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The recommended way to test actions is to instantiate the action classes and test them. The JUnit Plugin supports testing actions within a Struts invocation, meaning that a full request is simulated, and the output of the action can be tested.

Struts actions (without Spring)

To test actions that do not use Spring, extend StrutsTestCase. The following example shows different ways of testing an action:



The template

If you use JSPs as the template engine you won't be able to test the action output outside the container. The Embedded JSP Plugin can be used to overcome this limitation and be able to use JSPs from the classpath and outside the container.

There are several utility methods and mock objects defined in StrutsTestCase which can be used to facilitate the testing:

Method Name



Pass the url for the action, and it will return the output of the action. This output is not the action result, like "success", but what would be written to the result stream. To use this the actions must be using a result type that can be read from the classpath, like FreeMarker, velocity, etc (if you are using the experimental Embedded JSP Plugin, you can use JSPs also)


Builds an action proxy that can be used to invoke an action, by calling execute() on the returned proxy object. The return value of execute() is the action result, like "success"


Gets an ActionMapping for the url


Injects Struts dependencies into an object (dependencies are marked with Inject)


Finds an object in the value stack, after an action has been executed


Can be overwritten in subclass to provide additional params and settings used during action invocation



MockHttpServletRequest request

The request that will be passed to Struts. Make sure to set parameters in this object before calling methods like getActionProxy

MockHttpServletResponse response

The response object passed to Struts, you can use this class to test the output, response headers, etc

MockServletContext servletContext

The servlet context object passed to Struts

Struts Actions using Spring

Make sure to add a dependency to the Spring Plugin to your pom.xml:

If you use Spring as the object factory, the StrutsSpringTestCase class can be used to write your JUnits. This class extends StrutsTestCase and has a applicationContext field of type ApplicationContext.

The Spring context is loaded from "classpath*:applicationContext.xml" by default. To provide a different location, overwrite getContextLocations.