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8 differences between web servers and application servers


8 Differences Between Web Servers and Application Servers

8 Differences Between Web Servers and Application Servers

In this digital age, don’t you want to know how you are able to do the things that you do daily? Like you send and receive emails. You read the content on a website. You use heavy applications for shopping, managing accounts, or maintaining customer relationships. You protect your computers from viruses.

All these tasks are possible through a SERVER. A server that stores, manages, and delivers data. A server is a central repository of all computer programs and related data. The applications connected to the server can access this information over a network.

When many workstations are connected, the server helps to provide shared services. Clients having access to a server can share hardware, data, programs, or software resources. Clients can connect to a server through a wide area network (WAN) or local area network (LAN).

Various types of servers are available with different applications. But, in this article, we will focus on the Web Servers and Application Servers. We will define both and identify the differences between the two.

Web server

A web server is defined as a computer program or a collection of computers that help run an application. The web server receives requests for data, which it sends in the form of documents. It delivers static content such as HTML pages, videos, images, and files in response to requests for HTTP from a web browser.

Examples of web servers include Apache, Resin, etc.

Application server

An application server is an environment to run applications. It facilitates the interaction of end-users with the application code on the server-side. This interaction happens due to a business logic, which is in the form of data. It contains an EJB compartment that enables the enterprise applications to run.

Examples of application servers include .NET, Java, PHP, Wildfly, IBM WebSphere, etc.

Key differences between web servers and application servers

The following are the various factors on which we differentiate web servers and application servers:

Web servers include only a web container.

Application servers include an EJB container, in addition to a web container.

Web servers are limited to supporting only HTTP Content. Basically, they support static content.

Application servers can do more than that. They can provide other support such as RMI/RPC. Basically, they support dynamic content because of the business logic, but they can also support static content.

In web servers, the server receives an HTTP request and sends it to the program that can handle it. It reacts with an HTTP reaction. Thus, it connects with the database, processes the transaction, and sends the message to the end-user.

In application servers, data in the form of business logic moves forward and backwards between the application server and the end-user. This logic is not the static HTTP but some information and technique.

Web servers consume fewer resources and so they cannot facilitate longer running processes.

Application servers are equipped to handle heavy web traffic because they utilize more resources.

A web server is a subset of the application server.

An application server is a superset of the web server.

Web servers can serve only web-based applications.

Application servers can serve enterprise-based applications, in addition to serving web-based applications.

Web servers cannot support multiple requests.

Application servers can support multiple requests at the same time with the help of multi-threading.

The result of a web server is in the form of a display.

In the case of an application server, the result is a program logic, which the end-users can access in the form of data.


Though we have mentioned apparent differences between the two, the developments in server technology have blurred the differences. This is because hybrid varieties are growing with the right combination of web and application servers. In some application servers, developers use web servers to make the front end.

Digiwagon Technologies is a leading provider of digital solutions to clients in India. Our clients benefit from the services of website development, mobile application development, eCommerce development, cloud services, IT consulting, and digital marketing services. We use several web servers and application servers to create the best applications for your business needs.

We use web servers to create excellent websites as per your needs. We use application servers to create business applications based on your requirements. And we also use them in combination to deliver the most valuable applications, satisfying your expectations.

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