Architecturally, JSP may be viewed as a high-level abstraction of Java servlets. JSPs are translated into servlets at runtime, therefore JSP is a Servlet; each JSP servlet is cached and re-used until the original JSP is modified.
JSP can be used independently or as the view component of a server-side model–view–controller design, normally with JavaBeans as the model and Java servlets (or a framework such as Apache Struts) as the controller. This is a type of Model 2 architecture.
JSP allows Java code and certain pre-defined actions to be interleaved with static web markup content, such as HTML, with the resulting page being compiled and executed on the server to deliver a document. The compiled pages, as well as any dependent Java libraries, contain Java bytecode rather than machine code. Like any other Java program, they must be executed within a Java virtual machine (JVM) that interacts with the server's host operating system to provide an abstract, platform-neutral environment.
JSPs are usually used to deliver HTML and XML documents, but through the use of OutputStream, they can deliver other types of data as well.
The Web container creates JSP implicit objects like request, response, session, application, config, page, pageContext, out and exception. JSP Engine creates these objects during translation phase.
JSP pages use several delimiters for scripting functions. The most basic is <% ... %>, which encloses a JSP scriptlet. A scriptlet is a fragment of Java code that is run when the user requests the page. Other common delimiters include <%= ... %> for expressions, where the scriptlet and delimiters are replaced with the result of evaluating the expression, and directives, denoted with <%@ ... %>.