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Servlet vs. JSP: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on February 28, 2024
Servlets are Java programs handling server-side logic, while JSPs (JavaServer Pages) are HTML-based documents embedding Java code for dynamic web content.

Key Differences

Servlets are Java classes that extend the capabilities of servers hosting applications accessed via a request-response model. JSP, JavaServer Pages, is a technology that allows writing dynamically generated web pages based on HTML, XML, or other document types.
Servlets are used for handling the request obtained from the web server, process the data, and produce the response. JSPs are primarily used to embed Java code in HTML pages and are focused more on the presentation aspect of data on the web.
When a Servlet is called, it runs a service method and can handle complex logic. JSP is converted into a Servlet before execution, but it's more convenient for creating and maintaining view pages.
Writing a Servlet involves coding in Java, which can be complex and hard to read if mixed with HTML. JSP, on the other hand, allows for embedding Java code in HTML, making it easier to write and maintain for web designers.
Servlets offer more flexibility and control as they are written purely in Java. JSPs are less flexible but more convenient for creating dynamic content with less Java code involved.

Comparison Chart


Java class handling server logic
HTML page embedding Java for dynamic content

Primary Use

Process data and generate responses
Presentation and display of web content


Directly runs Java code
Converts to Servlet before execution

Coding Style

Pure Java, complex with HTML
Mixes Java with HTML, easier for designers


High, full control in Java
Lower, more convenient for simple tasks

Servlet and JSP Definitions


Dynamic Web Component.
We use a Servlet to dynamically generate the web page content.


HTML with Java Code.
In this JSP, Java code is embedded within HTML tags.


Backend Processor.
The Servlet acts as a back-end processor for our online form submission.


Web Presentation Layer.
JSP forms the presentation layer of our web application.


Server-Side Java Program.
The Servlet processed the user request and interacted with the database.


Easy-to-Write Web Interface.
JSP allows us to write user interfaces with less Java coding.


Java API Component.
This Servlet is part of our Java-based web application.


Dynamic Web Page.
Our JSP page dynamically displays user data on the website.


Request Handler.
Our Servlet handles HTTP requests and generates responses.


Servlet Conversion.
When requested, this JSP is converted into a Servlet.


A Java program running on an Internet server that generates web content dynamically in response to requests from clients.


How do Servlets work?

Servlets process requests and generate responses on the server side.

Are JSPs converted into Servlets?

Yes, JSPs are converted into Servlets before execution.

What is the primary use of JSP?

JSP is used for creating dynamic web content with embedded Java.

What is easier to maintain, Servlet or JSP?

JSP is generally easier to maintain, especially for web designers.

What is a Servlet?

A Java program that extends the capabilities of servers.

What does JSP stand for?

JSP stands for JavaServer Pages.

Can Servlets generate HTML?

Yes, Servlets can generate HTML for responses.

Is Java knowledge required for JSP?

Basic Java knowledge is beneficial for JSP.

Can JSP handle form data?

Yes, JSP can handle form data using embedded Java code.

Can JSP be used for complex logic?

JSP can include complex logic but is more suited for presentation.

Can Servlets be used without JSP?

Yes, Servlets can be used independently of JSP.

Do Servlets have better performance than JSPs?

Servlets can be more efficient for complex logic processing.

How do Servlets and JSPs communicate?

JSPs can call Servlets, and Servlets can forward requests to JSPs.

Are Servlets suitable for web designers?

Servlets are less suitable due to their Java-centric nature.

Do JSPs support HTML5?

Yes, JSPs can support HTML5.

Can Servlets interact with databases?

Yes, Servlets can interact with databases for data processing.

Is JSP a frontend technology?

JSP is a server-side technology but often handles the frontend presentation.

Are JSPs slower than Servlets?

JSPs might be slightly slower due to conversion to Servlets.

Do Servlets support session management?

Yes, Servlets support session management.

Can JSP include JavaScript and CSS?

Yes, JSP can include JavaScript and CSS for frontend design.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
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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