Best Application Server Software
The comprehensive analysis and comparison of the best application server software available on the market. Find the optimal server solution tailored for your exact app hosting needs.
The comprehensive analysis and comparison of the best application server software available on the market. Find the optimal server solution tailored for your exact app hosting needs.
Application servers come in various forms, each with its unique features, strengths, and weaknesses. From the open-source powerhouse Apache Tomcat to the robust and enterprise-ready IBM WebSphere, from the user-friendly interface of Red Hat's JBoss EAP to the lightweight and speed of Payara, the choices are diverse and often overwhelming.
Whether you're developing a small web application or a multinational enterprise platform, choosing the right application server software is a critical decision that can significantly impact your application's performance, security, and scalability.
In this guide, we provide an in-depth comparison of the best options available in 2023. Our goal is to help you understand the nuances of each server, their suitability for different types of applications, and ultimately guide you in making an informed decision that best suits your specific needs.
Whether you're a seasoned application developer or a novice venturing into the world of application hosting, read on to discover the best application server software.
Top application server software on the market.
IBM WebSphere is a suite of enterprise-ready application server software developed by IBM. It's known for its robustness, scalability, and extensive support for enterprise-level applications. WebSphere supports a wide range of OS platforms and its modular design makes it highly flexible for various environments.
Oracle WebLogic Server is a leading enterprise-ready application server software developed by Oracle. It's known for its robustness, scalability, and extensive support for enterprise-level applications. WebLogic supports a wide range of OS platforms and its modular design makes it highly flexible for various environments.
Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (EAP) is a subscription-based/open-source Java EE-based application server runtime platform used for building, deploying, and hosting highly-transactional Java applications and services. It's developed by JBoss, a division of Red Hat.
Apache Tomcat is an open-source web server and servlet container developed by the Apache Software Foundation. Tomcat implements several Java EE specifications including Java Servlet, JavaServer Pages (JSP), Java EL, and WebSocket, and provides a "pure Java" HTTP web server environment in which Java code can run.
WildFly, formerly known as JBoss AS, is an open-source application server authored by JBoss, now developed by Red Hat. WildFly is written in Java and implements the Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) specification. It runs on multiple platforms and provides a flexible, lightweight, managed application runtime for building amazing applications.
Payara is an open-source application server derived from GlassFish Server Open Source Edition. It's known for its robustness, scalability, and extensive support for enterprise-level applications. Payara Server supports a wide range of OS platforms and its modular design makes it highly flexible for various environments.
GlassFish is an open-source application server project started by Sun Microsystems, now sponsored by Oracle Corporation, that implements the Jakarta EE platform.
Resin is a fast and reliable open-source Java Application Server by Caucho Technology. It's known for its speed, reliability, and scalability. Resin supports a wide range of OS platforms and its lightweight nature makes it highly flexible for various environments.
Oracle Tuxedo is an enterprise software platform for developing, deploying, and managing mission-critical applications. It provides a robust, grid-enabled platform for SOA, cloud computing, and distributed transaction processing applications.
JEUS is a comprehensive, enterprise-ready application server software developed by TmaxSoft. It's known for its robustness, scalability, and extensive support for enterprise-level applications. JEUS supports a wide range of OS platforms and its modular design makes it highly flexible for various environments.
Oracle Application Server is a comprehensive application server from Oracle Corporation. It is middleware solution that includes Oracle Containers for J2EE, Oracle Web Cache, Oracle HTTP Server, Oracle Forms, Oracle Reports, Oracle Portal, and Oracle Discoverer, along with integrated security, management, and integration technologies.
Apache TomEE, pronounced "Tommy", is a Java Enterprise Edition certified derivative of Apache Tomcat developed by the Apache Software Foundation. It combines the simplicity of Tomcat with the power of Java EE, making it an ideal choice for enterprise-level applications that require robustness, scalability, and extensive support.
Adobe ColdFusion is a commercial rapid web-application development platform created by J. J. Allaire in 1995. It simplifies the connection of HTML pages to a database and has evolved into a full platform that includes an IDE and a full scripting language.
