19. Integrating with other web frameworks

19.1 Introduction

This chapter details Spring's integration with third party web frameworks such as JSF, Struts, WebWork, and Tapestry.

One of the core value propositions of the Spring Framework is that of enabling choice. In a general sense, Spring does not force one to use or buy into any particular architecture, technology, or methodology (although it certainly recommends some over others). This freedom to pick and choose the architecture, technology, or methodology that is most relevant to a developer and his or her development team is arguably most evident in the web area, where Spring provides its own web framework (Spring MVC), while at the same time providing integration with a number of popular third party web frameworks. This allows one to continue to leverage any and all of the skills one may have acquired in a particular web framework such as Struts, while at the same time being able to enjoy the benefits afforded by Spring in other areas such as data access, declarative transaction management, and flexible configuration and application assembly.

Having dispensed with the woolly sales patter (c.f. the previous paragraph), the remainder of this chapter will concentrate upon the meaty details of integrating your favourite web framework with Spring. One thing that is often commented upon by developers coming to Java from other languages is the seeming super-abundance of web frameworks available in Java... there are indeed a great number of web frameworks in the Java space; in fact there are far too many to cover with any semblance of detail in a single chapter. This chapter thus picks four of the more popular web frameworks in Java, starting with the Spring configuration that is common to all of the supported web frameworks, and then detailing the specific integration options for each supported web framework.

Please note that this chapter does not attempt to explain how to use any of the supported web frameworks. For example, if you want to use Struts for the presentation layer of your web application, the assumption is that you are already familiar with Struts. If you need further details about any of the supported web frameworks themselves, please do consult the section entitled Section 19.7, “Further Resources” at the end of this chapter.