Is JBoss a Web Server?


Angela Bailey

Is JBoss a Web Server?

When it comes to web development, there are various tools and technologies available to developers. One such tool is JBoss, but is it a web server? Let’s dive into the details and find out.

What is JBoss?

JBoss is an open-source application server that falls under the category of Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE) application servers. It was developed by JBoss, now owned by Red Hat, and provides a platform for developing and deploying enterprise Java applications.

Web Server vs. Application Server

Before we determine whether JBoss is a web server or not, let’s understand the difference between a web server and an application server.

  • Web Server: A web server primarily handles HTTP requests and responses. It serves static content such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript files, and images to clients.

    Examples of popular web servers include Apache HTTP Server and Nginx.

  • Application Server: An application server provides a runtime environment for executing applications. It supports dynamic content generation and typically includes features like database connectivity, transaction management, security, and messaging services.

JBoss as an Application Server

In the case of JBoss, it is indeed an application server rather than a web server. While it does have some built-in functionality for handling HTTP requests and serving static content, its primary purpose is to provide an environment for running Java-based enterprise applications.

JBoss supports the Java EE specification and offers features like servlet containers (e.g., Tomcat), JavaServer Pages (JSP), Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB), messaging services (e., Java Message Service), and more. It also provides tools for managing and monitoring applications deployed on the server.

JBoss and Web Servers

Although JBoss is not a web server, it can work alongside a web server to complement its functionality. This setup is known as a reverse proxy configuration. In this setup, the web server handles incoming HTTP requests and forwards them to JBoss for processing dynamic content or executing Java-based applications.

The reverse proxy configuration offers benefits such as load balancing, caching, SSL termination, and improved security. Popular web servers like Apache HTTP Server and Nginx can be used in conjunction with JBoss to achieve this setup.


In summary, JBoss is not a web server but an application server that provides a runtime environment for running Java-based enterprise applications. While it does have some capabilities for handling HTTP requests and serving static content, its primary focus is on supporting dynamic content generation and providing various features required by enterprise applications.

Remember that when developing web applications using JBoss, it’s common to use it alongside a web server in a reverse proxy configuration to benefit from the advantages offered by both technologies.

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