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Beginner’s Guide: Introduction to Servlets and JSP

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Introduction to Servlets and JSP

In the world of web development, Servlets and JavaServer Pages (JSP) play a crucial role in building dynamic web applications. Servlets are Java classes that handle requests and generate responses on the server-side, while JSP provides a way to create dynamic content using HTML-like syntax. This tutorial will provide you with a beginner-friendly introduction to Servlets and JSP, along with code examples to help you get started.


Before diving into Servlets and JSP, you should have a basic understanding of Java programming language and web development concepts like HTML and HTTP.

What are Servlets?

Servlets are Java classes that extend the capabilities of servers. They receive and respond to requests from web clients, such as web browsers or mobile apps, by generating dynamic content. Servlets run on the server-side and are part of the Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE) platform.

Setting Up Your Development Environment

To develop Servlets and JSP applications, you need the following tools:

  1. Java Development Kit (JDK): Install JDK on your system to compile and run Java programs.
  2. Servlet Container: Choose a servlet container like Apache Tomcat or Jetty, which provides a runtime environment for deploying servlets and JSP pages.

Creating a Simple Servlet

Let’s create a simple servlet that responds with a “Hello, World!” message.

import javax.servlet.*;
import javax.servlet.http.*;

public class HelloServlet extends HttpServlet {
    public void doGet(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response) throws ServletException, IOException {
        PrintWriter out = response.getWriter();
        out.println("<html><head><title>Hello Servlet</title></head><body>");
        out.println("<h1>Hello, World!</h1>");

Deploying Servlets

To deploy a servlet:

  1. Compile the servlet class using the Java compiler.
  2. Place the compiled .class file in the WEB-INF/classes directory of your web application.
  3. Configure the servlet in the web.xml deployment descriptor file.

What are JSP?

JavaServer Pages (JSP) allow developers to create dynamic web pages by embedding Java code within HTML. JSP pages are compiled into servlets before execution, making them a convenient way to generate dynamic content.

Creating a Simple JSP Page

Let’s create a simple JSP page that displays the current date and time.

<%@ page language="java" contentType="text/html; charset=UTF-8" pageEncoding="UTF-8"%>
<!DOCTYPE html>
    <meta charset="UTF-8">
    <title>Hello JSP</title>
    <h1>Hello, welcome to JSP!</h1>
    <p>Current Date and Time: <%= new java.util.Date() %></p>

Deploying JSP Pages

To deploy a JSP page:

  1. Place the .jsp file in the webapp directory of your web application.
  2. Access the JSP page using its URL, e.g., http://localhost:8080/myapp/hello.jsp.


In this tutorial, you learned the basics of Servlets and JSP. Servlets handle requests and generate responses on the server-side, while JSP allows for the creation of dynamic web pages. With hands-on code examples, you should now have a solid foundation to start building web applications using Servlets and JSP. Explore further to unlock their full potential in developing dynamic and interactive web experiences.

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