Sun GlassFish Enterprise Server v3 Prelude Developer's Guide

Request Handling

When a request is made, the Enterprise Server hands the incoming data to the servlet engine. The servlet engine processes the request’s input data, such as form data, cookies, session information, and URL name-value pairs, into an HttpServletRequest request object type.

The servlet engine also creates an HttpServletResponse response object type. The engine then passes both as parameters to the servlet’s service() method.

In an HTTP servlet, the default service() method routes requests to another method based on the HTTP transfer method: POST, GET, DELETE, HEAD, OPTIONS, PUT, or TRACE. For example, HTTP POST requests are sent to the doPost() method, HTTP GET requests are sent to the doGet() method, and so on. This enables the servlet to process request data differently, depending on which transfer method is used. Since the routing takes place in the service method, you generally do not override service() in an HTTP servlet. Instead, override doGet(), doPost(), and so on, depending on the request type you expect.

To perform the tasks to answer a request, override the service() method for generic servlets, and the doGet() or doPost() methods for HTTP servlets. Very often, this means accessing EJB components to perform business transactions, then collating the information in the request object or in a JDBC ResultSet object.