Struts 2 OGNL, ActionInvocation, ActionContext

The Object Graph Navigation Language (OGNL) is an expression language. It simplifies the accessibility of data stored in the ActionContext.

The struts framework sets the ValueStack as the root object of OGNL. Notice that action object is pushed into the ValueStack. We can direct access the action property.

<s:property value="username"/>

Here, username is the property key
The struts framework places other objects in ActionContext also e.g. map representing the request, session, application scopes.

To get these values i.e. not the action property, we need to use # notation. For example to get the data from session scope, we need to use #session as given in the following example:

<s:property name="#session.username"/>


<s:property name="#session['username']"/>

Struts 2 ActionInvocation

The ActionInvocation represents the execution state of an action. It holds the action and interceptors objects.

The struts framework provides ActionInvocation interface to deal with ActionInvocation. It provides many methods, some of them can be used to get the instance of ValueStack, ActionProxy, ActionContext, Result etc.

Methods of ActionInvocation Interface

The commonly used methods of ActionInvocation interface are as follows:
1)public ActionContext getInvocationContext() returns the ActionContext object associated with the ActionInvocation.
2)public ActionProxy getProxy() returns the ActionProxy instance holding this ActionInvocation.
3)public ValueStack getStack() returns the instance of ValueStack.
4)public Action getAction() returns the instance of Action associated with this ActionInvocation.
5)public void invoke() invokes the next resource in processing this ActionInvocation.
6)public Result getResult() returns the instance of Result.

Struts 2 ActionContex

The ActionContext is a container of objects in which action is executed. The values stored in the ActionContext are unique per thread (i.e. ThreadLocal). So we don’t need to make our action thread safe. 

We can get the reference of ActionContext by calling the getContext() method of ActionContext class. It is a static factory method. For example: 

ActionContext context = ActionContext.getContext();
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