Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) 8
The Java EE Tutorial
Web components can invoke other web resources both indirectly and directly. A web component indirectly invokes another web resource by embedding a URL that points to another web component in content returned to a client. While it is executing, a web component directly invokes another resource by either including the content of another resource or forwarding a request to another resource.
To invoke a resource available on the server that is running a web
component, you must first obtain a
RequestDispatcher object by using
getRequestDispatcher("URL") method. You can get a
RequestDispatcher object from either a request or the web context;
however, the two methods have slightly different behavior. The method
takes the path to the requested resource as an argument. A request can
take a relative path (that is, one that does not begin with a
the web context requires an absolute path. If the resource is not
available or if the server has not implemented a
object for that type of resource,
getRequestDispatcher will return
null. Your servlet should be prepared to deal with this condition.
It is often useful to include another web resource, such as banner
content or copyright information, in the response returned from a web
component. To include another resource, invoke the
include method of a
If the resource is static, the
include method enables programmatic
server-side includes. If the resource is a web component, the effect of
the method is to send the request to the included web component, execute
the web component, and then include the result of the execution in the
response from the containing servlet. An included web component has
access to the request object but is limited in what it can do with the
It can write to the body of the response and commit a response.
It cannot set headers or call any method, such as
affects the headers of the response.
In some applications, you might want to have one web component do preliminary processing of a request and have another component generate the response. For example, you might want to partially process a request and then transfer to another component, depending on the nature of the request.
To transfer control to another web component, you invoke the
method of a
RequestDispatcher. When a request is forwarded, the
request URL is set to the path of the forwarded page. The original URI
and its constituent parts are saved as the following request attributes:
javax.servlet.forward.request_uri javax.servlet.forward.context_path javax.servlet.forward.servlet_path javax.servlet.forward.path_info javax.servlet.forward.query_string
forward method should be used to give another resource
responsibility for replying to the user. If you have already accessed a
PrintWriter object within the servlet, you
cannot use this method; doing so throws an