Is Web Server Used for Loading the
init() Method of Servlet?
init() method is an important part of the servlet lifecycle, as it is responsible for initializing the servlet before it can handle any requests. But how exactly does the web server come into play when loading this method? Let’s dive into the details.
The Servlet Lifecycle
Before understanding how the web server loads the
init() method, let’s quickly go through the overall servlet lifecycle:
- 1. Initialization: The servlet container loads the servlet class and creates an instance of it.
- 2. Initialization Parameters: Any initialization parameters specified in the deployment descriptor (web.xml) are set on the servlet instance.
init()method is called to perform any necessary setup tasks, such as establishing database connections or loading configuration files.
- 4. Request Handling: The servlet container starts invoking various methods like
service(), which handles incoming requests.
- N. Destroy: When the web application is unloaded or restarted, the container calls the
destroy()method to clean up any resources held by the servlet.
The Role of a Web Server
A web server’s primary function is to handle client requests and serve static content like HTML pages, images, CSS files, etc. But when it comes to Java Servlets, things work a bit differently.
A web server acts as a middleman between clients and servlet containers (also known as servlet engines or servlet containers). It receives incoming requests from clients and forwards them to the appropriate servlet container based on the URL mapping specified in the deployment descriptor.
Once the web server determines which servlet container should handle the request, it passes the request object to that container. The container then locates the appropriate servlet class and invokes its
init() method, if necessary, before passing the request to the
service() method of the servlet.
In conclusion, while a web server is not directly responsible for loading the
init() method of a servlet, it plays a crucial role in forwarding requests to the correct servlet container. The container then takes care of initializing the servlet by invoking its
init() method before processing any client requests.
The exact behavior may vary depending on the specific web server and servlet container being used. However, this general concept holds true for most Java web applications.