Fork me on GitHub
<< back to Core Developers Guide

Writing Interceptors

See the Interceptors page for an overview of how interceptors work.

Interceptor interface

Interceptors must implement the com.opensymphony.xwork2.interceptor.Interceptor interface.

public interface Interceptor extends Serializable {

    void destroy();

    void init();

    String intercept(ActionInvocation invocation) throws Exception;

The init method is called the after interceptor is instantiated and before calling intercept . This is the place to allocate any resources used by the interceptor.

The intercept method is where the interceptor code is written. Just like an action method, intercept returns a result used by Struts to forward the request to another web resource. Calling invoke on the parameter of type ActionInvocation will execute the action (if this is the last interceptor on the stack) or another interceptor.

Keep in mind that invoke will return after the result has been called (eg. after you JSP has been rendered), making it perfect for things like open-session-in-view patterns. If you want to do something before the result gets called, you should implement a PreResultListener.

Overwrite destroy to release resources on application shutdown.

Thread Safety

Interceptors must be thread-safe!

A Struts 2 Action instance is created for every request and do not need to be thread-safe. Conversely, Interceptors are shared between requests and must be thread-safe^[].


The AbstractInterceptor class provides an empty implementation of init and destroy , and can be used if these methods are not going to be implemented.


Interceptors are declared using the interceptor element, nested inside the interceptors element. Example from struts-default.xml:


   <package name="struts-default">
         <interceptor name="alias" class="com.opensymphony.xwork2.interceptor.AliasInterceptor"/>
         <interceptor name="autowiring" class="com.opensymphony.xwork2.spring.interceptor.ActionAutowiringInterceptor"/>



Assuming there is an action of type “MyAction”, with a setDate(Date) method, this simple interceptor will set the date of the action to the current date:

Interceptor Example

import com.opensymphony.xwork2.ActionInvocation;
import com.opensymphony.xwork2.interceptor.AbstractInterceptor;

public class SimpleInterceptor extends AbstractInterceptor {

    public String intercept(ActionInvocation invocation) throws Exception {
       MyAction action = (MyAction)invocation.getAction();
       action.setDate(new Date());
       return invocation.invoke();