Is IBM WebSphere a Web Server?


Angela Bailey

Is IBM WebSphere a Web Server?

If you are new to the world of web development, you may have come across terms like “IBM WebSphere” and “web server” without fully understanding their differences. In this article, we will explore whether IBM WebSphere is a web server or not.

Understanding Web Servers

Before diving into the specifics of IBM WebSphere, let’s first clarify what a web server is. A web server is a software application responsible for serving websites and web applications to clients over the internet. It handles requests from clients (such as browsers) and responds with the requested web content.

What is IBM WebSphere?

IBM WebSphere is not strictly a web server; it is an enterprise-level application server that provides a platform for developing, deploying, and managing robust Java-based applications. While it does have some built-in web server capabilities, its primary purpose extends beyond hosting websites alone.

Features of IBM WebSphere

  • J2EE Compliance: IBM WebSphere fully supports Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) specifications, allowing developers to build scalable and reliable enterprise applications.
  • Distributed Computing: With its distributed computing capabilities, WebSphere enables the deployment of applications across multiple servers for load balancing and fault tolerance.
  • Application Integration: IBM WebSphere facilitates integration with other enterprise systems, enabling seamless communication between different software components.
  • Security: This application server provides robust security features to protect sensitive data and ensure secure communication between clients and servers.

The Role of IBM HTTP Server

While IBM WebSphere itself is not a web server, it can be used in conjunction with the IBM HTTP Server (IHS). The IHS is an Apache-based web server that can be integrated with WebSphere to handle the delivery of static web content, such as HTML, CSS, and image files.

The combination of IBM WebSphere and IBM HTTP Server provides a comprehensive solution for hosting dynamic Java-based applications and serving static content simultaneously.


So, to answer the question: No, IBM WebSphere is not a web server in itself. However, when combined with the IBM HTTP Server, it can fulfill the role of a web server by delivering static web content while also providing advanced application server capabilities.

In summary, understanding the distinction between web servers and application servers like IBM WebSphere is essential for making informed decisions when it comes to developing and deploying web applications in enterprise environments.

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