Difference Between GenericServlet and HttpServlet?

Generic Servlet:
  • GenericServlet class is direct subclass of Servlet interface.
  • Generic Servlet is protocol independent.It handles all types  of protocol  like http, smtp, ftp etc.
  • Generic Servlet only supports  service() method.It handles only simple request 
    public void service(ServletRequest req,ServletResponse res ).
  • Generic Servlet only supports  service() method.
  • HttpServlet class is the direct subclass of Generic Servlet.
  • HttpServlet is protocol dependent. It handles only http protocol.
  • HttpServlet  supports public void service(ServletRequest req,ServletResponse res ) and protected void service(HttpServletRequest req,HttpServletResponse res).
  • HttpServlet supports also   doGet(),doPost(),doPut(),doDelete(),doHead(),doTrace(),doOptions()etc.


  1. thanks all for valuable feedback

  2. Hi

    Does GenericServlet have Stateless Nature or Stateful Nature?
    As i know HttpServlet does have a stateless Nature due to http protocol?

    Please guide me as i am a new bee in servlet..

  3. Hi it depends which type of protocol is being used with GenericServlet class as it is protocol independent and we can send request to GenericServlet class Using HTTP, FTP and SMTP.

  4. Hi
    In GenericServlet class we can also use
    service(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response)
    I have seen examples using service methods as is
    is it true ??

    1. It is not correct to use httpservlet request & response in generic servlet

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  6. avax.servlet.GenericServlet
    Signature: public abstract class GenericServlet extends java.lang.Object implements Servlet, ServletConfig, java.io.Serializable

    GenericServlet defines a generic, protocol-independent servlet.
    GenericServlet gives a blueprint and makes writing servlet easier.
    GenericServlet provides simple versions of the lifecycle methods init and destroy and of the methods in the ServletConfig interface.
    GenericServlet implements the log method, declared in the ServletContext interface.
    To write a generic servlet, it is sufficient to override the abstract service method.
    Signature: public abstract class HttpServlet extends GenericServlet implements java.io.Serializable

    HttpServlet defines a HTTP protocol specific servlet.
    HttpServlet gives a blueprint for Http servlet and makes writing them easier.
    HttpServlet extends the GenericServlet and hence inherits the properties GenericServlet.

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  8. Good Explanation................

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  10. though GenericServlet is protocol-independent servlet, so can we call a GenericServlet using SMTP or FTP, etc protocalls..?

  11. thnks to all .............v good ans.

  12. not bad why we are using doXXX() methods

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