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ACT Framework

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Add act-starter-parent into your pom.xml file


Or use maven archetype to start a new project:

mvn archetype:generate -B \
    -DgroupId=com.mycom.helloworld \
    -DartifactId=helloworld \
    -DarchetypeGroupId=org.actframework \
    -DarchetypeArtifactId=archetype-quickstart \

tips don't forget replace the groupId, artifactId and appName in the above script, or you can use interactive mode to generate your project:

mvn archetype:generate -DarchetypeGroupId=org.actframework -DarchetypeArtifactId=archetype-quickstart -DarchetypeVersion=

Note There are more ActFramework application archetypes for use. Please get them here.


  • A full stack MVC framework

    • Actframework is NOT a servlet framework. Act app does not run in a servlet container. Instead it run as an independent Java application and it starts in seconds
  • Unbeatable development experience w/ great performance

    • Never restart your app when you are developing. Act's dev mode provides hot reloading feature makes it the dream of every Java web app developer. Check out this 3 mins video and feel it!
    • According to TechEmpower Framework Benchmark Act beats most full stack Java web framework on the market. In some cases Act can be over 10 times faster than Springboot
  • Fully JSR330 Dependency Injection support

    • ActFramework's DI support is built on top of Genie, a lightweight yet fast JSR330 implementation.
    • Benefit from Act's powerful class scan feature, it does not require the user to create injector from modules (as the usually way you use Guice). Declare your module and your binding is automatically registered
  • Superb SPA/Mobile app support

  • Uncompromising Security

  • Annotation aware but not annotation stack

    • Annotation is one of the tool ActFramework used to increase expressiveness. However we do not appreciate crazy annotation stacked code. Instead we make the code to express the intention in a natural way and save the use of annotation whenever possible.

      For example, for the following SpringMVC code:

      @RequestMapping(value="/user/{userId}/invoices", method = RequestMethod.GET)
      public List listUsersInvoices(
        @PathVariable("userId") int user,
        @RequestParam(value = "date", required = false) Date dateOrNull) {

      The corresponding ActFramework app code is:

      public List listUsersInvoices(int user, Date date) {
  • Multi-environment configuration

    • ActFramework supports the concept of profile which allows you to organize your configurations in different environment (defined by profile) easily. Take a look at the following configurations from one of our real project:

        ├── conf
        │   ├── common
        │   │   ├──
        │   │   ├──
        │   │   ├──
        │   │   ├──
        │   │   └──
        │   ├── local-no-ui
        │   │   ├──
        │   │   ├──
        │   │   └──
        │   ├── local-sit
        │   │   └──
        │   ├── local-ui
        │   │   ├──
        │   │   └──
        │   ├── sit
        │   │   ├──
        │   │   └──
        │   └── uat

      Suppose on your UAT server, you start the application with JVM option -Dprofile=uat, ActFramework will load the configuration in the following sequence:

      1. Read all .properties files in the /resources/conf/common dir
      2. Read all .properties files in the /resources/conf/uat dir

      This way ActFramework use the configuration items defined in uat profile to overwrite the same items defined in common profile. The common items that are not overwritten still effective.

  • Simple yet powerful database support

  • Powerful view architecture with multiple render engine support

  • An unbelievable automate testing framework that never presented in any other MVC frameworks

  • Commonly used tools

Sample code

A HelloWorld app

package demo.helloworld;

import act.Act;
import act.Version;
import org.osgl.mvc.annotation.GetAction;

public class HelloWorldApp {

    public String sayHelloTo(@DefaultValue("World") String who) {
        return "Hello " + who + "!";

    public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {


See this 7 mins video on how to create HelloWorld in Eclipse from scratch. or for users without youtube access

A full RESTful service


import act.controller.Controller;
import act.db.morphia.MorphiaAdaptiveRecord;
import act.db.morphia.MorphiaDao;
import org.mongodb.morphia.annotations.Entity;
import org.osgl.mvc.annotation.*;

import java.util.Map;

import static act.controller.Controller.Util.notFoundIfNull;

public class User extends MorphiaAdaptiveRecord<User> {

    public static class Service extends MorphiaDao<User> {

        public User create(User user) {
            return save(user);

        public Iterable<User> list() {
            return findAll();

        public User show(@DbBind("id") User user) {
            return user;

        public User update(@DbBind("id") @NotNull User user, Map<String, Object> data) {
            return save(user);

        public void delete(String id) {

    public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {


See this 1 hour video on RESTful support or for user without youtube access

See this 7 mins video to understand more about AdaptiveRecord or for user without youtube access


I love PlayFramework v1.x because it is simple, clear and expressive. It brought us a completely different experience in web development with Java. However I don't totally agree with where Play 2.X is heading for, and it looks like I am not the only person with the concern as per this open letter to Play Framework Developers.

I have thought of rolling out something that could follow the road paved by Play 1.x, something that is simple, clear, expressive and Java (specifically) developer friendly. About one and half year after that I decide I could start the project seriously, and now another one and half year passed by, I've got this ACT framework in a relatively good shape.

Happy coding!