Comparison of application servers

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Application servers are system software upon which web applications or desktop applications run. Application Servers consist of web server connectors, computer programming languages, runtime libraries, database connectors, and the administration code needed to deploy, configure, manage, and connect these components on a web host. An application server runs behind a web Server (e.g. Apache or Microsoft IIS) and (almost always) in front of an SQL database (e.g. PostgreSQL, MySQL or Oracle). Web applications are computer code which run on top of application servers and are written in the language(s) the application server supports and call the runtime libraries and components the application server offers.

There are many application servers and the choice impacts the cost, performance, reliability, scalability, and maintainability of a web application.

Proprietary application servers provide system services in a well-defined but proprietary manner. The application developers develop programs according to the specification of the application server. Dependence on a particular vendor is the drawback of this approach.

An opposite but analogous case is the Java EE platform discussed below.

Java EE application servers provide system services in a well-defined, open, industry standard. The application developers develop programs according to the Java EE specification and not according to the application server.

A Java EE application developed according to Java EE standard can be deployed in any Java EE application server making it vendor independent.

This article compares the features and functionality of application servers, grouped by the hosting environment that is offered by that particular application server.


  • Run BASIC - An all-in-one BASIC scriptable application server, can automatically manage session and state


  • Tuxedo - Based on the ATMI standard, is one of the original application servers.
  • Tntnet - Includes a template engine which allows embedding C++ code in HTML pages. Templates are compiled before run-time, and thus very fast. Multi-threaded, supports object lifetime via scoped variables.
  • CPPSERV - C++ servlet container.
  • Wt - A web toolkit similar to Qt permitting GUI-application-like web development with built-in Ajax abilities.
  • POCO C++ Libraries - A collection of open source class libraries including Poco.Net.HTTPServer.html
  • CppCMS
  • uWSGI[1]


  • CloudI - Provides C/C++, Elixir/Erlang, Java, Javascript, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby integration. [2]



Product Vendor Edition Last release date Java EE
compatibility [3]
ColdFusion Adobe Systems 10.0.11 2013-07-09 6 2.5 2.1 Proprietary
Dynamo AS ATG 6.3 2005-03 1.3 2.3 1.2 Proprietary
Enhydra Lutris 5.1.9 2005-03-23 No GPL
Enterprise Server Borland 6.7 2007-01 1.4 2.4 2.0 Proprietary
Geronimo ASF 3.0.1 2013-05-28 6 Full Platform 3.0 2.2 Apache License
GlassFish GlassFish Community 4.1 2014-09 7 Full Platform 3.1 2.3 CDDL, GPL
GlassFish Server Oracle Corporation 9.1 2007-09-17 5 2.5 2.1 Proprietary
iPlanet Web Server Oracle Corporation 7.0u5 2007-12-21 Yes[4] 2.5 2.1 Proprietary
JBoss Enterprise Application Platform Red Hat 6.3.0.GA 2014-08-06 6 Full Platform 3.0 2.2 LGPL
Jetty Eclipse Foundation 9.2.6 2014-12-05 7 (partial[5]) 3.1 2.3 Apache 2.0, EPL
JEUS TmaxSoft 7 2012-06 6 Full Platform 3.0 2.2 Proprietary
JOnAS OW2 Consortium (formerly ObjectWeb) 5.3 2013-10-04 6 Web Profile 3.0 2.2 LGPL
JRun Adobe Systems 4 updater 7 2007-11-06 1.3 2.3 1.2 Proprietary
NetWeaver Application Server SAP AG 7.3 2011-05-31 5 2.5 2.1 Proprietary
Oracle Containers for J2EE Oracle Corporation 2009-08 1.4 2.4 2.0 Proprietary
Orion Application Server IronFlare 2.0.7 2006-03-09 1.3 2.3 1.2 Proprietary
Resin Servlet Container (Open Source) Caucho Technology 4.0.36 2013-04-25 6 Web Profile [6] 3.0 2.2 GPL
Resin Professional Application Server Caucho Technology 4.0.36 2013-04-25 6 Web Profile 3.0 2.2 proprietary
Ruby Ruby 1.2 2015-01-01 No LGPL
Siwpas MechSoft 2.0.0 2011-07-29 yes[7] 3.0 2.2 Proprietary
TomEE ASF 1.7.1 2014-09-12 6 Web Profile 3.0 2.2 Apache License
WebLogic Server Oracle Corporation (formerly BEA Systems) 12.1.3 2014-06-26 6 Full Platform 3.0 2.2 Proprietary
WebObjects Apple Inc. 5.4.3 2008-09-15 partial[8] Proprietary
IBM WebSphere Application Server IBM 2014-08-26 6 Full Platform 3.1 2.2 Proprietary
IBM WebSphere Application Server Liberty Core IBM 2012-06-15 6 Web Profile 3.1 2.2 Proprietary
WebSphere AS Community Edition IBM 2013-06-21 6 Full Platform 3.0 2.2 Proprietary
WildFly Red Hat 8.2.0.Final 2014-11-20 7 Full Platform 3.1 2.3 LGPL


  • Broadvision - Server-side JavaScript AS. One of the early entrants in the market during the eCommerce dot-com bubble, they have vertical solution packages catering to the eCommerce industry.
  • Wakanda Server - Server-side JavaScript Application Server integrating a NoSQL database engine (WakandaDB[9]), a dedicated HTTP Server, User and Group management and an optional client-side JavaScript framework.
  • Node.js - implements Google's V8 engine as a standalone (outside the browser) asynchronous Javascript interpreter. A vigorous open-source developer community on GitHub has implemented numerous supporting products, notably npm for package management and Connect and Express app server layers.
  • Phusion Passenger


  • Barracuda Application Server - An embedded C source code library designed primarily for embedded systems and with a Lua program API that is similar to Servlets. The library is primarily used for industrial control and management and is used by companies such as Honeywell, ABB, Mitsubishi Electric, and Schneider Electric as a base for designing H2M and M2M for industrial electronics.
  • Mako Server - Fast application server designed primarily for resource constrained POSIX systems. The Mako Server is derived from the Barracuda Embedded Application Server. A full featured Lua Web Tutorial for the Mako Server is available on the Android Market.



Microsoft positions their middle-tier applications and services infrastructure in the Windows Server operating system and the .NET Framework technologies in the role of an application server:



  • GNUstepWeb - WebObjects 4.5 compatible, released under the LGPL.
  • SOPE inspired by WebObjects extended with Zope concepts, used as foundation for SOGo.






  • Seaside - A continuations based web application server based on Smalltalk


  • AOLserver - Released as NaviServer before being bought by AOL in 1995, this was a pioneering web application server - for the first time integrating a multi-threaded HTTP server with built in scripting language and database pools with abstraction layer.

See also[edit]