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From "Frank W. Zammetti" <>
Subject Re: Form Beans
Date Wed, 16 Nov 2005 17:07:14 GMT
If you go with the original intent of the ActionForm (as I understand 
it), the "canonical" answer would be that one HTML form should always 
map to one ActionForm.

Today, people have used ActionForms in all sorts of "non-canonical" 
ways, and have found that some are better than others.  For instance, 
some people advocate a single ActionForm for an entire application 
(usually stored in session).  At first this sounds, well, bonkers!, but 
it does have some benefits, namely less code involved (whether it's a 
single class or a single DynaActionForm definition).  I'm *not* saying 
you should do that, just pointing out how ActionForms can be used in all 
sorts of (originally) unintended ways.

Michael's answer is another approach that also has its benefits (and 
probably drawbacks too, but you would have to decide that).

In your specific case, my advice would be a single ActionForm that 
covers your entire "wizard" process, which is what it sounds like your 
essentially doing.  I can tell you I've personally done that, and I have 
also taken the "one ActionForm per wizard page" approach.  Both work 
just fine, and I'm not sure one is more "right" than the other in this 
day and age, but I'd lean towards the one ActionForm approach now I 
think, just for the sake of simplicity.  The one thing to keep in mind 
if you go that route is to be sure you don't have a field on one page 
with the same name as another.  I had one junior developer make that 
mistake and it drove him nuts trying to figure out what was wrong 
(obvious in retrospect, but one of those "tricky at the time" problems 
to solve).


Michael Jouravlev wrote:
> On 11/16/05, Asad Habib <> wrote:
>>Hello. I am new to Struts and would like some advice. Is it better to use
>>one form bean to capture data from several forms that are being submitted
>>in succession or to use one form bean per form (i.e. multiple form beans)?
>>What are the advantages or disadvantages of either approach? Also, I would
>>appreciate if you would forward me to documents on the web, book chapters,
>>etc., that discuss this in detail. Thank you.
> I prefer using one formbean. And one action too. Is this looks similar
> to what you want to achieve:
> You can read about my approach here:
> Michael.
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Frank W. Zammetti
Founder and Chief Software Architect
Omnytex Technologies
AIM: fzammetti
Yahoo: fzammetti

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