadAction
  3. EventDispatchAction
  4. ForwardAction
  5. IncludeAction
  6. LocaleAction
  7. LookupDispatchAction
  8. MappingDispatchAction
  9. SwitchAction
21.What is DispatchAction?
The DispatchAction class is used to group related actions into one class. Using this class, you can have a method for each logical action compared than a single execute method. The DispatchAction dispatches to one of the logical actions represented by the methods. It picks a method to invoke based on an incoming request parameter. The value of the incoming parameter is the name of the method that the DispatchAction will invoke.
22.How to use DispatchAction?
To use the DispatchAction, follow these steps :
  • Create a class that extends DispatchAction (instead of Action)
  • In a new class, add a method for every function you need to perform on the service - The method has the same signature as the execute() method of an Action class.
  • Do not override execute() method - Because DispatchAction class itself provides execute() method.
  • Add an entry to struts-config.xml
23.What is the use of ForwardAction?
The ForwardAction class is useful when you're trying to integrate Struts into an existing application that uses Servlets to perform business logic functions. You can use this class to take advantage of the Struts controller and its functionality, without having to rewrite the existing Servlets. Use ForwardAction to forward a request to another resource in your application, such as a Servlet that already does business logic processing or even another JSP page. By using this predefined action, you don't have to write your own Action class. You just have to set up the struts-config file properly to use ForwardAction.
24.What is IncludeAction?
The IncludeAction class is useful when you want to integrate Struts into an application that uses Servlets. Use the IncludeAction class to include another resource in the response to the request being processed.
25.What is the difference between ForwardAction and IncludeAction?
The difference is that you need to use the IncludeAction only if the action is going to be included by another action or jsp. Use ForwardAction to forward a request to another resource in your application, such as a Servlet that already does business logic processing or even another JSP page.
26.What is LookupDispatchAction?
The LookupDispatchAction is a subclass of DispatchAction. It does a reverse lookup on the resource bundle to get the key and then gets the method whose name is associated with the key into the Resource Bundle.
27.What is the use of LookupDispatchAction?
LookupDispatchAction is useful if the method name in the Action is not driven by its name in the front end, but by the Locale independent key into the resource bundle. Since the key is always the same, the LookupDispatchAction shields your application from the side effects of I18N.
28.What is difference between LookupDispatchAction and DispatchAction?
The difference between LookupDispatchAction and DispatchAction is that the actual method that gets called in LookupDispatchAction is based on a lookup of a key value instead of specifying the method name directly.
29.What is SwitchAction?
The SwitchAction class provides a means to switch from a resource in one module to another resource in a different module. SwitchAction is useful only if you have multiple modules in your Struts application. The SwitchAction class can be used as is, without extending.
30.What if <action> element has <forward> declaration with same name as global forward?
In this case the global forward is not used. Instead the <action> element's <forward> takes precendence.
31.What is DynaActionForm?
A specialized subclass of ActionForm that allows the creation of form beans with dynamic sets of properties (configured in configuration file), without requiring the developer to create aJava class for each type of form bean.
32.What are the steps need to use DynaActionForm?
Using a DynaActionForm instead of a custom subclass of ActionForm is relatively straightforward. You need to make changes in two places:
  • In struts-config.xml: change your <form-bean> to be an org.apache.struts.action.DynaActionForm instead of some subclass of ActionForm
<form-bean name="loginForm"type="org.apache.struts.action.DynaActionForm" >
    <form-property name="userName" type="java.lang.String"/>
    <form-property name="password" type="java.lang.String" />

