Servlet Life Cycle

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What Does Servlet Life Cycle Mean?

The servlet life cycle is the Java servlet processing event sequence that occurs from servlet instance creation to destruction. The servlet life cycle is controlled by the container that deploys the servlet.


Techopedia Explains Servlet Life Cycle

The servlet life cycle is made up of four stages:

  • Instantiation
  • Initialization
  • Client request handling
  • Destruction

When a servlet request is mapped, the servlet container checks for the existence of a servlet class instance. If an instance does not exist, the Web container loads the servlet class, creates an instance of this class and initializes this instance by calling the init() method.

The initialization process is completed prior to client request handling. The container does not call the init() method again, unless a servlet is reloaded. After the instantiation and initialization are completed, the servlet container calls the service() method to respond to the request. When the servlet is no longer needed, the container destroys the servlet with the destroy() method. This method is also executed only one time.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.