SiteMesh was built upon the Java Servlet 2.3 API. It is a web-page layout system and web-application integration system to aid in creating large sites consisting of many pages for which a consistent look/feel, navigation, and layout scheme is required.

It intercepts requests to any static or dynamically generated HTML page requested through the web-server, parses the page, obtains properties, and data from the content, and generates an appropriate final page with modifications to the original.

It is ideally suited for Java based sites (particularly JSP) but can be dropped into any existing site that uses a Servlet engine including static, CGI, PHP, and ColdFusion generated pages.

SiteMesh is virtually transparent. You can easily drop it into existing applications even if they are already using custom presentation frameworks. HTML Decorators (templates) can easily be defined and a knowledge of Java is not necessarily required. Portal style applications can be assembled with ease.

SiteMesh is part of the OpenSymphony project and available under an open-source Apache style license.

The latest release works fully on Tomcat 4 (final), Resin 2.0.2, Orion 1.5.2 and Oracle OC4J 1.0.2. There is partial support for WebLogic 6.1.