Web Server vs. Application Server

Difference Between Web Server and Application Server

Web server is just a computer /computer program that will operate a program which will accept the HTTP requests from clients and provide HTTP responses as HTML web pages and other linked objects. Application Server is a software engine whose purpose is to provide different applications to another device. As a result of the huge popularity of the Internet and Web 2.0 technologies, both these terms are getting to sound similar.

The work of a Web Server is to deliver web pages round the clock. It is extremely important for a web server to be up and working all the time because if the web server is down, the users will not be able to access the corresponding web pages. The time during which the web pages are not accessible is called the downtime. It is a part of the duties of the web hosting companies to maintain a minimum downtime which is even less than a second. Web servers are not compatible to multi-threading, connection-pooling, isolation-pooling and transaction features For example there is an user who wants to visit www.msn.com ,so after typing the address on browser, the request goes to the msn web server who keeps these pages in its hard-drive. Then the MSN Web server send the page, their contents and other links back and the browser shows these to the end user. So, a web server needs to be fast enough to process the user request quickly from multiple connections.

Application server is a software framework meant to create a platform where multiple applications of different nature can be run. For a well performing application server a proper downtime is vital and a downtime lesser than a fraction of second must be maintained. An application server is compatible with multi-threading isolation pooling and connection pooling etc. Application servers allow different types of software that are dependant on other applications so they usually supply software that are able maintain communication with both the parties and also applications like web servers, chart programs  and database management systems.

*  A web server can process a limited number of requests but the capacity is much higher in case of application servers.

*  Application servers are compatible with multi-threading, transactions connection pooling etc but web servers are not.

*  Web servers arrange .war files however application servers arrange .war and .ear files.

* Application servers have software that can communicate with other applications as well, but web servers cannot.

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