Introduction to Java Servlets

What are Java Servlets?

Java Servlets are Java-based components that extend the functionality of a web server, allowing it to generate dynamic content and interact with clients, typically web browsers. Servlets are a crucial part of Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE) and are used to build web applications that are scalable, platform-independent, and maintainable.

Key Features of Servlets

Servlets offer several key features, including:

  • Platform Independence: Servlets are written in Java, making them platform-independent and able to run on any server that supports the Java Servlet API.
  • Security: Servlets can take advantage of Java's built-in security features, making them suitable for developing secure web applications.
  • Efficiency: Servlets are efficient in handling concurrent requests and can be used for both small-scale and large-scale applications.
  • Extensibility: You can extend the functionality of servlets through the use of various Java EE technologies, like JSP (JavaServer Pages) and EJB (Enterprise JavaBeans).

Creating a Simple Servlet

To create a simple servlet, you need to create a Java class that extends the javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet class. Here's an example of a "HelloWorldServlet" that responds with a "Hello, World!" message:

import javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletRequest;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletResponse;
public class HelloWorldServlet extends HttpServlet {
protected void doGet(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response) throws IOException {
response.getWriter().print("<html><body><h1>Hello, World!</h1></body></html>");

Deploying a Servlet

To deploy a servlet, you typically package it in a web application archive (WAR) file and deploy it to a servlet container or application server, such as Apache Tomcat or WildFly. The servlet container manages the servlet's lifecycle and handles HTTP requests.

Accessing a Servlet

Once a servlet is deployed, you can access it through a URL, typically in the format:


In this example, "your-web-app" is the name of your web application, and "hello" is the URL pattern associated with your servlet.


Java Servlets are a fundamental building block for web applications in Java. You've learned the basics of servlets, their key features, and how to create a simple servlet in this guide. As you explore more advanced servlet development and web application building, you'll unlock the full potential of Java Servlets for web development.