Spring and Struts are two of the most popular Java web frameworks. Java has no internal organization, so both Spring and Struts offer a web development framework that allows you to focus on building solid web applications. There are a few different iterations of both, but let’s look at some of the most common differences in our Struts vs Spring review.
First of all, it can be confusing trying to figure out which Java web framework is most suited to your Java web application development needs. But don’t fret over it, we hope you find this guide useful.
Ready? Let’s GO!
- Struts vs Spring: What Is Spring?
- Struts vs Spring: What Is Struts?
- Struts2 vs Spring
- Spring 2.0 Vs Struts
- Spring vs Struts: The Good And The Bad
- Choosing Struts Vs Spring
- Struts vs Spring: Final Thoughts
Struts vs Spring: What Is Spring?
Spring is a Java web framework. Java relies on objects that collaborate and interact with each other to produce your application. Their interactions create dependencies that Java doesn’t have the means to organize.
Spring’s framework gives these components organization. It handles your application’s framework, getting you up and running quickly.
Spring’s components help you with different elements of your build. For instance, MVC handles web applications, for example, taking the place of the older Struts model for many of your more significant developments. MVC makes web app building easier because it separates your components into three parts. This makes it easier to build and reuse code without too much modification.
- Easy to integrate other programs
- The code is easily testable
- Complex to learn
- Less stable than Struts
Struts vs Spring: What Is Struts?
Struts is another open source Java web framework that helps you organize the components of Java in your application. It’s a front controller pattern with fewer options than Spring, but not by much. A lot of the difference depends on your preference.
Struts is an older, legacy application with many heritage sites still built using it. It has integrations with Spring, especially with Struts2. However, it’s still an accessible framework to learn, but it does put some roadblocks in modern development.
Struts 2 came out of the legacy system and helps simplify Struts to bring it into modern web development. It keeps the same architecture as the old system, with refinements and updates to its components. It does have a history of security bugs.
- Simple design
- Good tag features
- Multiple view options
- Poor documentation
- Has frequent compatibility issues
Struts2 vs Spring
Struts2 vs Spring is a question of updated legacy or documentation and thriving community. Struts 2 is an enterprise solution with elegant workarounds. It streamlines the development cycle.
The Action is similar to a controller. Every time a request is made, the action is initiated (unlike the ones in MVC architectures).
Spring is going to be a lot more efficient in this regard. Regarding Struts2 vs Spring, Struts 2 is elegant, but Spring forgoes the excess actions to give you a cleaner, more consistent result.
Strut 2 Features
- Ajax Support
- Ample support for both themes and templates
- Configurable MVC components
- Plain Old Java Object based actions
- Neat separation of roles through MVC
- Flexibility with scale and highly adaptable
- Flexible mode offers easy integration
- Spring tag library is robust but simple
Spring 2.0 Vs Struts
Spring’s model view controller came out to address common issues with Struts. It successfully delineates different aspects of your triad to make things easier to prototype and test. You don’t have to keep writing or modifying the code to get the result you’re looking for. Spring 2.0 vs Struts starts with what’s easier.
Where Struts keeps generating actions in response to requests, for example, MVC neatly packages that action into the controller where it repeats itself without generating a mess. It’s definitely a neat little package.
You can integrate some aspects of Struts into the Spring framework if you’re looking for stability. However, the Spring architecture does give you more flexibility within your design execution for Spring 2.0 vs Struts.
- Control in your design
Spring MVC Features:
- Clear web development
- Handles aspects missing from Spring MVC
Spring vs Struts: The Good And The Bad
At this point, there isn’t much difference between Spring vs Struts because the designs of each iteration address problems with the legacy program. The components are even compatible with a few patches, making them simple to integrate.
MVC is a loosely coupled framework, giving you better responses for prototyping and testing. Decoupling allows you to treat test functions as real applications. There’s an object to use in place of your user’s actual requests.
Struts is tightly coupled. Struts require a lot more work for file components because you have to apply any changes to multiple files. If you’ve written an enterprise solution, this could be a nightmare just to make fundamental, simple changes.
Spring’s MVC handles those components for you because when you make a change, you just inject the code into place because your triad is three separate entities. There’s a clear division between controllers. It gives you flexibility. For Spring vs Struts, this is a critical component.
Choosing Struts Vs Spring
Struts is such a legacy system that it’s always good to get familiar with how it works. Older systems still haven’t integrated to Spring so there’s a good chance you’ll encounter something made with Struts in your career.
Struts still has a pretty dedicated following as well though documentation isn’t as vast as Spring. Among its audience are very happy users working within the problematic Java application by having a stricter, more opinionated framework. Sometimes it’s nice to have some direction.
We recommend it if you’re working with legacy programs or with clients unwilling to migrate to something else. Also, for simple applications that won’t have many requests, the structure does feel safer.
Boundaries aren’t always favorable, however, so working with Spring gives you a much more open framework. It’s not quite as opinionated, so you get to break convention more often if you need.
There’s plenty of documentation now that the addition of MVC and the veneer of Spring Boot have addressed some of the glaring issues with Spring. Java can be clunky, but with Spring, you have an organizing framework.
Struts vs Spring: Final Thoughts
It’s impossible to choose one over the other, but we recommend Struts with legacy applications and neat, button-ed up design. Spring works well with more creative, flexible design where you need some space to defy convention.
The Struts vs Spring answer? Take a look at the types of projects you’re going to be doing within Java and choose the one that gives you options to enhance, rather than hinder, your work. Seems simple, but sometimes it may just take some experimentation.