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Subject Re: DynaActionForm vs ActionForm
Date Wed, 03 Jul 2002 14:43:58 GMT

  One source of information on the subject is Chapter 7 
from my Struts book that I'm currently writing. It might 
not be able to answer all of your questions, but it 
should get you started in the right direction on it.

You can download the draft chapter from here: 
You must register first, but it's free to do so. Feel 
free to read the other chapters there as well.

As far as your questions go, let me try to answer some 
of them. Using DynaActionForm and the specialized 
subclasses is a "huge" improvement over standard 
ActionForms. All you have to do is to declaratively 
configure them in the Struts configuration file and the 
framework takes care of "most of the work" for you. 
There are some best practices that Ted and Craig have 
mentioned and that I talk about in Chapter 7. Try to 
follow these as it will make things easier.

If you add/delete/modify fields in your HTML page, you 
only need to change the properties in the Struts 
configuration for the form. That's one of the biggest 
benefits; most of the work is declarative, not 

There are other subclasses that allow you to utilize the 
Validator, along with dynamic forms. I strongly 
recommend this. I'll be posting a chapter on the 
Validator very soon and will cover this.

> 	I read that DynaActionForm is better than ActionForm because 
> 	- this mechanism doesn't require to create a Java class for each
> type of from bean;
> 	- if a HTML field changed the DynaActionForm doesn't need to be
> recompiled
> 	but how does it work ?
> 	- with ActionForm dynamic parameters can not be automatically
> validated;
> 	what other benefits they are ? because DynaActionForm mechanism is
> more
> 	complicated, isn't it ? it adds new concepts like DynaBean.
> 	I think that no other documentation than the Struts API exists about
> this subject.
> 	It's a pity.
> 	What happens if a HTML field is renamed ?
> 	What happens if a HTML field is added or removed?
> 	Sandra.
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