Programming

JSP vs Servlet: Difference and Comparison

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In the world today, a large percentage of the internet’s structure consists of web applications of different types. As a developer, you can design and develop web applications by using web components, such as Servlet, JSP, and so on. In general, web components such as JSP and Servlet execute on the server and respond to client requests. Servlets run in web containers, while JSPs are text documents that contain both static and dynamic data. Servlets and JSPs both have their own specific uses.

In this article, we will discuss the main differences between JSP and servlet, as well as describe the definitions of servlet and JSP, along with their advantages. Understanding the differences between JavaServer Pages (JSPs) and Java Servlets (Servlets) will help you better understand their workings.

What Is JSP?

Often referred to as the Jakarta Server Pages or Java Server Pages, JSP is a collection of technologies that allow designers and developers to create dynamically generated web pages that are based on XML, HTML, SOAP, and other formats of documents. The Java Server Pages (JSP) language was released by Sun Microsystems in 1999 and is closely related to PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) and ASP (Active Server Pages).

You will need a web server that supports servlet containers, such as Apache Tomcat or Jetty, in order to deploy and execute JSPs. JSPs are easy to develop and are extremely simple to understand. Since JSP has a broad range of applications, it is most commonly used to develop web applications.

Advantages of JSP

The following are some reasons to use JSP:

  • JSP containers make coding simpler while still providing access to standard objects and actions.
  • Writing codes in JSP has the advantage of allowing us to write them once and run them anywhere. For instance, we can run the code on any operating system.
  • Since the business logic and presentation logic are already separated, the code is very easy to maintain.
  • The execution of JSP is much faster than that of other dynamic languages.
  • Compilation of code becomes easier after errors are corrected.
  • It employs a simplified scripting language based on the syntax of embedding HTML into JSP pages.
  • The JSP files are always compiled before they are processed by the server, which reduces the effort that the server must put into it.
  • The Servlet API is the foundation for building Java server pages. Therefore, it is able to access all Java APIs, JDBC, JNDI, EJB, and other Java components. JSP is an essential part of Java Enterprise Edition (EE), which is one of the most popular platforms for enterprise-level applications.

What Is Servlet?

Servlets are programming classes for web servers that enable web-based applications to be developed without the limitations of Common Gateway Interface (CGI) programs. The servlet can be defined as a Java class that extends the functionality of servers that host applications accessible through a request-response model. Servlets are primarily used to extend a web service’s functionality. 

Servlets are Java technologies that are managed by containers called servlet engines. In Servlets, dynamic content is generated, and client-server interactions are conducted using Requests and Responses. Even though servlets can handle a wide variety of requests, they usually implement web containers in order to host web pages/websites on web servers. It, therefore, qualifies as a server-side servlet web API (Application Programming Interface).

Advantages of Servlet

The following are some reasons to use Servlet:

  • Servlet has much better performance.
  • It is faster to use servlets than CGI scripts (Common Gateway Interfaces) since servlets have different processing models.
  • Servlets benefit from large Java libraries that can accelerate the ongoing technology development process.
  • Servlets are used when you don’t want to create separate processes for handling each client’s request.
  • Servlets are useful for developers who want to utilize all Java’s features.
  • By using Java class libraries, a servlet can interact with applets, databases, or any other software through the sockets and RMI mechanisms.
  • The Servlet application is extremely portable, so it can be run on virtually any OS.
  • Currently, many vendors utilize Java-based technologies; Servlets are incredibly popular worldwide.
  • The servlets can be handled easily.
  • Servlets provide a wide range of APIs for Java platforms, including CORBA, Enterprise JavaBeans, database access, email, and many more.

JSP vs Servlet

In the world of Java web frameworks, servlets and JSP are two of the most important server-side technologies that make up the building blocks for developing Java web applications. As you probably know, JSP and Servlet have a lot of differences. Here are some of the main differences between JSP and Servlet.

Definition

  • JSP, an acronym for Java Server Pages, is an extensive collection of technologies used to develop interactive web pages, web applications, and applications, normally HTML pages embedded with Java code.
  • Servlet is a programming class software platform used for web servers in order to provide developers with a component-based and platform-independent way to develop web-based applications without being constrained by the limits of CGI (Common Gateway Interface). 

Implementation

  • Although JSP is primarily written in HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), Java code can also be written for it using JSTL (JavaServer Pages Standard Tag Library) or another language.
  • Java is the programming language used to develop servlets.

MVC

  • A JSP acts as a view to render the servlet response.
  • Servlets can be viewed as controllers that receive requests and respond to them.

Request Type

  • The JSP can only handle HTTP requests (Hypertext Markup Language).
  • The servlet, however, can handle any protocol request.

Session Management

  • The session management feature is enabled by default when executing programs in JSP.
  • Session management is not enabled by default in Servlet; it must be enabled explicitly.

Performance

  • As far as compiling is concerned, Servlets are faster than JSPs.
  • A JSP is slower to compile than a Servlet since it is translated first and then compiled.

Modification reflected

  • The JSP program is easy to modify because we do not have to restart things from scratch; just one restart button is enough to make the changes.
  • Modifying Servlets is more time-consuming because we must reload, recompile, and restart the server after every change.

APIs and JavaBeans

  • JSP uses JavaBeans to create a webpage.
  • For processing, servlets have specific APIs (Application Programming Interface).

Implicit Object

  • There are implicit objects built into JSP (including request, config, etc.).
  • Servlets do not have implicit objects inbuilt; if one is required, it must be explicitly declared from a Servlet.

Language Base

  • JSP is a tag-based language in which the code is written in HTML.
  • Servlets are entirely Java-based.

Client-Side Validation

  • JSP uses client-side validation when JavaScript is executed on the client side.
  • The Servlet does not support client-side JavaScript execution.

Importing Packages

  • In the JSP program, the package can be imported at the top, middle, or bottom.
  • Packages must be imported on top of a program in Servlet.

Protocol

  • JSP accepts only HTTP protocol requests.
  • All requests for protocols are accepted by Servlet.

Coding

  • In JSP, coding is easier because they are tag-based.
  • In Servlet, coding is difficult as compared to JSP.

Hosting and Execution

  • After completing the program, first JSP files are compiled in Java Servlet, and then they are executed.
  • Servlet programs are hosted and executed on web servers.

Conclusion

In this article, we have reviewed both Servlets and JSPs in detail and examined their differences as well. To summarize, Servlets handle the processing on the server side, while JSP provides added functionality on top of Servlets. As JSPs serve as interfaces, developers can easily integrate and manage the UI (user interface) of the app in JSP files. Due to its ability to deal with different solicitations on a single string, JSP makes meeting the board and following effective. Servers are not appropriate for meeting executives since they do not have the authority, as a matter of course, to do so.

The JSP provides greater flexibility than the Servlet since it includes custom tags for building reusable codes. Knowing the difference between Servlet and JSP allows you to write programming more easily and also to make more informed decisions based on your knowledge and interests. Compared with Servlets, JSP offers a greater amount of flexibility due to its default custom tags and the variety of features that are available to you while coding.

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