Is JBoss a Web Server or Application Server?


Scott Campbell

Is JBoss a Web Server or Application Server?

When it comes to JBoss, there is often confusion about whether it is a web server or an application server. In reality, JBoss can be both, depending on how it is configured and used.

What is a Web Server?

A web server is a software that serves static content, such as HTML files, images, and CSS files, over the HTTP protocol. It responds to client requests by sending back the requested files. Common web servers include Apache HTTP Server and Nginx.

What is an Application Server?

An application server, on the other hand, provides an environment for running dynamic applications. It typically supports multiple programming languages and frameworks and offers additional services such as database connectivity and transaction management. Popular application servers include Tomcat and JBoss.

The Role of JBoss

JBoss is an open-source Java-based application server developed by Red Hat. It provides a robust platform for running enterprise-level Java applications. However, JBoss also includes components that can function as a web server.

When used solely as a web server:

  • Jboss Web: The web component of JBoss can serve static files like HTML, CSS, JavaScript along with handling servlets and JavaServer Pages (JSP).

When used as an application server:

  • EJB Container: JBoss provides support for Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) allowing developers to build scalable distributed applications.
  • JPA/Hibernate: JBoss includes support for Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) with Java Persistence API (JPA) and Hibernate.
  • JMS: JBoss provides Java Message Service (JMS) for asynchronous communication between components.
  • Clustering and High Availability: JBoss offers clustering capabilities to distribute the load across multiple servers and ensure high availability of applications.


In conclusion, JBoss can function as both a web server and an application server. When used as a web server, it can serve static files along with handling servlets and JSP. When used as an application server, it provides a robust platform for running enterprise-level Java applications with support for EJB, ORM, JMS, clustering, and high availability.

Whether you choose to use JBoss as a web server or an application server depends on your specific requirements and the nature of your project. Understanding the capabilities of JBoss will help you make an informed decision when building your next web or enterprise application.

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