An application server is a server that hosts an application program to provide business logic for third-party application program. An application server combining or working with a web server is called a web application server in many usages. A web application server can be a flexible web application development and deployment tool.
The application server is frequently observed as a part of a three tier application, which comprises of a GUI (graphical user interface) server, business logic or application server and a database server. In a more descriptive way it can be viewed as:
- Front end or first tier (personal computer)
- A middle tier (an intranet server or LAN)
- Third tier or back-end (database server)
Advantages of Application Servers in the Web and Software Development Scenario
In the web & software development scenario, an application server offers various advantages including: