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Application Server vs. Web Server: Differences and Similarities

application vs web server
Charles Richard

Are you thinking to build your website or a mobile application?

Well, then you must have heard of the terms Web server and Applications server which is often used interchangeably as if it relates to the same thing and also facilitates the proper website functioning; but in reality, they are not the same words. In simple words, they work in a parallel manner to deliver content from various websites to the end-users. 

A web server refers to a program that fulfills and accepts incoming requests from the users across the worldwide web. This helps to serve those requests along with the discretionary substance that are picture documents, video records, HTML pages, and considerably more. On the opposite side, an application server serves dynamic content to the end-clients by utilizing different conventions, including HTTP.

In this article, we will be looking at some of the key points which helps you to differentiate between app servers and web servers, respectively. 

Let us begin with some simple terms before hitting the ground difference.

What Is a Web Server?

A web server is usually a kind of software program that is designed to handle all of your web requests. The server is created to accept only the static contents such as HTML pages, video files, images, and much more in the form of incoming requests. After getting requested, the web server responds to the requests over the HTTP protocol with other optional data contents.

The web server is serving all the contents of the World Wide Web and make them accessible to its end users. This refers to a kind of system that consists of both software and hardware web contents as per the end-users.

In simple terms, the webserver is a computer that delivers web pages when they are requested for accessing the content by the end-users. Apache fulfills this approach in current days as it is the most popularly and widely used open-source web server developed and fully maintained by the Apache Software Foundation.

What Is an Application Server?

The application server is frequently mistaken for the webserver and that as though they offer same administrations however in all actuality, it utilizes different techniques to process the majority of the applications which are started by the webserver.

This permits to have and convey top of the line business applications that are comprising of a 3-level application Graphical User Interface(GUI) which incorporates exchange server, a database, and an application server.

The primary purpose of the application server is to serve the right business logic to the mobile app programs using variant protocols that include HTTP. Be sure that it is not restricted to do the same. Being a software framework that facilitates both web-based and enterprise-based applications, it does not only serve the static content but also suited for serving the dynamic content and application transfer from one device to another.

What Makes the Difference between Them?

web server vs application server


We will be looking at some main differences that can help you ahead in understanding the concept in a better way and getting confused about it.

Content Management

Web server is mainly restricted to the HTTP customers. This demonstrated it could utilize just HTTP convention for putting away, handling and conveying the substance to the customers. Alongside it, this is a sort of PC that encourages you to get to sites over the web by permitting correspondence between the customer and the server by utilizing HTTP.

In spite of this, the application server isn’t having any points of confinement. It serves the static substance as well as exchanges rationale to the customer applications by utilizing various conventions.

Multi-Threading Process

The web servers are responding to requests that from more than one connection at a time, but still, you are not able to process multiple requests in parallel. The ultimate task of using threads is to improve the computational speed that does not work with the web servers.

On the other side, the application server supports multi-threading along with several features like connection pooling, isolation pooling, load-balancing, clustering, and much more.

Server Basics or Main Syntax

Web servers allude to equipment or programming or both which conveys substance or administrations to the end-clients over the World Wide Web. It is increasingly similar to a program which reaction to the approaching system demands web assets over the HTTP convention and furthermore known as a web server.

Then again, the application server is a part based programming structure that encourages the improvement and running of online applications. Henceforth, all in all, it is a center level server program that is intended to give suitable business rationale to application programs.

Future Scope of Both

For serving the mails or downloaded requests for FTP files to build or publish a web page for the users, the webserver makes use of HTTP protocol based on the intranet and internet related programs. The web server is designed to use alone or as a component in an application server.

application server vs web server


Other than this, the application server can do everything which web server is capable of and much more than this as they are much capable of creating dynamic content to serve the web applications along with enterprise-based applications.

Functions That Make a Difference

The main task of a web server is to respond and accept all those user requests which are generated by their computers that can be either from a mobile app or web app. Hence, the web server responds to these requests to access static content to view on their web browsers.

Opposite to this, the application server hosts and exposes basic business logic inside their applications and processes using other protocols that work parallelly with the webserver.


In general, the web servers act as an essential player in how the internet is working by allowing access to static pages. In other words, the web servers are considered to act as a gateway between the world wide web and the users that are meant to serve user requests using the internet.

However, it is limited when it comes to serving the users because it can only process requests through the HTTP protocol.

The application servers are said to be more resource-intensive as they provide middleware services to their client applications by making use of various protocols other than HTTP. The application server is overall designed to install and operate all of the host applications and services for your end-users.

Overall, both the web server and application server functions appropriately for a website but in different ways.

We hope this article helped you to get the fundamental difference between the web server and application server. Keep Learning!

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