What are the main differences between Servlets and ISAPI?

swarraj kulkarni

The first difference is obviously that Servlets is the technology from Sun Microsystems and ISAPI is from Microsoft.

Other Differences are:

  • Servlet is a simple .class file and ISAPI is a DLL
  • Servlets run in the Servlet containers and may be in-process or out of process. ISAs run in the same address space as the HTTP server
  • Servlet container preprocesses and postprocesses the data communication between the client and server. ISAPI Filters provide the capability of pre-processing and post-processing of all data sent between the client and the server
  • Java is the only choice for writing Servlets, VC++/MFC is used to write ISAPI code
  • Servlets works on most of the Web servers plus third party containers can be integrated with other web servers to provide servlets on them. ISAPI works on only ISAPI-compliant Web server (for example, Microsoft Internet Information Server)
  • Servlets can connect to the Databases through JDBC as well as jdbc-odbc bridges. ISAPI can connect to Databases through only ODBC
  • Servlets have access to many server-side technologies like EJB and etc. ISAPI is limited in scope
  • Multiple commands can be implemented in a servlet by using pathinfo. ISAPI allows multiple commands in one DLL, implemented as member functions of the CHttpServer object in the DLL.
  • Content generation and content presentation can be done seperately in Servlets with the help of JSP. ISAPI code has to generate HTML code itself.
  • You can find more info here:
    ISAPI Information
    Servlets information