Difference Between Web Server and Application Server

A server is generally a central repository in which computer and data programs are stored. In the network, it can be easily accessible by the clients.

Shared services are provided by it to connect workstations. It also helps for network resource managing.  

The server also allows to sharing of hardware or data and software resources between clients. When it comes to the server, there are mainly two parts of it, namely web server and application server.

In this article, the main focus is on differentiating web servers and application servers. 

Web Server vs Application Server 

The main difference between the web server and the application server is that a web server is a system that used static content delivering to the WWW or World Wide Web. On the flip side, the application server is a framework that delivers several applications to another device.

Web Server vs Application Server

A web server is generally a program of a computer that receives request data as well as sends particular documents. Also, it might be a computer that helps to store online content.

To the host sites, it is employed essentially, but there conjointly several web servers exist like email, FTP, storage, and recreation.

Application server generally encompasses web as well as EJB containers. For enterprises applications, it organizes the run atmosphere.

It might be a reasonable server which means how to put the operating system, applications hosting end-users services, IT organizations, and services.

Comparison Table Between Web Server and Application Server 

Parameters of ComparisonWeb ServerApplication Server
InterpretationIt is a system used to deliver static content to the WWW or World Wide Web.It is a framework that delivers several applications to another device.
ResourcesFewer resources consumptionMore resources consumption
ProtocolsHTTP and HTML GUI, HTTP, and RMI/RPC
ExamplesApache, LiteSpeed, Microsoft IIS, Jetty, Roxen, etc.IBM WebSphere, WildFly, Tomcat, Geronimo, Apache Tom FF, etc.

What is a Web Server?  

In terms of hardware/software, the webserver is both of them that uses hypertext transfer protocol and other protocols for countering requests made by clients over WWW.

The main goal is website content displaying through processing, delivering web pages to users, and storing.

Besides HTTP, it also supports FTP and SMTP used for file transfer, storage, and email.

The Internet is connected to web hardware and allows data changing with other devices which are connected, while user access hosted files are controlled by the webserver software.  

The web server process is an instance of a server or client model. Websites hosting computers must-have software or web server. This server is used in data hosting for websites, web hosting, and web applications or web-based applications.  

Several basic web servers also support scripting of server-side, which is used for scripts employed on a web server that helps to customize the response given to the client.

The web server software can be accessed through the website domain names and ensures the site’s content delivery to the requesting user. 

What is an Application Server?  

An application server helps to host applications. For servers of building applications, software frameworks are its frameworks.

These frameworks provide both features of a server environment of web applications to run them as well as to create them. It generally comprises a comprehensive service layer model.

It comprises the set of components that is accessible through a defined API standard to the developer of software for the platform itself. As their web server, these components generally run in the same environment, and their chief job is to assist the dynamic page construction. 

Nevertheless, rather than just generating web pages, several application servers do much more.

Failover bad balancing and clustering are two of the services implemented to maintain the focus of the developers on the implementation of business logic. Other uses of this term describe services that make a server available.

When it comes to Java applications server, the behavior of the server is like for running applications an expanded virtual machine, on one side the transparently handling connections to the database and the other connections to the client of the web.

Main Differences Between Web Server and Application Server 

  1. When it comes to multithreading, the webserver fails to process in parallel multiple simultaneous requests. On the other hand, the application server supports multithreading with other features too.  
  2. Web server mainly used to facilitate which is web-based that is less resource-intensive. In contrast, the application server is used to facilitate processes with longer running that are more resource-intensive.  
  3. Adding extensions of content are technically possible in a web server but it is time-consuming and difficult to maintain as well as to use. Meanwhile, the application server includes a web server within a server framework of a complete integrated application.  
  4. The content of the webserver is limited to sent static HTML content for web browser display. On the flip side, the application server provides access to the logic of server-side or server applications.   
  5. In terms of limitations, for server-side applications, the webserver is lackluster and time-consuming for content creation. Conversely, supporting any web application consisting of modern UI and dynamic content is an application server limitation. 


It can be concluded that among the parts of the server, web and application servers are two of them. The protocols used in web servers are HTTP and HTML. In contrast, GUI, HTTP, and RMI/ RPC protocols are used in the application server.

The webserver capacity is lower compared to the application server. In contrast, the capacity of the application server is higher in comparison to the webserver. 

When it comes to the web server, it is a system used to deliver static content to the WWW or World Wide Web. Conversely, the application server is a framework that delivers several applications to another device.

Examples of web servers are Apache, LiteSpeed, Microsoft IIS, Jetty, Roxen, etc. Meanwhile, IBM WebSphere, WildFly, Tomcat, Geronimo, Apache Tom FF are a few examples of the application server. 


  1. https://academic.oup.com/nar/article-abstract/46/W1/W200/5037715
  2. https://www.spillman.com/media/PDF_brochures/Application_Server_Info_Sheet_Web.pdf
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