Difference between Web Server and Application Server

Web server and Application server are two terms that are used in the same context but still have their own differences, understanding these differences may help you to use these technologies in your favor. In this post, we will see the main difference between Web Server and Application Server with examples.

What is a Web server ?

 

Before knowing the differences between Web Server and Application Server, lets know about the definitions and use of both servers.

Difference between Web Server and Application Server

A web page is a collection of raw material ranging from images to text files to database context. End users sitting out on a computer somewhere on the internet a web server is a piece of software that runs on the same computer. When you ask for the web page the web server put all those raw material together into a web page and then sent it back out over the internet to your web browser.

Common examples of web server software are Apache and NGINX. Web servers are all about dealing with the HTTP content or content which can be handled over the HTTP protocol. . In a web server system, it stores, process, es and deploys web pages to customer. A customer is either a web browser or a device app. A web server can serve content like pictures, videos, text, and font size.

 

 

1. Microsoft IIS-

 

It is an Internet Information Service platform for web servers, which gives packages for windows-based servers. It specially used to manage to host content on the web page. It also gives GUI to manage websites and user accounts.

2. Eclipse Jetty

 

Eclipse Jetty delivers web server and container packages and supports HTTP/2 and other integrations like JMX, OSGi, WbSocket, and many more. This software are open source and available free for enterprise use. Jetty is embeddable and asynchronous with cloud computing platforms like Google AppEngine and SaaS like Yahoo. The latest version of Jetty is Jetty 11.0.x, Servlet 5.0 and Java 11+.

What is Application server ?

 

 

Application Server Working
Working Process of Application Server

Application servers are specifically designed to run applications by the combination of both hardware and software.  It provides an environment for programs to run. An application server is a server that allows both the creation of web applications and running a business logic that is needed to build and run dynamic content, transaction results, decision support, or real-time analytics. So basically an application server provides the business logic for clients. The application server has its own dynamic features and can be used to create and run dynamic modules. It is a software platform that deploys applications including mobile apps, web, and browser-based applications.

The successful business logic can be implemented using application servers. This business logic causes dynamic changes in data and enables the productivity of applications like transactional activity, decision support app, and real-time scenario analysis. Client-Server communication is the foundation of the Application Server and it includes transaction process, secure network, and concurrency control.

Difference between Web server and Application server ?

 

 

Let’s understand the difference between the web server and application server by examples, suppose I have a file ‘script.js’ this file contains a javascript programme, which can be executed and a result can be generated. Now suppose I served this file to my client through a web server, the client will receive only the contents of the file, the javascript won’t be executed.  

But in case of a application server, client  want to serve the ‘script.js ‘ file and wish to execute that file using programming environment.  A Web Server will send the HTML as output for all requests sent to the server.  It does not have any backend logic. So that is the fundamental difference between the a web server and an application server. 

While an application server can do the task which a web server can do too, but webserver can’t do the tasks of an application server.  Yes, there are some plug-ins for a web server that can help a web server to act as an application server to some extent but the efficiency and functionality of an application server can’t be achieved by a web server.

Examples of Application Server:

 

These examples will help you to understand the difference between Web server and Application server

1. Nginx

 

 

It is a web server with open source technology, with load balancing and proxy for mail capacity. As per the study of Netcraft, Nginx can provide service and manages the load of 38% of global websites and 25% engaged sites till December 2019. Nginx used by multiple well-known companies like Netflix, Zynga, and Dropbox.

2. Glassfish

 

 

It is a famous open-source application server served on the JAVA platform and developed by Sun Microsystems. The extension of it is now managed by Eclipse Foundation. Glassfish platform reinforces JavaBeans,  Servlets, and many more.

3. WebLogic

 


It is Oracle’s product of application server to deploy apps in distributed manner using JAVA EE technology. It is fully meshed with Oracle’s platform and cloud services.

3. Apache Tomcat Server

 

 

Apache Server is a globally used open-source technology of web-based server runs on Java Servlets. It is used to render and deploy web pages with JAVA code and Java EE (Java Enterprise Edition). Its high-availability Java application server for servlets, JSPs, and WebSockets.

Difference between Web Server and Application Server

 

 

Application Server Web Server
Able to deploy dynamic data. Able to deploy static data.
Multiple protocols used like HTTP to develop business logic. Only HTTP protocol is used for communication.
Able to serve websites and business applications Only support website based applications.
Multithreading technology is used to serve multiple clients requests. Do not serve multithreading.
Smoothly running complex processes with resource management. Good for less resource management in web traffic.
Application Database is use to perform connection with backend. Static database is use to connect with backend.

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