This page last changed on Nov 03, 2004 by matthew.

What is Spring and Why do you want to use it with WebWork?

Check out for more details about Spring. To summarize, Spring provides several different layers. Spring's IoC container, for instance, provides a nice transparent way to wire together objects with their dependencies, such as services they use. It can also, with the help of its AOP framework, provide transactional behavior to plain Java beans. Spring also provides an MVC framework, which is what could be compared to WebWork. There are those who believe WebWork is a better MVC framework, and so would choose WebWork for this part and integrate the rest of the Spring stack.
There are a number of ways to integrate Spring into WebWork.

Use SpringObjectFactory

The xwork-optional package from contains a module xwork-spring that contains all the necessary code to use Spring in WebWork. It contains primarily a SpringObjectFactory to wire up the dependencies for an Action before passing it to WebWork. Each action should be configured within a Spring application context as a prototype (because WebWork assumes a new instance of a class for every action invocation). Specify something like this in applicationContext.xml:

<bean name="some-action" class="" singleton="false">
    <property name="someProperty"><ref bean="someOtherBean"/></property>

and in xwork.xml:
<action name="myAction" class="some-action">
    <result name="success">view.jsp</result>

Notice that the WebWork Action's class name some-action is the bean name defined in the Spring application context.

Another advantage of the SpringObjectFactory approach is that it can also be used to load interceptors using the same sort of logic. If the interceptor is stateless, then it's possible to create the interceptor as a singelton instance, but otherwise it's best to create it as a Spring prototype.
In order to be used, the default ObjectFactory that WebWork uses should be replaced with an instance of the SpringObjectFactory. There are two different ways to accomplish this. The first method is to use the ContextListener in the xwork-optional package. This method assumes that the Spring application context has already been configured. Add the following to web.xml:
<!-- This needs to be after Spring ContextLoaderListener -->

Note: this is actually a XWork configuration but for simplicity, I just assume WebWork.

The second method is to call the initObjectFactory method on com.opensymphony.xwork.spring.SpringObjectFactory. The easiest way to do this is to have Spring's application configure and supply the aforementioned method as the "init-method". Add the following to your applicationContext.xml:
<bean id="spring-object-factory" class="com.opensymphony.xwork.spring.SpringObjectFactory" init-method="initObjectFactory"/>

Note: The second option should work when only using Xwork (as compared to XW and WW2).

Document generated by Confluence on Dec 14, 2004 16:36