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web servers and application servers

Indy Danislav
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 30, 2004
Posts: 2
Can anyone help me with these terms and their meaning. I googled and could not find a convincing understanding.

a web server
an application server
a web application server
HTTP server

Thank you,
-Indy
Jeanne Boyarsky
internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 30057
    
149

Indy,
Welcome to JavaRanch!

A web server is for static content. This is content that doesn't change like HTML pages and images. An application server is for dynamic content. This is your logic, such as servlets and JSPs.

I'm not positive about the other two, but I think an HTTP server is similar to a web server and a web application server is simliar to an application server.


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Indy Danislav
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 30, 2004
Posts: 2
Thank you Jeanne, that was very kind of you to respond.

What I know is that the J2EE 1.4 spec instructs that a web container (that handles servlets and jsp) and EJB container (that implements business component) together make an Application Server. Then what is HTTP server? Apache has an HTTP server project. Is that too an application server? Does an ordinary web servers have containers?

the questions still rings high in my head

-Indy
Jeanne Boyarsky
internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 30057
    
149

Indy,
According to Apache's website, an HTTP server is a web server. It does provide CGI scripting support, but not Java (so it isn't an application server.)

Apache has another server called Tomcat. This is just the web container part of an application server. JBoss is a full application server.
Sloan Bowman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 21, 2003
Posts: 107
Here is how I look at it, HTTP/Webserver is a webserver such as apache that serves static content (.html, .shtml etc..). A web application server is a webserver that possibly provides an application specific language like PHP/ASP to provide scripting support for applications on top of the webserver. Also I would consider Tomcat a web application server because it does not provide the application framework for distribution objects. An application server on the other hand provides J2EE/.NET application modules/ejb that provide the logic for the application. In other words they contian the application logic or business methods of the application hence the name application server. Hope this helps because I just confused myself :-)
 
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