A few years ago, the hype surrounding applets put Java on the map as a programming language for the Web. Today, Java servlets stand poised to take Java to the next level as a Web development language. The main reason is that servlets offer a fast, powerful, portable replacement for CGI scripts.nnThe Java Servlet API, introduced as the first standard extension to Java, provides a generic mechanism to extend the functionality of any kind of server. Servlets are most commonly used, however, to extend Web servers, performing tasks traditionally handled by CGI programs. Web servers that can support servlets include: Apache, Netscape's FastTrack and Enterprise Servers, Microsoft's IIS, O'Reilly's WebSite, and JavaSoft's Java Web Server.