Welcome to Part 4 for Spring 3.0 MVC Series. In previous article we saw how to create a form using Spring 3 MVC and display it in JSP. Also we learn about annotation
@ModelAttribute. In this part we will discuss about Tiles Framework and its Integration with Spring 3.0 MVC. We will add Tiles support to our HelloWorld Spring application that we created in previous parts. I strongly recommend you to go through previous articles and download the source code of our sample application. [sc:SpringMVC_Tutorials]
Introduction to Tiles 2Nowadays, website are generally divided into pieces of reusable template that are being rendered among different web pages. For example a site containing header, footer, menu etc. This items remains same through out the website and give it a common look and feel. It is very difficult to hard code this in each and every webpage and if later a change is needed than all the pages needs to be modified. Hence we use templatization mechanism. We create a common Header, Footer, Menu page and include this in each page. Tiles Plugin allow both templating and componentization. In fact, both mechanisms are similar: you define parts of page (a “Tile”) that you assemble to build another part or a full page. A part can take parameters, allowing dynamic content, and can be seen as a method in JAVA language. Tiles is a templating system used to maintain a consistent look and feel across all the web pages of a web application. It increase the reusability of template and reduce code duplication. A common layout of website is defined in a central configuration file and this layout can be extended across all the webpages of the web application.
Our Application LayoutOur goal is to add Header, Footer and Menu to our Spring 3 HelloWorld application. Following will be the layout of the same.
Required JAR filesIn order to add Tiles support to our Spring3 application, we will need few jar files. Following is the list of JARs in our example. Add these JARs in WEB-INF/lib folder. The highlighted jar files in above list are the new jars to be added in project for Tiles integration.
Configuring Tiles framework in Spring MVCTo configure Tiles, an entry for bean
TilesConfigurehas to be made in spring-servlet.xml. Open the spring-servlet.xml from WEB-INF folder and add following code between
<beans> </beans>tag. File: /WebContent/WEB-INF/spring-servlet.xml
An input configuration file /WEB-INF/tiles.xml is passed as argument in above bean definition. This file contains the Tiles definition for our web application. Create a file tiles.xml in WEB-INF folder and copy following code into it. File: WebContent/WEB-INF/tiles.xml
<bean id="viewResolver" class="org.springframework.web.servlet.view.UrlBasedViewResolver"> <property name="viewClass"> <value> org.springframework.web.servlet.view.tiles2.TilesView </value> </property> </bean> <bean id="tilesConfigurer" class="org.springframework.web.servlet.view.tiles2.TilesConfigurer"> <property name="definitions"> <list> <value>/WEB-INF/tiles.xml</value> </list> </property> </bean>
Here in tiles.xml we have define a template base.definition. This layout contains attributes such as Header, Title, Body, Menu and Footer. The layout is then extended and new definitions for Contact page. We have override the default layout and changed the content for Body and Title.
<tiles-definitions> <definition name="base.definition" template="/WEB-INF/jsp/layout.jsp"> <put-attribute name="title" value="" /> <put-attribute name="header" value="/WEB-INF/jsp/header.jsp" /> <put-attribute name="menu" value="/WEB-INF/jsp/menu.jsp" /> <put-attribute name="body" value="" /> <put-attribute name="footer" value="/WEB-INF/jsp/footer.jsp" /> </definition> <definition name="contact" extends="base.definition"> <put-attribute name="title" value="Contact Manager" /> <put-attribute name="body" value="/WEB-INF/jsp/contact.jsp" /> </definition> </tiles-definitions>
Creating View – The JSPsWe will define the template for our webapplication in a JSP file called layout.jsp. This template will contain different segments of web page (Header, Footer, Menu etc). Create four new JSP files layout.jsp, header.jsp, menu.jsp and footer.jsp and copy following content in each of them. File: WebContent/WEB-INF/jsp/layout.jsp
<%@ taglib uri="http://tiles.apache.org/tags-tiles" prefix="tiles"%> <html> <head> <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8"> <title><tiles:insertAttribute name="title" ignore="true" /></title> </head> <body> <table border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2" align="center"> <tr> <td height="30" colspan="2"><tiles:insertAttribute name="header" /> </td> </tr> <tr> <td height="250"><tiles:insertAttribute name="menu" /></td> <td width="350"><tiles:insertAttribute name="body" /></td> </tr> <tr> <td height="30" colspan="2"><tiles:insertAttribute name="footer" /> </td> </tr> </table> </body> </html>
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