Difference Wiki

Applet in Java vs. Servlet in Java: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on February 19, 2024
Applet in Java is a client-side, GUI-based program. Servlet in Java is a server-side, Java program handling web requests.

Key Differences

Applets are Java programs that run in a web browser, requiring a Java plugin, and are primarily used for user interaction and graphical interfaces. Servlets, conversely, operate on the server side, processing web requests and generating responses, often HTML, back to the client.
Applets enhance the user experience on the client side by being embedded in web pages, while servlets are robust Java programs on the server, handling tasks like form submission and database queries without any graphical user interface.
Security-wise, applets run in a restricted environment (sandbox), limiting their access to system resources to protect the user. Servlets, being server-side, have broader access to server resources but must manage security regarding data and application integrity.
Applets have declined in popularity due to security concerns and the rise of other technologies like JavaScript and HTML5 for client-side interactivity. Servlets remain crucial in Java web application architecture, often used alongside JSP (JavaServer Pages).
Development and deployment differ significantly; applets are typically embedded in HTML and require a Java-enabled browser, whereas servlets are deployed on a web server like Apache Tomcat, handling backend processes in a web application.

Comparison Chart

Execution Environment

Client-side (in a web browser)
Server-side (on a web server)

Primary Function

Enhancing user interfaces and interactions
Handling and responding to web requests

User Interface

Graphical (GUI-based)
None (works in the background)

Security Context

Runs in a sandbox environment
Operates with server-level security

Popularity and Usage

Declined due to security and technological evolution
Remains vital in Java web applications

Applet in Java and Servlet in Java Definitions

Applet in Java

Java applets are embedded Java programs that enhance web pages with interactive features.
Our website's color picker tool is actually an applet in Java.

Servlet in Java

A Java servlet is a server-side program that handles client requests and generates responses.
The form submission and data processing on our website are handled by a servlet in Java.

Applet in Java

Java applets provide dynamic and interactive user experiences on a webpage.
The animated chart displayed on the page is powered by an applet in Java.

Servlet in Java

Java servlets operate on the server, independent of any client-side interface.
User authentication for our web application is managed by a servlet in Java.

Applet in Java

A small application designed to be run within a web browser.
The interactive calculator on the website is an applet in Java.

Servlet in Java

Servlets in Java are used for managing interactions between a web server and a client's browser.
The server-side logic of our shopping cart is implemented through a servlet in Java.

Applet in Java

A Java applet executes within a client's browser, providing embedded app-like functionalities.
For the interactive map feature, we use an applet in Java.

Servlet in Java

A Java servlet runs within a web container or server, processing web requests.
Every time you check out, a servlet in Java processes your order on the server.

Applet in Java

Applets in Java are executed in a JVM (Java Virtual Machine) in the browser.
The online game on the website is an applet in Java, running in the JVM of the browser.

Servlet in Java

Servlets in Java provide a way to create dynamic web content.
Dynamic page rendering on our site is achieved using a servlet in Java.


Are Java servlets used for user interfaces?

No, servlets handle server-side processing without a GUI.

What is an applet in Java?

A small Java application that runs in a web browser.

What is a servlet in Java?

A server-side Java program for web applications.

Do applets in Java need a specific browser plugin?

Yes, they require a Java plugin in the browser.

Are applets in Java still popular?

No, their usage has declined due to security concerns.

Can applets in Java access local files?

Generally, no. They run in a sandbox for security.

Do servlets in Java support session management?

Yes, they can manage sessions across requests.

Can applets in Java interact with other web technologies?

Yes, they can interact with JavaScript and HTML.

Can servlets in Java access databases?

Yes, they can connect to and interact with databases.

How do servlets in Java communicate with clients?

Through HTTP requests and responses.

Do servlets in Java require a front-end?

No, they can function without a front-end, often working with JSP.

What is needed to run an applet in Java?

A Java-enabled web browser with the necessary plugin.

Are applets in Java cross-platform?

Yes, if the browser supports Java.

Is it easy to embed an applet in Java in a webpage?

It requires HTML and the applet tag, but is generally straightforward.

What servers support Java servlets?

Web servers like Apache Tomcat and Jetty.

Can an applet in Java run outside a browser?

Typically, no. They are designed for browsers.

How are servlets in Java deployed?

On a web server, often within a WAR (Web Application Archive) file.

How do servlets in Java handle multiple requests?

They are multithreaded, handling multiple requests simultaneously.

Is special security needed for applets in Java?

Yes, they are sandboxed for security.

What makes servlets in Java suitable for large applications?

Their ability to handle complex server-side processing efficiently.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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