The javax.servlet.Servlet interface defines the three methods known as life-cycle method.
public void init(ServletConfig config) throws ServletException
public void service( ServletRequest req, ServletResponse res) throws ServletException, IOException
public void destroy()
First the servlet is constructed, then initialized wih the init() method.
Any request from client are handled initially by the service() method before delegating to the doXxx() methods in the case of HttpServlet.
The servlet is removed from service, destroyed with the destroy() methid, then garbaged collected and finalized.

[Source: JAGAN MOHAN "Interview questions bible"]

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