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Apache Tiles - Framework - Creating Tiles Pages

WARNING!!! Configuration with initialization parameters is deprecated! If you still want to use it, please refer to 2.1 version of this page.

Creating and using Tiles pages

After installing and learning some of Tiles concepts, it is time to create some pages. Here you will find the steps to create reusable Tiles pieces and complete pages.

Create a template

Let's take the classic layout page structure:

The "classic layout", a typical structure of a web page.

Create a JSP page that acts as this layout and place it under /layouts/classic.jsp file.

<%@ taglib uri="http://tiles.apache.org/tags-tiles" prefix="tiles" %>
<html>
  <head>
    <title><tiles:getAsString name="title"/></title>
  </head>
  <body>
        <table>
      <tr>
        <td colspan="2">
          <tiles:insertAttribute name="header" />
        </td>
      </tr>
      <tr>
        <td>
          <tiles:insertAttribute name="menu" />
        </td>
        <td>
          <tiles:insertAttribute name="body" />
        </td>
      </tr>
      <tr>
        <td colspan="2">
          <tiles:insertAttribute name="footer" />
        </td>
      </tr>
    </table>
  </body>
</html>

This template has five attributes: title (of string type), header, menu, body and footer.

Create the composing pages

In this phase, you have to create four JSP pages, that will take place of header, menu, body and footer attributes in the previously created template.

You can put everything you want in this pages, they are just a test.

Create Tiles configuration

To load the Tiles definition files, override the getSourceURLs method of BasicTilesContainerFactory this way:

public class TestTilesContainerFactory extends BasicTilesContainerFactory {

    @Override
    protected List<URL> getSourceURLs(TilesApplicationContext applicationContext,
            TilesRequestContextFactory contextFactory) {
        List<URL> urls = new ArrayList<URL>();
        try {
            urls.add(applicationContext.getResource("/WEB-INF/tiles-defs.xml"));
        } catch (IOException e) {
            throw new DefinitionsFactoryException(
                    "Cannot load definition URLs", e);
        }
        return urls;
    }
}

Create the Tiles listener along with an inner class that represents the initializer:

public class TestTilesListener extends AbstractTilesListener {

    @Override
    protected TilesInitializer createTilesInitializer() {
        return new TestTilesListenerInitializer();
    }

    private static class TestTilesListenerInitializer extends AbstractTilesInitializer {

        @Override
        protected AbstractTilesContainerFactory createContainerFactory(
                TilesApplicationContext context) {
            return new TestTilesContainerFactory();
        }
    }
}

Define the listener in web.xml

<listener>
  <listener-class>my.package.TestTilesListener</listener-class>
</listener>

Create a definition

Create the /WEB-INF/tiles-defs.xml file:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1" ?>
<!DOCTYPE tiles-definitions PUBLIC
       "-//Apache Software Foundation//DTD Tiles Configuration 2.1//EN"
       "http://tiles.apache.org/dtds/tiles-config_2_1.dtd">
<tiles-definitions>
  <definition name="myapp.homepage" template="/layouts/classic.jsp">
    <put-attribute name="title" value="Tiles tutorial homepage" />
    <put-attribute name="header" value="/tiles/banner.jsp" />
    <put-attribute name="menu" value="/tiles/common_menu.jsp" />
    <put-attribute name="body" value="/tiles/home_body.jsp" />
    <put-attribute name="footer" value="/tiles/credits.jsp" />
  </definition>
</tiles-definitions>

Render the definition

After creating the definition, you can render it:

  • by using the <tiles:insertDefinition /> tag, inserting it in a JSP page:
    <%@ taglib uri="http://tiles.apache.org/tags-tiles" prefix="tiles" %>
    <tiles:insertDefinition name="myapp.homepage" />
  • in other cases, you can render directly in the response, by using the Tiles container:
    TilesContainer container = TilesAccess.getContainer(
            request.getSession().getServletContext());
    container.render("myapp.homepage", request, response);
  • by using Rendering Utilities provided by Tiles.
  • by using a supporting framework. See Integrations for a list of supporting frameworks.