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Applet in Java vs. Servlet in Java — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on January 8, 2024
Applet in Java is a small client-side application running in a browser, while Servlet in Java is a server-side component handling client requests and server responses.
Applet in Java vs. Servlet in Java — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Applet in Java and Servlet in Java


Key Differences

Applet in Java is a client-side program that can run in a web browser using a Java plug-in. Applets are designed to provide interactive features to web applications. On the other hand, Servlet in Java is a server-side technology used to extend the capabilities of servers hosting applications accessed via a request-response programming model.
Applets are executed within a user's browser and can interact with web clients for dynamic user experiences. They require a Java-enabled browser to run. In contrast, Servlets run on a web server and handle client requests by generating responses, typically in the form of HTML, to be rendered by the client's browser.
Applet in Java is mainly used for small applications, like interactive animations, games, or utility functions within web pages. It operates within the sandbox security model to prevent unauthorized activities. Conversely, Servlet in Java is used to create dynamic web content, such as forms processing, handling user input, and database connectivity.
Applets can access the client-side resources and provide a rich user interface experience within the browser. However, their usage has declined due to security concerns and compatibility issues. Servlets, being server-side, do not have direct access to client-side resources but are crucial for robust and scalable web applications, including e-commerce and data-driven sites.
Applet in Java requires a Java Runtime Environment (JRE) to be installed on the client machine. They are platform-independent but browser-dependent. In contrast, Servlets are hosted and executed in a server environment and are platform-independent and browser-independent, as they deliver standard web content.

Comparison Chart


Runs on the client-side in a web browser
Runs on server-side, handling client-server requests


Enhances user interaction with web pages
Generates dynamic web content


Operates in a sandbox for security
Executed in a controlled server environment

User Interface

Provides rich interactive experiences
Does not provide UI, focuses on backend processing


Requires Java-enabled browser and JRE
Hosted on web servers, independent of client setup

Compare with Definitions

Applet in Java

It's used for interactive features on web pages.
The Applet on the site handles the animated menu.

Servlet in Java

Servlets are used for dynamic web content creation.
The Servlet generates the dynamic product list page.

Applet in Java

Applets are client-side Java applications.
This Applet processes user input locally.

Servlet in Java

Runs in a Servlet container on the web server.
The Servlet is deployed in Apache Tomcat.

Applet in Java

An Applet is a small Java program that runs in a browser.
I created an Applet for an interactive website banner.

Servlet in Java

Servlets are essential for Java-based web applications.
Our e-commerce site relies on several Servlets.

Applet in Java

Applets run in a secure sandbox environment.
The Applet is safe to use due to its sandbox limitations.

Servlet in Java

It handles requests and responses on the server-side.
Our Servlet processes form submissions.

Applet in Java

Requires a Java plug-in to run in browsers.
Users need a Java plug-in to view the Applet content.

Servlet in Java

A Servlet is a Java program that extends server capabilities.
The login functionality is managed by a Servlet.

Common Curiosities

Are Servlets dependent on the client's browser?

No, Servlets run on the server and are independent of the client's browser.

What is a Servlet in Java?

A server-side Java program that handles requests and generates responses.

Is Java plug-in necessary for Applets?

Yes, a Java plug-in is required to run Applets in browsers.

Can Applets access server-side resources?

No, Applets are client-side and don't directly access server resources.

Can Servlets generate HTML content?

Yes, Servlets can generate HTML for dynamic web page content.

What is an Applet in Java?

It's a small program that runs in a web browser for interactive experiences.

Are Applets still commonly used?

Their usage has declined due to security and compatibility issues.

What makes Servlets suitable for e-commerce sites?

Their ability to handle complex server-side processing makes them suitable.

How do Servlets handle data from a web form?

Servlets process data sent via HTTP requests from web forms.

Can Servlets interact with databases?

Yes, Servlets can interact with databases to manage dynamic content.

Do Applets pose any security risks?

Due to their access to client resources, Applets can pose security risks, hence they run in a sandbox.

Do Applets require internet access to run?

Generally, yes, as they are often part of web applications.

Can Applets and Servlets communicate with each other?

Yes, they can interact via HTTP requests and responses.

Is JavaScript a replacement for Applets?

In many cases, JavaScript and other web technologies have replaced Applets for client-side interactivity.

Are Servlets platform-independent?

Yes, Servlets are platform-independent as they run on the server side.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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