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Web container (also known as a Servlet container) is the component of a web server that interacts with Java servlets. A web container is responsible for managing the lifecycle of servlets, mapping a URL to a particular servlet and ensuring that the URL requester has the correct access rights.
A web container handles requests for servlets, JavaServer Pages (JSP) files, and other types of files that include server-side code. The Web container creates servlet instances, loads and unloads servlets, creates and manages request and response objects, and performs other servlet management tasks.
A web container implements the web component contract of the Java EE architecture, specifying a runtime environment for web components that includes security, concurrency, lifecycle management, transaction, deployment, and other services.
List of Servlet containers
Non-commercial Web containers
- Apache Tomcat (formerly Jakarta Tomcat) is an open source web container available under the Apache Software License.
- Apache Geronimo is a full Java EE implementation by Apache.
- GlassFish (open source), from Oracle
- JBoss Application Server (open source) is a full Java EE implementation by Red Hat inc., division JBoss.
- Jetty is (open source) from the Eclipse Foundation. Also supports SPDY and WebSocket protocols.
- Jaminid contains a higher abstraction than servlets.
- Winstone supports specification v2.5 as of 0.9, has a focus on minimal configuration and the ability to strip the container down to only what you need.
- Tiny Java Web Server (TJWS) 2.5 , small footprint, modular design
- Eclipse Virgo provides modular, OSGi based web containers implemented using embedded Tomcat and Jetty. Virgo is open source and available under the Eclipse Public License.
Commercial Web containers
- Borland Enterprise Server
- Sun GlassFish Server, from Sun Microsystems
- Sun Java System Web Server, from Sun Microsystems
- Sun Java System Application Server (is an Application Server, but includes a web container)
- JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (open source)
- JRun, from Adobe Systems (formerly developed by Allaire Corporation)
- LiteWebServer (open source)
- WebLogic Application Server, from Oracle Corporation (developed by BEA Systems)
- Orion Application Server, from IronFlare
- Caucho's Resin Server (open source)
- ServletExec, from New Atlanta Communications
- IBM WebSphere Application Server
- SAP NetWeaver
- tc Server (SpringSource)
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