What is the difference between web server and application server

What is the difference between web server and application server?

The Main difference between web server and application server is their respective use. The usage of A web server is used to host web applications, while an application server is used to host web and enterprise applications.

A web server is a device or software that stores web content. It processes HTTP requests and responds with HTML pages. It also serves static content and does not perform dynamic webpage creation. Application servers, on the other hand, provide business logic to application programs using various protocols. In addition, they manage all application processes between the user and the organization's backend or database. In short, application servers are more advanced and have more functionality than web servers.

Important areas

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 the main differences

key terms

Application server, web server

What is a web server?

A web server is software or hardware that provides web content over the World Wide Web (WWW). It stores, processes and makes websites available to customers. In addition, the client and web server communicate via HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol).

In the communication process, the clients first send a request for a website from the web server. The web server then searches for the requested page. If the page is available, the web page is sent to the client as an HTTP response. However, if the page is not found, the web server sends an error message indicating the HTTP response: Error 404 not found. When the client requests another resource and there is an application server, the web server contacts that application server to provide the HTTP response.

What is an application server?

An application server is software that runs programs and scripts that create web and corporate applications. It consists of a comprehensive service layer model. It can also contain a web server. In addition, it provides the software developer with a number of components via a standard API that is defined for the platform itself. Application servers also provide services such as clustering and load balancing. Developers can therefore 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

definition

A web server is a system that provides content or services to the end user over the Internet. In contrast, an application server is software that provides the ability to create web applications and a server environment to run them. This explains the fundamental difference between a web server and an application server.

Functionality

The main difference between web server and application server is that the web server makes web pages available to clients using the HTTP protocol. While the application server serves application programs using various protocols including HTTP business logic.

applicability

Web servers are used to enable web-based traffic that requires fewer resources, while application servers are used to enable long-lived applications that require more resources. This is another difference between a web server and an application server.

Usage

Web servers are used for web applications, while application servers are used for web and enterprise applications.

Examples

Apache HTTP servers, Internet Information Services (IIS), Sun Java System web servers, and Jigsaw servers are some examples of web servers. Apache Tomcat, Jboss, WebLogic, WebSphere are some examples of application servers.

Conclusion

While there is a distinct difference between web server and application server, most people use these two terms interchangeably. However, the fundamental difference between web server and application server is that the web server is used for web applications while the application server is used for web and enterprise applications. In short, the application server also functions as a web server.

Reference:

1. "Web server". Www.tutorialspoint.com, Tutorials Point, Available here.
2. "Web server". Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, August 29, 2018, available here.
3. "Application Server". Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, September 15, 2018, available here.

Image courtesy:

1. "567944" (CC0) via Pixabay