Eclipse Virgo is a completely module-based Java application server from EclipseRT. It is designed to run enterprise Java applications and Spring-powered applications with a high degree of flexibility and reliability. It offers a simple yet comprehensive platform to develop, deploy, and service enterprise Java applications.
Zope is a free and open-source web application server written in Python. Since its release in 1998, Zope has grown into many distinct applications, frameworks, libraries, and tools, making it a versatile choice for various web development needs.
Eclipse Jetty is an open-source web server and servlet container developed by the Eclipse Foundation. It's known for its small footprint, extensibility, and asynchronous capabilities. Jetty supports a wide range of OS platforms and is easily embeddable in devices, tools, frameworks, application servers, and cloud services.
Apache Geronimo is an open-source set of projects focused on providing JavaEE/JakartaEE libraries and Microprofile implementations. It's known for its robustness, flexibility, and extensive support for enterprise-level applications. Geronimo supports a wide range of OS platforms and its modular design makes it highly adaptable for various environments.
Can't decide? Here's a brief comparison table of the best application server software of 2023.
|Server||Best Used For||Advantages||Disadvantages|
|IBM WebSphere||Large-scale enterprise applications||Highly secure, robust, supports Java EE, microservices, and cloud-native applications. Integrates well with other IBM products.||Complex setup and configuration, high cost.|
|Oracle WebLogic Server||Enterprise applications requiring high availability, scalability, and reliability||Supports Java EE, Spring, Docker, and Kubernetes. Offers strong security features and integration with Oracle Database.||High cost, complex setup and management.|
|Red Hat JBoss EAP||Building, deploying, and hosting enterprise Java applications||Supports Java EE, microservices, and cloud-native applications. Offers strong security features and high scalability.||Complex configuration, requires expertise to manage.|
|Apache Tomcat||Web applications and services using Java Servlet, JSP, and WebSocket technologies||Lightweight, open-source, strong community support, easy to use and configure.||Lacks full Java EE support, less suitable for large-scale enterprise applications.|
|WildFly||Lightweight, flexible enterprise applications||Full Java EE support, lightweight, high performance, supports microservices architecture.||Less mature compared to other established servers, may require additional configuration for optimal performance.|
|Payara||Microservices and cloud-native applications||Supports Java EE, microservices, and cloud-native applications. High scalability and reliability.||Less established community, may require additional configuration for optimal performance.|
|GlassFish||Java EE applications||Open-source, full Java EE support, strong community support, easy to use and configure.||Less suitable for large-scale enterprise applications, slower compared to other servers.|
|Resin||Web applications requiring high performance||Fast, supports cloud deployment, clustering, distributed caching, and adaptive health monitoring.||Lesser-known, smaller community, may require additional configuration for optimal performance.|
|Oracle Tuxedo||Legacy applications written in C, C++, COBOL, Java and dynamic languages||Highly reliable and scalable, supports multiple programming languages, includes tools for application development, deployment and management.||Complex setup and management, high cost.|
|JEUS||Enterprise applications requiring high availability and reliability||Supports Java EE, Web services, and EJB. Offers strong security features, clustering, and load balancing.||Lesser-known, smaller community, may require additional configuration for optimal performance.|
|Oracle Application Server||Large-scale enterprise applications||Supports Java EE, offers strong security features, high scalability, and integration with Oracle Database.||High cost, complex setup and management.|
|Apache TomEE||Java EE applications||Lightweight, open-source, full Java EE support, strong community support, easy to use and configure.||Less suitable for large-scale enterprise applications, slower compared to other servers.|
|Adobe ColdFusion||Rapid web application development||Easy to learn and use, supports a wide range of web technologies, offers built-in functionalities for web development.||High cost, less popular compared to other languages, smaller community.|
|Eclipse Virgo||Modular, enterprise-grade applications||Supports OSGi and Java EE, offers a modular runtime that can be tailored to specific needs.||Less popular, smaller community, may require additional configuration for optimal performance.|
|Zope||Web applications in Python||Open-source, supports Python, offers a powerful and flexible system for developing complex web applications.||Less popular, smaller community, may require additional configuration for optimal performance.|
|Eclipse Jetty||Web applications and services using Java Servlet, JSP, and WebSocket technologies||Lightweight, open-source, strong community support, easy to use and configure, supports HTTP/2, WebSocket, OSGi, JMX, JNDI, JAAS.||Lacks full Java EE support, less suitable for large-scale enterprise applications.|
|Apache Geronimo||Java EE and Jakarta EE applications||Open-source, supports Java EE and Jakarta EE specifications, provides OSGi bundle metadatas, hosts several Microprofile implementations.||Less popular, smaller community, may require additional configuration for optimal performance.|
The most fascinating facts and stats that illuminate the hidden world of application servers!
