Does Java Have a Web Server?


Heather Bennett

Java is a powerful and versatile programming language that is widely used for developing various types of applications, including web applications. One common question that often arises is whether Java has its own web server. In this article, we will delve into this topic and explore the answer in detail.

Before diving into the details, it’s important to understand what a web server is. A web server is a software application or computer system that serves as the backbone of the World Wide Web. It handles incoming requests from clients (such as web browsers) and responds by delivering web pages or other resources to the clients.

Java and Web Servers

Java itself does not come bundled with a built-in web server. However, Java provides a robust platform called Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE), which includes features for building and deploying web applications. Within Java EE, there are several options for hosting your Java-based web applications on a web server.

Apache Tomcat

One popular choice for hosting Java-based web applications is Apache Tomcat. Tomcat is an open-source implementation of the Java Servlet and JavaServer Pages (JSP) specifications. It acts as a standalone web server capable of handling HTTP requests and serving dynamic content generated by Java servlets or JSP pages.

To use Tomcat, you need to download and install it on your system. Once installed, you can deploy your Java web application by packaging it as a WAR (Web Application Archive) file and placing it in the appropriate directory within Tomcat’s installation folder.


Another lightweight option for hosting Java-based web applications is Jetty. Jetty is an open-source HTTP server and servlet container written in Java. It provides a simple yet powerful solution for deploying and running Java servlets, JSP pages, and other types of dynamic content.

Jetty is known for its small footprint and fast startup time, making it well-suited for development and testing environments. It can be embedded directly into your Java application or used as a standalone web server.

IBM WebSphere

For enterprise-level deployments, IBM WebSphere is a popular choice. WebSphere is a robust and feature-rich application server that supports the Java EE platform. It provides a scalable and reliable environment for running Java-based web applications in production.

WebSphere offers advanced features such as load balancing, clustering, and high availability, making it suitable for large-scale deployments. However, it is worth noting that WebSphere is a commercial product and may require a license to use in certain scenarios.


In summary, while Java itself does not have its own built-in web server, it provides the Java EE platform that enables developers to build and deploy web applications on various web servers. Apache Tomcat, Jetty, and IBM WebSphere are just a few examples of the web servers available for hosting Java-based web applications.

  • Apache Tomcat: A popular open-source option.
  • Jetty: A lightweight and fast alternative.
  • IBM WebSphere: A robust enterprise-level choice.

If you are considering developing a Java-based web application, you can choose the web server that best suits your requirements based on factors such as performance, scalability, ease of use, and support.

In conclusion, while Java itself does not have its own dedicated web server implementation, it provides developers with a range of options to host their Java-based web applications on various web servers. These servers offer different features and capabilities to cater to different needs. By choosing the right web server for your project, you can ensure a smooth and efficient deployment of your Java web application.

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