Struts 2 - AJAX Drop down Example

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Struts 2 is a powerful web application development framework. Its built on top of WebWork framework and rebranded as Struts 2. Due to excessive popularity of Struts 1 its difficult to search for much relevant documentation on web about struts2. Slowly the search engines are improving on that.

In this example when you select from one drop down the other will populate accordingly. You can use it as is or play around with it based on your need
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<%@ taglib prefix="s" uri="/struts-tags" %>

<%@ taglib prefix="s"  uri="/struts-tags"%>
    <s:head theme="ajax"  />
     function show_details() {
    <s:form id="frm_demo" name="frm_demo"  theme="simple">
    <table  border="0">
     <td><s:select list="lstList1" name="lst"
     onchange="javascript:show_details();return false;"  ></s:select>
     <td><s:url id="d_url" action="DetailAction" /> <s:div  showLoadingText="false"
    id="details" href="%{d_url}"  theme="ajax"
    listenTopics="show_detail"  formId="frm_demo">

<%@ taglib prefix="s" uri="/struts-tags"%>
package ajaxdemo.action;

import java.util.ArrayList;
import java.util.List;

import com.opensymphony.xwork2.ActionSupport;

public class DetailAction extends ActionSupport {
private String lst;
private List lstList = null;
private List lstList2 = null;

public String execute() throws Exception {

if (getLst() != null && !getLst().equals("")) {
return SUCCESS;
} else {
return SUCCESS;

private void populateDetail(String id) {
lstList = new ArrayList();
if (id.equalsIgnoreCase("Fruits")) {
} else if (id.equalsIgnoreCase("Places")) {
lstList.add("New York");
} else {
lstList.add("Other 1");
lstList.add("Other 2");
lstList.add("Other 3");
lstList.add("Other 4");
lstList.add("Other 5");

public List getLstList() {
return lstList;

public void setLstList(List lstList) {
this.lstList = lstList;

public String getLst() {
return lst;

public void setLst(String lst) {
this.lst= lst;

package ajaxdemo.action;

import com.opensymphony.xwork2.ActionSupport;
import java.util.ArrayList;
import java.util.List;

public class ListingAction extends ActionSupport {
private List lstList1 = null;

public String execute() throws Exception {
return SUCCESS;

private void populateDetail() {
lstList1 = new ArrayList();


public List getLstList1() {
return lstList1;

public void setLstList1(List lstList1) {
this.lstList1 = lstList1;


"-//Apache Software Foundation//DTD Struts Configuration 2.0//EN"




<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<web-app version="2.5" xmlns="" xmlns:xsi="" xsi:schemaLocation="">





25 Post Comment

Priya Chopra said...

Really useful u have some code snippet for DOJO AJAX calls...

Kavita Pathak said...

I tried it but it goes into infinite loop and finally the browser hangs :(

Kavita Pathak said...

As Ajax UI tags were moved to the new dojo plugin, Use uri="/struts-dojo-tags" instead of uri="/struts-tags"

sofwarewiki said...

@Kavita thanks for your feedback, I will update the code. This may be due to the difference in Struts 2 versions we are using. I hope its working for you now.

Let me know if there is any other issue you are facing.

joel said...

how to run the program

Unknown said...

hey with out Ajax can ve create dropdown list in struts2??
Is it possible??
If s,tell me the code plss???

sofwarewiki said...

Yes, you can always create a list without using AJAX. The first list in this example does not require AJAX call. This example demonstrates how you can get the values in another drop down when one option is selected. Let me know what exactly you are looking for?

sofwarewiki said...

@joel Struts2 is a web based application framework and requires you to have a JEE server like Tomcat or Glassfish. you can download it from web and deploy your web application. You may want to read more about the JEE fundamentals before you get into this framework.

Anonymous said...

I am getting error like dojo is not defined. Can anybody help ?

sofwarewiki said...

@Anonymous -

1. can you post the exact error from the logs please.
2. Which version of Struts2 are you using?

Let me know and I will try to resolve the issue for you.

sofwarewiki said...

Do you have struts2-dojo-plugin-*.jar in you app/WEB-INF/lib directory? For dojo plugin to work this jar needs to be in your application CLASSPATH.

Anonymous said...

giving an error as the function publish(string)is undefine........

plz anyone help me....

sofwarewiki said...

1. which version of Struts2 you are using?

2. Do you have struts2-dojo-plugin-*.jar in you app/WEB-INF/lib directory? For dojo plugin to work this jar needs to be in your application CLASSPATH.

Let me know and I will try to help you debug this.

Unknown said...

Hi Vinod,

Very nice posting. I tried it but I get dojo undefined. I am using struts 2.0.11 which comes with dojo toolkit. Could you please include details like the struts version an ddojo etc?

Anonymous said...

i am quite new to /struts-dojo-tags, can you please tell me how the two combo box communicate with each other. For example on the select of one combo box how other combo box populate object.

Anonymous said...

it is a nice posting,I have requirement to use ajax in my application,from the jsp i need to make a ajax call to the action class which inturn take the request from the ajax query string and check with the database and should return a result set to the jsp page or ajax response.can any body help me on this.thanks in advance

sofwarewiki said...

@Anonymous - This example talks about a similar problem. These are the things you need to do

1. Replace the onchange event logic to a specific event you want AJAX call to be triggered on.

2. Add database call and data population in the populateDetail() method in

Let me know if this helps.

Anonymous said...

yes this helped me in fixing the issue.
Thanks for your advise

Anonymous said...

hi I have problem with struts 2 validator framework.when I am using that for my loginAction it is working fine,when I am using in other action which has the float datatype feilds I am having a problem.i did use the required validation on float feild it is saying me that it is a required feild but before that i am getting an alert box saying Object ERR.if I say ok then it is displaying a message XXX feild is required.please any help is appriciated
Thanks in advance

sofwarewiki said...

@Anonymous - I need to see the code before I can suggest anything. Please let me know the content of config files and Struts action classes.

I am assuming you are using Struts 2.

Also checkout this post about struts validation Struts 2 Integer Validation

Unknown said...


I am getting the first list to show up but the second list is not showing up. I am using struts

sofwarewiki said...

This example uses Struts 2.0, and there has been significant changes in Struts

Try to browse through the showcase application of Struts

Anonymous said...

Any example that works with jQuery?

Johannes said...

in the struts2 jquery plugin wiki you can find an example for ajax based drop down.

also in the showcase under "Ajax Forms" are some examples for this task.

Anonymous said...

How do you get the value from the secound drop down box. If I added a submit button that call a struts action to to get both values on the select boxes there is not way to refrence the secound box

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