New to application server software? We've got you covered.
An application server software is a framework that provides both facilities to create web applications and a server environment to run them. It is a key technology for the creation and delivery of dynamic content, which is a crucial component of various applications, websites, and services. Application server software is a middleware, meaning it connects the front-end and back-end of a computing system, facilitating communication between the user interface and the data storage and access components.
Application server software is typically built on a foundation of various technologies, including programming languages like Java or .NET, and protocols like HTTP and HTTPS. It provides a runtime environment for executing the application's code, managing resources, and facilitating integration with other systems. It also offers a suite of services such as transaction management, security services, concurrency control, and memory management. These services are essential for ensuring the reliability, scalability, and performance of web applications.
Application servers is a critical component in the world of web application development and deployment. It provides the necessary infrastructure and services for running applications, managing resources, ensuring security, and facilitating integration with other systems. Whether for small-scale web services or large-scale enterprise applications, application server software plays a crucial role in delivering dynamic, interactive, and secure web experiences.
Application servers are used for a wide range of purposes, primarily revolving around the hosting and operation of web applications. They provide the necessary infrastructure for running applications, managing user sessions, and handling requests and responses between users and applications. They are particularly important in enterprise settings, where they enable the deployment and operation of large-scale, distributed applications.
Application servers are also used to facilitate integration between different systems and services. They can connect databases, messaging systems, and other back-end resources with the application, providing a unified interface for data access and manipulation. This integration capability is crucial for supporting complex business processes and workflows.
Moreover, application servers play a vital role in ensuring the security of web applications. They provide mechanisms for authentication, authorization, data encryption, and other security features. They also offer features for monitoring and managing the performance of applications, helping to ensure high availability and reliability.
Application servers are complex software systems that provide the infrastructure to create, run, and manage applications. They work as the middle-tier in a multi-tier architecture, sitting between the user-facing front-end and the database back-end.
The primary function of an application server is to manage application operations between the user and an organization's back-end business applications or databases. It's essentially a host for applications that operates as a server, serving the business logic to the application clients.
When a client application requests an operation, the request is sent to the application server. The server then processes the request, which often involves communicating with a database, executing a complex transaction, or triggering a business process. Once the operation is complete, the server sends the results back to the client application.
Application servers often come with extensive services and capabilities, including transaction management, security, clustering, performance, scalability, and failover. They also provide a standard API for developers, which simplifies the development process and ensures that applications are platform-independent.
Application servers play a crucial role in modern enterprise computing. They provide a flexible, secure, and scalable environment for running business applications, which is essential for organizations that rely on complex applications to operate their business.
One of the key benefits of application servers is their ability to manage transactions, security, concurrency, and scalability. These are complex issues that developers would otherwise have to handle manually. By taking care of these concerns, application servers allow developers to focus on implementing business logic.
Application servers also provide a layer of abstraction over the underlying system details. This means that developers can write applications that are independent of specific hardware configurations, operating systems, or databases. This makes the applications more portable and easier to maintain.
Furthermore, application servers are designed to be scalable and reliable. They can manage large volumes of traffic and ensure that applications are always available to users. They also provide failover and recovery mechanisms to handle system failures, ensuring that applications can continue to operate in the event of a problem.
One of the key features of application server software is its ability to manage and execute applications and services. This includes everything from web applications to enterprise-level applications. The server provides the necessary runtime environment, ensuring that applications have the resources they need to function correctly, such as memory, processing power, and network connectivity.
