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Threads in Servlets

James Davison

Joined: Mar 28, 2004
Posts: 27
Is it acceptable to spawn a Thread to perform a background task not directly relating to providing a response to user in a Servlet? If so, are there any caveats to doing so that I should be aware of?
William Brogden
Author and all-around good cowpoke

Joined: Mar 22, 2000
Posts: 12682
Certainly - it is entirely reasonable. Things to watch out for:
1. ensuring only one Thread is started
2. ensuring errors get logged
3. it is a good idea to give worker Threads a minimum priority
4. providing a way to monitor progress of really long running jobs is a good idea - why not a password protected servlet that can report the status.
This topic comes up frequently, do a search or just browse the last few weeks to find more discussion.

Java Resources at
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
subject: Threads in Servlets
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