Groovy and Tomcat, Pt1 – Calling Groovy from a Java Servlet

For this first post, I’ll keep it very simple: a Java servlet calls Groovy code to display a message to the screen. Start by setting up a regular Java servlet application. After your simple web application is set up, read the code snippets below.


<%@ page contentType="text/html;charset=UTF-8" language="java" %>
<%@ taglib prefix="c" uri="" %>
<title>Eek's Groovy Sandbox</title>
<p>I'm using <c:out value="${language}" />! That's <c:out value="${sentiment}" /></p>
<p><c:out value="${message}" /></p>

In this .jsp code, we’ll print three attributes. Two handled by the Java servlet and one handed to us by our Groovy utility class.

The Java servlet

package net.mymilkedeek.tomcat;

import javax.servlet.ServletException;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletRequest;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletResponse;

 * The Java Servlet
 * @author My Milked Eek
public class JavaServlet extends HttpServlet {
 protected void doGet(HttpServletRequest req, HttpServletResponse resp) throws ServletException, IOException {
 req.getSession().setAttribute("language", "java");
 req.getSession().setAttribute("sentiment", "ok...");
 resp.sendRedirect("index.jsp"); }


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<web-app xmlns=""




That’s a simple webapplication. Now add the following dependencies to your project:

- groovy.jar
- antlr.jar
- asm.jar

Now add a Groovy Class, I named it JavaGroovy.

Groovy Class

package net.mymilkedeek.tomcat

class JavaGroovy {

static def message() {
 "I was called from Groovy. Exciting, isn't it?"

And add following line to your Java Servlet:

req.getSession().setAttribute("message", JavaGroovy.message());

Now, navigate to the url of the Java Servlet and watch the magic happen:

So, in short, what we did was make a call to a Java Servlet. This servlet then gets a message from a Groovy class. And then we added that message to the session.

This kind of setup with Groovy is particularly useful with an existing Java Servlet: You only need to add Groovy jars and you can start hacking away.

For my next post, I’ll show you how to get Groovy extending HttpServlet.

Stay tuned,

Groovy and Tomcat

It’s been a while since my last non-ludum blog post. Since I wrote “iText on the JVM” I’ve been playing with Groovy and Python occasionally. But for the past month and a half, I’ve been getting into Groovy a lot. So much that my next Ludum Dare entry will be written in Groovy/Java.

Up until this blog post I’ve just been experimenting with Groovy, using it to quickly test issues and bugs, but I wanted to do a bit more with it, so I tried using it in Tomcat. I didn’t set up Grails, didn’t want to do that just yet, but I set up Groovy and I’ll document several ways to use Groovy in Tomcat.

Table of contents:

  1. Java HttpServlet calling Groovy
  2. Groovy HttpServlet
  3. Groovy Scripts
  4. Groovy Servlet Pages
  5. Bringing it all together

We’ll start out really simple; use Groovy as an extension to an existing Java servlet and work our way to using scripts in combination with .gsp’s.

Stay tuned,