Another important feature is the support for various programming languages and technologies. Most application servers support a wide range of languages, including Java, Python, Ruby, and more. This allows developers to use the language they are most comfortable with or the one that best suits the application's requirements. Furthermore, these servers often provide support for various frameworks and libraries, further expanding their versatility.
Application servers also provide critical features related to security and performance. They offer various mechanisms to ensure the secure execution of applications, including authentication, authorization, and encryption. They also provide features to enhance performance, such as load balancing, caching, and connection pooling.
Finally, application servers often offer features for monitoring and management. These include tools for tracking the performance of applications, identifying and resolving issues, and managing resources. These features are crucial for maintaining the health and efficiency of the application environment.
Application servers are critical components of modern web infrastructure, enabling the development, deployment, and hosting of applications. Among the myriad of application servers available today, a few stand out due to their extensive feature sets, robust performance, and widespread adoption.
Apache Tomcat, an open-source application server developed by the Apache Software Foundation, is one of the most popular application servers globally. It's primarily used for implementing Java Servlet, JSP, Java Expression Language, and Java WebSocket technologies. Tomcat's popularity stems from its lightweight architecture, ease of use, and strong community support. It's often chosen for its ability to serve dynamic web content and its compatibility with various operating systems and web technologies.
IBM WebSphere is another widely used application server, particularly in large-scale enterprise environments. WebSphere supports Java Java EE and microservices, making it suitable for complex, multi-tiered applications. It offers robust security features, high availability, and scalability. Furthermore, it integrates well with other IBM products, making it a preferred choice for organizations already invested in IBM's ecosystem.
Oracle WebLogic Server is a leading application server known for its performance, scalability, and reliability. It supports Java EE, Spring, Docker, and Kubernetes, making it versatile for various application needs. WebLogic is often chosen for enterprise applications that require high availability and scalability. It also offers strong security features and integrates seamlessly with Oracle Database, enhancing its appeal to organizations using Oracle's database solutions.
Red Hat's JBoss EAP is a popular choice for building, deploying, and hosting enterprise Java applications. It supports Java EE, microservices, and cloud-native applications, offering a comprehensive platform for diverse application needs. JBoss EAP is known for its strong security features, high scalability, and compatibility with various operating systems and web technologies.
An application server is a complex software framework that provides both facilities to create web applications and a server environment to run them. It consists of several key components that work together to deliver the functionality required by enterprise applications.
The first main component is the runtime engine, which is responsible for executing the application code. This engine is typically based on a programming language such as Java or .NET, and it provides the core functionality for processing requests, managing threads, and executing tasks.
Another crucial component is the middleware services, which provide a variety of functionalities that are common to many applications. These services include transaction management, security, messaging, and database connectivity. They abstract the complexities of these tasks, allowing developers to focus on the business logic of their applications.
The web container is another essential component. It manages the execution of web pages and web services, handling HTTP requests and responses, and providing services such as session management and security.
Finally, the management and configuration tools are vital components. They allow administrators to deploy and manage applications, configure the server, monitor performance, and handle security settings.
Selecting the right application server software is crucial for several reasons.
First, the performance of the application server directly impacts the performance of the applications it hosts. A server that can efficiently manage resources and handle high loads will ensure that applications run smoothly and respond quickly to user requests.
Second, the features and capabilities of the application server can significantly affect the development process. A server that supports the required programming languages, frameworks, and APIs can make it easier to develop and deploy applications. It can also provide valuable services such as transaction management, security, and database connectivity, which can save development time and effort.
Third, the reliability and security of the application server are critical. A server that provides robust security features can help protect sensitive data and prevent unauthorized access. Similarly, a reliable server with high availability and fault tolerance features can ensure that applications are always available to users.
Finally, the cost and licensing terms of the application server can also be a significant factor. The total cost of ownership includes not only the purchase price but also the costs of deployment, maintenance, support, and upgrades. Therefore, it's important to consider all these factors when selecting an application server software.
Find an ideal application server software for your exact needs.
What is the definition of application server?
