Web server vs Application server

Web server and application server are most confusing terms used and described by developers and programmers.Following are the summary comparison between both the term.

Web Server

  • Commonly known as HTTP Server
  • Example of Web server are Apache, IIS
  • It handles http and https request
  • Content served by web server are PHP, ASP.NET, Servlet, HTML
  • Less powerful than application server
  • Web server is ideally designed for shorter running process.
  • This is less Resource intensive

Application Server

  • Commonly known for running business logic
  • Application server itself contains a Web Server inside (Application server may not contain a web server inside)
  • Example of Application server are SharePoint server, JBOSS, Web logic, Apache Tomcat
  • Application server is more powerful than Web Server
  • It handles Web Services, Remote procedure calls(RPC), Load Balancing, API, Session Management, Messaging Service, Connection pooling, Object Pooling
  • Application server is ideally designed for longer running process.
  • This is high Resource intensive.

Scenario where there is a merge between Web Server and Application Server

In .Net technology we can found a merge of application server and Web server to run the Real world application. Merge of Sharepoint server(Application server) and IIS (Web Server).

In Java technology we can found similar merge like Merge of Apache and Apache Tomcat

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