The main difference between web server and application server is their respective use. The use of a web server is to host web applications while the use of an application server is to host web and enterprise applications.
A web server is a device or software that stores web content. It processes HTTP requests and responds back with HTML pages. It also provides static content and does not perform dynamic web page creation. On the other hand, application servers provide business logic to application programs using various protocols. Moreover, they manage all application operations between the user and the organization’s backend or the database. In brief, application servers are more advanced and have more features than web servers.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is a Web Server
– Definition, Functionality
2. What is an Application Server
– Definition, Functionality
3. What is the Difference Between Web Server and Application Server
– Comparison of Key Differences
Application Server, Web Server
What is a Web Server
A web server is a software or hardware that provides web content via the World Wide Web (WWW). It stores, process and provides web pages to the clients. Moreover, the client and the web server communicate via Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP).
In the communication process, first, the clients send a request for a web page from the web server. Then, the web server searches for the requested page. If the page is available, it will send the web page to the client as an HTTP response. However, if the page is not found, the web server will send an error message indicating HTTP response: Error 404 Not Found. If the client requests for some other resource and if there is an application server, then the web server will contact that application server to provide the HTTP response.
What is an Application Server
An application server is a software that executes programs, scripts to build web and enterprise applications. It consists of a comprehensive service layer model. Moreover, it may contain a web server as well. In addition, it provides a set of components to the software developer through a standard API defined for the platform itself. Also, application servers provide services such as clustering and load balancing. Therefore, developers can focus more on business logic. They handle the connections to the database while connecting to the web client.
Difference Between Web Server and Application Server
A web server is a system that delivers content or services to end users over the internet. In contrast, an application server is a software that provides facilities to create web applications and a server environment to run them. Thus, this explains the basic difference between web server and application server.
The main difference between web server and application server is that the web server provides web pages to the clients using HTTP protocol. Whereas, the application server provides business logic to application programs using various protocols including HTTP.
Web servers are used to facilitate web-based traffic that is less resource intensive while application servers are used to facilitate long-running applications that are more resource intensive. This is another difference between web server and application server.
Web server is used for web applications while application server is used for web as well as enterprise applications.
Apache HTTP Server, Internet Information Services (IIS), Sun Java System web server, and, Jigsaw server are some examples for web servers. Apache Tomcat, Jboss, WebLogic, WebSphere are some examples for Application servers.
Although there is a distinct difference between web server and application server, most people use these two terms interchangeably. However, the basic difference between web server and application server is that the web server is used for web applications while application server is used for web and enterprise applications. In brief, application server also works as a web server.
1. “Web Server.” Www.tutorialspoint.com, Tutorials Point, Available here.
2. “Web Server.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 29 Aug. 2018, Available here.
3. “Application Server.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 15 Sept. 2018, Available here.
1. “567944” (CC0) via Pixabay