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Difference between web and app server

sachin pachpute
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 04, 2004
Posts: 38
can anyone tell me what is the differance between web and app server?is tomcat an app server?

thanks in advance.
Ben Souther

Joined: Dec 11, 2004
Posts: 13410

The distinctions are somewhat blurred.

In a nutshell:
A webserver serves up static HTML files.
An appserver runs an application to build the HTML dynamically.

They're blurred because programs that are traditionally referred to as webservers, like Apache HTTPD, can serve up dynamic content via the common gateway interface (CGI), or with modules like mod_php or mod_perl.

Tomcat, which is an app server, can also function as a standalone webserver.
Not all servlet engines can do this. Some will only function behind a webserver.

Under certain circumstances, it makes sense to combine Apache HTTPD and Tomcat. Under this configuration, HTTPD serves up the static content, handles all SSL issues, and passes all servlet/JSP requests to tomcat.

Hope this helps.

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gen pichong

Joined: Apr 28, 2005
Posts: 15
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