Application servers are component-based software that resides in the middle-tier of a server centric architecture. They provide middleware services for security, state maintenance, along with data access and persistence. An application server sits below a Web server.
An application server creates an infrastructure for deploying applications that are usually called components. The components are written in object programming languages such as Java, C#, C++, and others. Components used in the middle tier are a common way to realize the high-level abstractions of business processes and workflow.
An application server can have:
- Access to external Web Services. This could be virtually anything.
- Access to other Internet resources. This also could be most anything: weather reports, currency converters, news feeds, and so on.
- Access to internal Web Services. An example of an internal Web Service might be the validation of an account based on data input over the Internet/Intranet and data stored in an existing database.
- Access directly to internal system directly, bypassing Web Services. Direct access to an existing database might be an example of this access.
Application servers are also referred to as app servers, Java application servers, or EJB servers (the latter two refer to Java or J2EE application servers).
Application Server Articles
Interested in how application servers can help you with with enterprise integration? What are some architectures that take advantage of these products yet preserve your existing investment in your software architecture? These free, online articles provide answers to these questions and more. Check out the articles on application servers.
A listing of application server vendors with links to their respective websites is available on this site. Click here for application server vendors.
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Related products on this website
Software architectures can be built using application servers with many of the following products described on this site. Be sure to check out these products:
- Web Services
- Cloud Computing
- Relational Databases
- Object-Relational Databases
- Object-Relational Mapping
- Object-Oriented Databases
- XML Databases
- XML Middleware
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