  • In your Action subclass that uses your form bean:
    • import org.apache.struts.action.DynaActionForm
    • downcast the ActionForm parameter in execute() to a DynaActionForm
    • access the form fields with get(field) rather than getField()

import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletRequest;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletResponse;
import org.apache.struts.action.Action;
import org.apache.struts.action.ActionForm;
import org.apache.struts.action.ActionForward;
import org.apache.struts.action.ActionMapping;
import org.apache.struts.action.ActionMessage;
import org.apache.struts.action.ActionMessages;

import org.apache.struts.action.DynaActionForm;

public class DynaActionFormExample extends Action {
 public ActionForward execute(ActionMapping mapping, ActionForm form,
   HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response)
            throws Exception {             
  DynaActionForm loginForm = (DynaActionForm) form;
                ActionMessages errors = new ActionMessages();        
        if (((String) loginForm.get("userName")).equals("")) {
            errors.add("userName", new ActionMessage(
        if (((String) loginForm.get("password")).equals("")) {
            errors.add("password", new ActionMessage(
33.How to display validation errors on jsp page?
<html:errors/> tag displays all the errors. <html:errors/> iterates over ActionErrors request attribute.
34.What are the various Struts tag libraries?
The various Struts tag libraries are:
  • HTML Tags
  • Bean Tags
  • Logic Tags
  • Template Tags
  • Nested Tags
  • Tiles Tags
35.What is the use of <logic:iterate>?
<logic:iterate> repeats the nested body content of this tag over a specified collection.
<table border=1>  
  <logic:iterate id="customer" name="customers"> 
      <td><bean:write name="customer" property="firstName"/></td> 
      <td><bean:write name="customer" property="lastName"/></td> 
      <td><bean:write name="customer" property="address"/></td> 

36.What are differences between <bean:message> and <bean:write>
<bean:message>: is used to retrive keyed values from resource bundle. It also supports the ability to include parameters that can be substituted for defined placeholders in the retrieved string.
<bean:message key="prompt.customer.firstname"/>
<bean:write>: is used to retrieve and print the value of the bean property. <bean:write> has no body.
<bean:write name="customer" property="firstName"/>
37.How the exceptions are handled in struts?
Exceptions in Struts are handled in two ways:
  • Programmatic exception handling :
  • Explicit try/catch blocks in any code that can throw exception. It works well when custom value (i.e., of variable) needed when error occurs.
  • Declarative exception handling :You can either define <global-exceptions> handling tags in your struts-config.xml or define the exception handling tags within <action></action> tag. It works well when custom page needed when error occurs. This approach applies only to exceptions thrown by Actions.
 <exception key="some.key"
<exception key="some.key" 
38.What is difference between ActionForm and DynaActionForm?
  • An ActionForm represents an HTML form that the user interacts with over one or more pages. You will provide properties to hold the state of the form with getters and setters to access them. Whereas, using DynaActionForm there is no need of providing properties to hold the state. Instead these properties and their type are declared in the struts-config.xml
  • The DynaActionForm bloats up the Struts config file with the xml based definition. This gets annoying as the Struts Config file grow larger.
  • The DynaActionForm is not strongly typed as the ActionForm. This means there is no compile time checking for the form fields. Detecting them at runtime is painful and makes you go through redeployment.
  • ActionForm can be cleanly organized in packages as against the flat organization in the Struts Config file.
  • ActionForm were designed to act as a Firewall between HTTP and the Action classes, i.e. isolate and encapsulate the HTTP request parameters from direct use in Actions. With DynaActionForm, the property access is no different than using request.getParameter( .. ).
  • DynaActionForm construction at runtime requires a lot of Java Reflection (Introspection) machinery that can be avoided.
39.How can we make message resources definitions file available to the Struts framework environment?
We can make message resources definitions file (properties file) available to Struts framework environment by adding this file to struts-config.xml.
<message-resources parameter="com.login.struts.ApplicationResources"/>
40.What is the life cycle of ActionForm?
The lifecycle of ActionForm invoked by the RequestProcessor is as follows:
  • Retrieve or Create Form Bean associated with Action
  • "Store" FormBean in appropriate scope (request or session)
  • Reset the properties of the FormBean
  • Populate the properties of the FormBean
  • Validate the properties of the FormBean
  • Pass FormBean to Action