An application server is a server program in a computer in a distributed network that provides the business logic for an application program. It plays a crucial role in modern applications built on technologies like Java, .NET, PHP, and more. The application server is typically used for complex transaction-based applications. It helps in managing and coordinating the execution of applications and connections to the backend databases and resources the application requires.
What are the benefits of application server?
Application servers offer numerous benefits. They provide a robust platform for running applications, ensuring they are scalable, maintainable, and secure. They offer features like clustering, failover, and load balancing, which are crucial for high availability and reliability. Application servers also provide a unified approach to security, database connectivity, and transaction management, simplifying the development process. They support various programming languages and frameworks, offering flexibility to developers. Lastly, they provide a centralized configuration, making it easier to manage and monitor applications.
Why is an application server needed?
Application servers are needed to handle the complex requirements of modern enterprise applications. They provide a runtime environment where applications can operate, offering services like security, concurrency, transaction management, and memory management. Application servers also handle the connection to the database and other backend resources, abstracting these complexities from the application code. They provide a scalable and reliable platform that can handle high volumes of traffic and data, ensuring that applications remain available and responsive even under heavy load. Without an application server, developers would need to implement these features manually, which would be time-consuming and error-prone.
What are the characteristics of application server?
Application servers have several key characteristics. They provide a runtime environment for applications, offering services like security, transaction management, and resource pooling. They support multiple programming languages and frameworks, providing flexibility to developers. Application servers also offer scalability features, such as clustering and load balancing, to handle high volumes of traffic and data. They provide connectivity to databases and other backend resources, abstracting these complexities from the application code. Application servers also offer centralized configuration and management, making it easier to monitor and manage applications. Lastly, they provide high availability features, such as failover and redundancy, to ensure applications remain available and responsive.
What is application server architecture?
Application server architecture refers to the framework and structure of an application server, defining the way it handles requests, manages resources, and interacts with applications and other systems. The architecture typically includes components like the web server, business logic layer, and database layer. The web server handles incoming requests and routes them to the appropriate services. The business logic layer contains the application's functional logic, while the database layer manages data storage and retrieval. Some application servers use a multi-tier architecture, separating these components into distinct tiers to improve scalability and reliability. The architecture can also include other components like security services, transaction management, and resource pooling, depending on the server's capabilities and the application's requirements.
What is application server container?
An application server container, also known as a runtime environment, is a component of an application server that provides the necessary infrastructure to run applications. It provides services like security, transaction management, threading, and resource pooling, which are essential for running enterprise applications. The container manages the life cycle of applications, from their initialization to their destruction. It also provides APIs that applications can use to access these services. In the context of Java EE or Jakarta EE, the application server container can be a web container for running web applications or an EJB container for running enterprise beans.
What is application server environment?
The application server environment refers to the set of components and settings that make up the application server and allow it to function. This includes the hardware and operating system on which the server runs, the server software itself, the applications deployed on the server, and the configuration settings for the server and applications. The environment also includes the network settings and security measures in place, as well as any connected databases or other backend resources. The application server environment is crucial as it directly influences the performance, security, and reliability of the applications running on the server.
What is the difference between application server and web server?
While both application servers and web servers serve client requests, they differ in their capabilities and the type of content they deliver. A web server primarily serves static content like HTML pages, images, and scripts, and uses protocols like HTTP and HTTPS. On the other hand, an application server is capable of serving dynamic content, executing business logic, and providing services like transaction management, security, and messaging. It can also serve static content, making it a superset of a web server. Application servers often work in conjunction with web servers, where the web server handles static content and forwards requests for dynamic content to the application server.
What is the difference between application server and middleware?
Middleware is software that provides services to applications beyond those available from the operating system. It enables communication or connectivity between applications or application components in a distributed network. Middleware simplifies the development process by providing common messaging frameworks and enabling components written in multiple languages to communicate with each other. It also provides services for configuring and controlling connections and integrations, securing connections and data transfer, and managing traffic dynamically across distributed systems. Middleware can be specific to certain types of connectivity, applications, or tasks, or it can provide a comprehensive set of integration and connectivity capabilities.