An application server is a server that is specially designed in a way that can run applications. This type of server includes both hardware and software. These application servers provide an environment to run the programs properly. The main purpose of this server is to run the software. But the application servers are greatly beneficial for important hardware specifications like CPU and RAM. The most important software that is operating system runs with an application server. The application server determines the software that can be run through it. By the end of this article, you will know all about what is application server.
Though a web server is designed to serve web pages, it is not able to run demanding web applications. But an application server ensures the processing power and memory to run these demanding web applications. It also provides the environment to run specific applications. A cloud service or a Linux-based server can provide a web interface. But they are not able to run web applications. They can highly send data to a Windows-based server. The application server processes the data and then, sends it to the webserver. And this is the output of the web browser.
Types of the Application Server
There are mainly two types of application servers available. The types are given below:
- Shared application servers
The shared application servers are used to host the application or software which runs under administrative mode. This type of application server works mainly as a file server. You can create a file and share it on a server. You have to install the application to share the file. Microsoft Office works as an application installation. It sends the link to the shared application files to end-users. But, now the application sharing is on its way out. It is for the complexity in management and also for updating in the long run of products. This shared server is replaced with a windows server as it offers so many options for application servers. There is also a feature named RemoteApps which you can use in case of a shared application server in your network.
- Central application servers
These central application servers are used to run the central machine generally a Mainframe computer by the design of the applications. This type of server provides remote services to end-users. This central server is very popular as it can run windows server system applications. It runs many popular Windows server systems like the BizTalk Server, Commerce Server, SQL Server, etc. this server system provides centralize end-user services by relying on the base features of the Windows server.
- Active application server
This server is used to get support. This type of application server creates a good environment for business logic. This logic is involved in the forms of rules, components, and objects. For this, this type of server is also known as a stateful server.
- Web information server
This type of server generates pages from the database. This type of application server is also known as stateless servers.
- Component server
This type of application server is used to provide database access to software components. It can access software components like COBRA, DLL, and Java Bean. It also provides support in transaction processing requests.
Uses of the Application Server
The uses of this server are many. Mainly you have to use an application server in integration with existing systems and databases or any support of websites. There are also some reasons when you can use application servers. You can use this server in E-commerce, Web-integrated collaboration, component re-use, etc.
The application servers work best when you have to integrate the databases and servers. When web servers are part of an existing IT infrastructure of an organization. Another reason for using this type of server is to provide integrity to code and data with an integrated and centralized approach. For this, the applications are being upgraded and updated. If you don’t have an application server, you can face software compatibility problems for different versions of the same app across your business.
The server allows clients to process any requests by connecting to the database. The server also returns the data to the webserver. The application servers reduce the size of the programs of clients just like reducing a pdf file. It also minimizes the complexity of the programs. The server cache and control the flow of data. For this, you will get better performance of your program. The application server also implements the security of data and makes sure to end-user traffic. But there are also many reasons to use the application servers. You can even need this server for scalability or a better managing application for the web.
The other great use of this type of server is that it creates an additional layer of security in your organization. An application server works as an additional barrier between the web pages and databases, as there is no direct link between the web pages and databases. The application servers ensure the entering of the text into a form on a website and prevent the text from being exploited as a malicious SQL call.
The application server works at a scale that increases its use. This server can act as a web server farm without any additional connections to underlying databases.
Advantages of the Application Server
There are many advantages or benefits of using the application servers. The benefits of using application servers are given below:
- Application servers are very useful as it provides a mechanism for dealing with the components.
- The application servers run session management, synchronous, and asynchronous client services.
- It is very beneficial as it allows us to install applications in one place.
- The application servers can change to any configuration. It can move the database server and can do all things centrally from one location.
- You can deploy patch and security updates very easily through the application servers.
- The application servers allow you to distribute requests to different servers based on availability. The application servers do this work by Load Balancing.
- The application servers provide security to the applications.
- The application servers have recover or failover recovery ability. For this, it can enable fault tolerance.
- By using the application servers, you can save time. You can install a copy of configurations on each machine individually.
- The application servers support transaction support.
- The application servers improve application performance. It is based on the client-server model.
The uses and advantages of the application servers are many. An application server is a place where large and complex applications reside. The application servers interact with the database servers and make the application dynamic. An application server also can handle services and requests like a web server.