Creating a servlet 3.0 application

Servlet 3.0 introduces a @WebServlet annotation which can be used to replace the traditional web.xml. The straightforward approach to create a Vaadin application using servlet 3.0 annotations is to simply move whatever is in web.xml to a custom servlet class (extends VaadinServlet) and annotate it using @WebServlet and add @WebInitParams as needed. You will end up with something like

@WebServlet(value = "/*", asyncSupported = true, initParams = {
  @WebInitParam(name = "ui", value = "com.example.MyUI"),
  @WebInitParam(name = "productionMode", value = "false")
})
public class MyServlet extends VaadinServlet {
}

The problem you will face sooner or later with both this approach as well as using web.xml is that you will misspell some parameter name or class name. Maybe you change the UI class name and the init parameter is not automatically updated - and the head scratching and debugging starts.

Vaadin 7.1 introduces two features which makes this a lot easier, @VaadinServletConfiguration and automatic UI finding.

@VaadinServletConfiguration is a type safe, Vaadin version of @WebInitParam which provides you with the option to select UI by referring the UI class directly, toggle productionMode using a boolean and more. The above example rewritten using @VaadinServletConfiguration looks like:

@WebServlet(value = "/*", asyncSupported = true)
@VaadinServletConfiguration(productionMode = false, ui = MYUI.class)
public class MyServlet extends VaadinServlet {
}

Automatic UI finding takes this even one step further and allows you to leave out @VaadinServletConfiguration completely if you define your servlet class as a static inner class to your UI class. The above example could therefore also be written as

public class MYUI extends UI {
    @WebServlet(value = "/*", asyncSupported = true)
    public static class Servlet extends VaadinServlet {
    }

For clarity the variant with @VaadinServletConfiguration is likely the better option. Please do note that @VaadinServletConfiguration comes with defaults for some parameters, most importantly legacyPropertyToStringMode, which might be important if you are migrating an older application.