Is WildFly a Web Server or Application Server?


Angela Bailey

When it comes to server technologies, the terms “web server” and “application server” are often used interchangeably. However, there are distinct differences between the two. In this article, we will explore whether WildFly is a web server or an application server.

What is a Web Server?

A web server is a software that delivers web pages to clients upon request. It primarily handles the HTTP protocol and serves static content such as HTML, CSS, images, and JavaScript files. The main purpose of a web server is to respond to client requests by sending back the requested resources.

Key characteristics of a web server:

  • Serves static content
  • Handles HTTP protocol
  • Responds to client requests

What is an Application Server?

An application server, on the other hand, is designed to execute business logic and provide services to support complex applications. It offers an environment for running applications written in various programming languages. Unlike a web server, an application server can handle dynamic content generation and supports multiple protocols.

Key characteristics of an application server:

  • Executes business logic
  • Serves dynamic content
  • Supports multiple protocols (HTTP, RMI, CORBA, etc.)
  • Provides services for application components (security, transaction management, etc.)

The Role of WildFly

WildFly, formerly known as JBoss AS (Application Server), is an open-source Java-based application server developed by Red Hat. It is designed to provide a runtime environment for Java applications.

WildFly can also function as a web server, as it includes the capability to serve static content. It supports the HTTP protocol and can handle requests for static files such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. However, its primary role is that of an application server.

With WildFly, developers can deploy and run enterprise applications built using Java EE (Enterprise Edition) technologies such as servlets, JavaServer Pages (JSP), Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB), and more. WildFly provides essential services like security management, distributed transactions, connection pooling, and messaging support.


In summary, while WildFly can serve static content and function as a web server, its main purpose is that of an application server. It provides a robust runtime environment for running Java-based enterprise applications and offers various services to support complex application development.

If you are looking for a versatile server technology that combines the capabilities of both a web server and an application server, WildFly is an excellent choice.

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