Create Executable Jar File

  • jdk1.6.0_11 ( works with previous versions of JDK and J2sdk)
 Installed location:
  • jdk1.6.0_11 ->   C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.6.0_11\
Environment Variables:
Enter Variable name and Variable value which is mentioned below.
Variable name:  JAVA_HOME
Variable value:  C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.6.0_11

Variable name:  PATH
Variable value:  C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.6.0_11\bin

Steps to create directory structure
Figure: 1
We want to separate the source from the generated files, so our java sources files will be in src folder. All generated files should be under build folder. In
build folder we have two folders classes and jar. We'll place .class files inside classes folder and .jar files inside jar folder. Refer Figure: 1 (com\javaworkspace\executablejar is ourpackage name).
  1. Using any text editor. Create a java file ( inside the folder E:\01javaworkspace\src\com\javaworkspace\executablejar\

Simple java program to execute windows programs
(You can even use HelloWorld program to create executable jar file)

  1. /** 
  2.  * 
  3.  */  
  4. package com.javaworkspace.executablejar;  
  6. /** 
  7.  * @author 
  8.  */  
  9. public class ExecutableJar {  
  11.     public static void main(String[] args) {  
  12.         Runtime runtime = Runtime.getRuntime();  
  13.         Process process = null;  
  15.         try {  
  16.             process = runtime.exec("freecell");  
  17.         } catch (Exception e) {  
  18.             System.out.println("Error executing freecell.");  
  19.         }  
  20.     }  
  21. }  

Instead of freecell you can give any of the windows programs like notepad, sol (for solitaire game)
  1. Now we try compiling and running the program. Refer Figure: 2
  1. E:\01javaworkspace>javac -sourcepath src -d build\classes src\com\javaworkspace\executablejar\
  2. E:\01javaworkspace>java -cp build\classes com.javaworkspace.
  3. E:\01javaworkspace>echo Main-Class: com.javaworkspace.
  4. E:\01javaworkspace>jar cfm
    build\jar\Game.jar myManifest -C build\classes .
  5. E:\01javaworkspace>java -jar build\jar\Game.jar
  6. E:\01javaworkspace>jar tf build\jar\Game.jar
  7. META-INF/ META-INF/MANIFEST.MF com/ com/javaworkspace/ com/javaworkspace/executablejar/ com/javaworkspace/executablejar/ExecutableJar.class
  8. E:\01javaworkspace>
 Step: 1
We are just compiling the
-sourcepath <path>    Specify where to find input source files
-d <directory>             Specify where to place generated class files
This step will just create .class file and places inside build\classes folder. You can do the same by simply navigating to
The above command will create .class file inside the same folder. Just cut the .class file and paste that inside
Step: 2
We are testing weather the program is working or not. If your attempt is success you will get freecell game open.
-cp <class search path of directories and zip/jar files>

Step: 3

We are creating Manifest file with the name myManifest(Refer figure:2). Instead of using echo command you even create a text file with any text editor with
Main-Class: com.javaworkspace.executablejar.ExecutableJar
in first line and save as myManifest.txt

Do not have blanks around the > - sign in the echo Main-Class instruction because it would falsify it. There should be a empty line after first line.

Figure: 2

Step: 4
E:\01javaworkspace>jar cfm build\jar\Game.jar myManifest -C build\classes . 

Don't forget to specify the . (period) after classes. This will make all the contents of the folder to be placed inside jar.
-c  create new archive
-f  specify archive file name(here Game.jar is our archive name)
-m  include manifest information from specified manifest file
 -C  change to the specified directory and include the following file
If any file is a directory then it is processed recursively.
The manifest file name and the archive file name needs to be specified
in the same order the 'm' and 'f' flags are specified.

Step: 5
Run the program by double clicking Game.jar or by
E:\01javaworkspace>java -jar build\jar\Game.jar
Step: 6
E:\01javaworkspace>jar tf build\jar\Game.jar
-t  list table of contents for archive
-f  specify archive file name
This will display the content of Game.jar file
Figure: 3

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