Web Server vs Application Server

Web Server vs Application Server

This article explains in detail about the Web Server and Application Server.

Both the servers function together to render the information, data or content that the visitors request from the website.

But each of the server do not perform same functions. Both have their respective area of concern on which they focus.


web server vs application server by


Web Server

Web Server receives request from browser whenever the visitors browse any website over HTTP protocol.

Once the server receives the request it renders the static contents as response to the visitor (client) via HTTP only. Static content can include image, audio, video or other contents.


A web server is required for hosting your website. 

Suppose you have created a static website that you wish to be available online. This will only be possible with the help of web server that you will have to purchase from web hosting companies like GoDaddy,Hosting Raza, etc. 


A web server must be properly chosen analyzing the traffic of the website. If the web server is not capable of handling the traffic coming to your site then service will get impacted and it will also result in declining popularity of your site among your visitors.So choose a web server which can handle the traffic to your site.


A web server has unique IP address. 


Examples of web server

Most popular example of web servers available in the market are:

  • Apache Web Server
  • Microsoft Internet Information Services or IIS
  • Nginx

Application Server

On contrary to Web server, the application server accepts the request from the client (or visitor) and renders the response based on their request parameters. Thus the content delivered to unique visitors will be unique or dynamic.

Application server mostly focus on exposing the business level services to client application through various protocols which includes HTTP as well.

While you are booking a flight ticket, an application server makes sure to call the bussiness logic, contact with respective data base to give you real time details of current availability, fares, etc.


Some application server may also internally contain web server.

Application servers has higher resource utilization capability than web servers.


Examples of application server

Most popular examples of application servers available in the market are:

  • WebLogic Application Server (Oracle)
  • WebSphere Application Server (IBM)
  • JBoss

In Java Perspective

A java web server has support for JSP, servlet, html, CSS, etc. based content whereas java application server is required to support the enterprise application services like EJB, Spring, JMS, Web services, etc.

As explained earlier, Application server like JBoss may contain web container (JSP or Servlet container) internally. 

Software Engineering

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About the Author
Rohanjit Kumar
Technology geek, loves to write and share knowledge with the world. Having 9+ years of IT experience. B.Tech in Computer Science & Engineering
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