Java Application Servers

An application server is software which provides software applications with services such as security, data services, transaction support, load balancing, and management of large distributed systems. The term is often used for web servers which support the Java Platform, Enterprise Edition

The Java Platform, Enterprise Edition or Java EE defines the core set of API and features of Java Application Servers which came about as a result of the Java Community Process. This definition of an application server is very specific; its specifications are formal documents and application servers must meet their requirements and tested in order to be Java EE certified.

Commercial, non open-source, Java application servers have been dominated by WebLogic Application Server by Oracle and WebSphere Application Server from IBM. Open source application servers include JOnAS from Object Web, JBoss AS from JBoss (division of Red Hat), Geronimo from Apache, TomEE from Apache, Resin Java Application Server from Caucho Technology, Blazix from Desiderata Software, Enhydra Server from, and GlassFish from Oracle.

IBM Websphere
WebSphere Application Server is the implementation by IBM of the Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) platform. It conforms to the J2EE 1.4 specification. WebSphere Application Server is available in three unique packages that are designed to meet a wide range of customer requirements. At the heart of each package is a WebSphere Application Server that provides the runtime environment for enterprise applications.

WebSphere Application Server provides the flexibility, efficiency and intelligent management that an agile, cost-effective business requires
Speed the delivery of applications and services, operate efficiently and reliably and ensure security and control with IBM WebSphere Application Server.

Features of IBM Websphere Application Server:

  • Reduce costs and downtime through high performance to consolidate workloads, infrastructure and administrative tasks with enhanced Web server load balancing and failover
  • Improve end-user experiences through rapid delivery of innovative applications
  • Easily and quickly obtain Eclipse adapters for the WebSphere Application Server V7.0 and V8.0 environments
  • Achieve higher application security with flexible and granular control
  • Maximize developer productivity with unique backwards compatibility features that eliminate recoding with WebSphere Application Server Tools Editions
  • Reuse and extend legacy and packaged applications to reduce costs, which can be further accelerated using the optionally available WebSphere Adapters

With Websphere, utilize diverse developer skills using comprehensive open standards-based programming models, including Java EE 6, OSGi Applications, Web 2.0 and Mobile, Java Batch, XML, Service Component Architecture (SCA), Communications Enabled Applications (CEA), Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and Dynamic Scripting.

Oracle Weblogic
Oracle WebLogic Server is a leading application server across conventional and cloud environments. It is the cornerstone of Oracle cloud application foundation, the industry's most complete, best-of-breed platform for developing cloud applications.

Oracle WebLogic Server forms part of Oracle Fusion Middleware portfolio and supports Oracle, DB2, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL Enterprise and other JDBC-compliant databases.
Owned by Oracle Corporation, Oracle WebLogic consists of a Java EE platform product-family that includes - Java EE application server, enterprise portal, transaction server and infrastructure, telecommunication platform and an HTTP web server.

Features of Oracle Weblogic Application Server:

  • Outperform your competition — Fast, scalable technology enables IT to change swiftly as the business grows
  • Dramatically simplify deployment and management — Ultra-fast application deployment and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) assembly lifecycle management
  • Accelerate time to market with developer efficiency innovations — Leverage your skills with the latest Java standards and open source into WebLogic
  • Benefit from the latest innovations with seamless upgrades — Available from prior Oracle WebLogic Server editions, Oracle GlassFish Server, JBoss, and IBM WebSphere

It is counted among the fastest application servers in the marketplace with rock-solid reliability, extreme scalability for driving elasticity, state-of-the-art manageability and application-aware virtualization.

Apache Tomcat
Apache Tomcat (or simply Tomcat, formerly also Jakarta Tomcat) is an open source web server and servlet container developed by the Apache Software Foundation (ASF). Tomcat implements the Java Servlet and the JavaServer Pages (JSP) specifications from Oracle Corporation, and provides a "pure Java" HTTP web server environment for Java code to run.

Tomcat should not be confused with the Apache web server, which is a C implementation of an HTTP web server; these two web servers are not bundled together, although they are frequently used together as part of a server application stack. Apache Tomcat includes tools for configuration and management, but can also be configured by editing XML configuration files.

Features of Apache Tomcat Application Server:

  • Developed in an open and participatory environment and released under the Apache License
  • Intended to be a collaboration of the best-of-breed developers from around the world
  • Powers numerous large-scale, mission-critical web applications across a diverse range of industries and organizations
  • Built in a community process, with both user and developer mailing lists
  • Apache TomEE (pronounced "Tommy") is the Java Enterprise Edition of Apache Tomcat (Tomcat + Java EE = TomEE) that combines several Java enterprise projects including Apache OpenEJB, Apache OpenWebBeans, Apache OpenJPA, Apache MyFaces and others.

Tomcat may either be deployed as a standalone pure-Java web server or as a component in a more complex configuration in which it serves as a back-end which handles requests passed to it from a general purpose web server or an optional module for the Apache HTTP Server supplied by the Apache HTTP Server team.

JBoss Application Server (or JBoss AS) is an open-source Java EE-based application server. An important distinction for this class of software is that it not only implements a server that runs on Java, but it actually implements the Java EE part of Java. Because it is Java-based, the JBoss application server operates cross-platform: usable on any operating system that supports Java.

JBoss can be used for large scale deployments and supports load balancing, clustering, EJBs and a large set of J2EE specifications.

Features of JBoss Application Server:

  • Aspect-oriented programming (AOP) support
  • Clustering, Load balancing, Failover
  • Teiid data virtualization system
  • Distributed deployment (farming)
  • Java EE Connector Architecture (JCA) integration
  • Java Management Extensions
  • OSGi framework
  • Management API
  • Java Authentication and Authorization Service (JAAS)

The community edition of JBoss is free and open source and is ideal for development and testing. The commercial edition known as JBoss enterprise application platform is the ideal choice for production hosting.

Jetty is a pure Java-based HTTP client/server, WebSocket client/server and servlet container (Application server) developed as a free and open source project as part of the Eclipse Foundation. It is currently used in products such as ActiveMQ, Alfresco, Apache Geronimo, Apache Maven, Google App Engine, Eclipse, FUSE, HP OpenView, JBoss, Liferay, Ubuntu, Twitter's Streaming API and Zimbra. Jetty is also used as a standard Java application server by many open source projects such as Lift, Eucalyptus and Hadoop.

Developed as an independent open source project, in 2009 Jetty moved to Eclipse. Jetty provides Web services in an embedded Java application and it is already a component of the Eclipse IDE. It supports AJP, JASPI, JMX, JNDI, OSGi, Web Sockets and other Java technologies.

Features of Jetty Application Server:

  • Full-featured and standards-based
  • Open source and commercially usable
  • Flexible and extensible
  • Small footprint
  • Embeddable
  • Asynchronous
  • Enterprise scalable

Jetty is used in a wide variety of projects and products. Jetty can be embedded in devices, tools, frameworks, application servers, and clusters.

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