A servlet interface contains the following five methods:
1. init( )
2. service( )
3. getServletConfig( )
4. getServletInfo( )
5. destroy( )
public void init(ServletConfig config) throws ServletException
The init() method is called only once by the servlet container throughout the life of a servlet. By this init() method the servlet get to know that it has been placed into service.
The servlet cannot be put into the service if
- The init() method does not return within a fix time set by the web server.
- It throws a ServletException
Parameters – The init() method takes a ServletConfig object that contains the initialization parameters and servlet’s configuration and throws a ServletException if an exception has occurred.
public void service(ServletRequest req, ServletResponse res) throws ServletException, IOException
Once the servlet starts getting the requests, the service() method is called by the servlet container to respond. The servlet services the client’s request with the help of two objects. These two objects javax.servlet.ServletRequest and javax.servlet.ServletResponse are passed by the servlet container.
The status code of the response always should be set for a servlet that throws or sends an error.
Parameters – The service() method takes the ServletRequest object that contains the client’s request and the object ServletResponse contains the servlet’s response. The service() method throws ServletException and IOExceptions exception.
public ServletConfig getServletConfig()
This method contains parameters for initialization and startup of the servlet and returns a ServletConfig object. This object is then passed to the init method. When this interface is implemented then it stores the ServletConfig object in order to return it. It is done by the generic class which implements this inetrface.
Returns – the ServletConfig object
public String getServletInfo()
The information about the servlet is returned by this method like version, author etc. This method returns a string which should be in the form of plain text and not any kind of markup.
Returns – a string that contains the information about the servlet
public void destroy()
This method is called when we need to close the servlet. That is before removing a servlet instance from service, the servlet container calls the destroy() method. Once the servlet container calls the destroy() method, no service methods will be then called . That is after the exit of all the threads running in the servlet, the destroy() method is called. Hence, the servlet gets a chance to clean up all the resources like memory, threads etc which are being held.
Phases of Life cycle of Servlet
The life cycle of a servlet can be categorized into four parts:
- Loading and Inatantiation: The servlet container loads the servlet during startup or when the first request is made. The loading of the servlet depends on the attribute <load-on-startup> of web.xml file. If the attribute <load-on-startup> has a positive value then the servlet is load with loading of the container otherwise it load when the first request comes for service. After loading of the servlet, the container creates the instances of the servlet.
- Initialization: After creating the instances, the servlet container calls the init() method and passes the servlet initialization parameters to the init() method. The init() must be called by the servlet container before the servlet can service any request. The initialization parameters persist untill the servlet is destroyed. The init() method is called only once throughout the life cycle of the servlet. The servlet will be available for service if it is loaded successfully otherwise the servlet container unloads the servlet.
- Servicing the Request: After successfully completing the initialization process, the servlet will be available for service. Servlet creates seperate threads for each request. The sevlet container calls the service() method for servicing any request. The service() method determines the kind of request and calls the appropriate method (doGet() or doPost()) for handling the request and sends response to the client using the methods of the response object.
- Destroying the Servlet: If the servlet is no longer needed for servicing any request, the servlet container calls the destroy() method . Like the init() method this method is also called only once throughout the life cycle of the servlet. Calling the destroy() method indicates to the servlet container not to sent the any request for service and the servlet releases all the resources associated with it.
- Un-Available:-Java Virtual Machine claims for the memory associated with the resources for garbage collection.