Servlets are the Java platform technology of choice for extending and enhancing Web servers. Servlets provide a component-based, platform-independent method for building Web-based applications, without the performance limitations of CGI programs. And unlike proprietary server extension mechanisms (such as the Netscape Server API or Apache modules), servlets are server- and platform-independent. This leaves you free to select a "best of breed" strategy for your servers, platforms, and tools.
Servlets have access to the entire family of Java APIs, including the
JDBC API to access enterprise databases. Servlets can also access a library of HTTP-specific calls and receive all the benefits of the mature Java language, including portability, performance, reusability, and crash protection.
Today servlets are a popular choice for building interactive Web applications. Third-party servlet containers are available for Apache Web Server, Microsoft IIS, and others. Servlet containers are usually a component of Web and application servers, such as BEA WebLogic Application Server, IBM WebSphere, Sun Java System Web Server, Sun Java System Application Server, and others.
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JavaServer Pages (JSP) technology. JSP technology is an extension of the servlet technology created to support authoring of HTML and XML pages. It makes it easier to combine fixed or static template data with dynamic content. Even if you're comfortable writing servlets, there are several compelling reasons to investigate JSP technology as a complement to your existing work.