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Definition: servlet


A Java application in a Web or application server that provides server-side processing such as e-commerce and database search. Servlets are designed to handle HTTP requests (get, post, etc.) and are the Java replacement for a variety of methods, including CGI scripts, Active Server Pages (ASPs) and proprietary C/C++ plug-ins for specific Web servers (ISAPI, NSAPI).

Because they are written in Java, servlets are portable between servers and operating systems. The servlet programming interface (Java Servlet API) is a standard part of the Java EE platform. If a Web server does not run servlets natively, a third-party servlet plug-in can be installed to add the runtime support. See servlet container, Java, application server, JSP, Java EE, ISAPI, NSAPI and CGI script.




Servlets Run in the Server
Servlets, as well as JavaServer Pages (JSPs), are server-side applications. The Web server or application server must support servlet processing, which became available as part of the Java 2 platform.