What is a Servlet in Java

Java provides a great functionality referred to as “Servlets” that enable the creation of dynamic web pages. These web pages are assistive in modifying the site contents in accordance with the requirements, and returning the contents according to the client’s request. Also, this feature does wonders in responding to web server requests effectively.

This blog will demonstrate the significance and working of the “Java Servlet”.

What is a “Servlet” in Java?

“Servlet” in Java corresponds to the programs that are executed on a web/application server and act as a bridge between the requests received from a browser or applications on the HTTP server.

Properties of Servlets

The following are the properties of Servlets:

  • The servlets function on the server side.
  • These are capable of coping with the complex requests received from the web server.

Architecture of Servlet

Working of Servlet

The working of Servlets involves the following steps in accordance with the above architecture:

  • The client places a request to the web server which is received by the server.
  • The web server forwards this particular request to the relevant/corresponding servlet.
  • The servlet processes the passed request and generates the outcome.
  • After that, the servlet returns the response back to a web server.
  • The web server gives the response to the client and the client logs/displays it.

Servlets Packages

“Servlets” are executed by a web server comprising an interpreter that supports the Servlet specification. Servlets can be created via the “javax.servlet” and “javax.servlet.http” packages. These packages enable us to compile servlets using the JDK’s Java compiler, or another compiler.

Following are some vital classes and interfaces accumulated in these packages:

Component Type Package
Servlet Interface javax.servlet.*
ServletResponse Interface javax.servlet.*
ServletRequest Interface javax.servlet.*
HttpServletResponse Interface javax.servlet.http.*
HttpServletRequest Interface javax.servlet.http.*
GenericServlet Class javax.servlet.*
HttpServlet Class javax.servlet.http.*


Java Servlets often apply the same functionality as the programs implemented via the “Common Gateway Interface (CGI)”. It is such that this interface i.e., “CGI” is an external application that is written via the programming languages “C” or “C++”, that processes the client requests, and generates dynamic content accordingly.

Java Servlet Features

Following are some of the Servlet features:

  • The Servlet program designed in a particular OS platform can be executed in a different OS Platform.
  • The Servlet instantly responds to the client’s request, thereby making them efficient.
  • The Servlets are robust as they comprise a “Security Manager”, and “Garbage Collector”, and perform “Exception Handling” as well.


“Java Servlet” corresponds to a server software component, created to improve the server services by enhancing their potential to respond to requests via a web API. This blog elaborated on the importance and working of a Servlet.

About the author

Umar Hassan

I am a Front-End Web Developer. Being a technical author, I try to learn new things and adapt with them every day. I am passionate to write about evolving software tools and technologies and make it understandable for the end-user.