Application Servers

9 Hot Free and Open Source Java Application Servers

An application server is computer software which provides the business logic for an application program. It offers services such as management of large distributed systems, data services, load balancing, transaction support, and network security. The application server is one part of a three-tier application, consisting of a graphical interface server, an application (business logic) server, and a database / transaction server. Many application servers support the Java platform, but they can be found in other environments.

There are good reasons to deploy an application server in a corporate environment. At a high level, an application server enables updates and upgrades to applications to be distributed to all users. System administrators also benefit from the fact that changes to application configuration can take place centrally, which greatly simplifies technical support and ultimately the end user experience. Application servers also simplify user management, avoiding the need to set up and maintain user-management systems for applications. This type of software also enhances scalability and resource usage, and exposes business components via different deployment wrappers.

Java is a general-purpose, concurrent, class-based, object-oriented, high-level programming language and computing platform first released by Sun Microsystems in 1995. It’s related in some ways to C and C++, in particular with regard to its syntax, and borrows a few ideas from other languages.

Here’s our recommended Java application servers, captured in a legendary LinuxLinks chart.

Best Free and Open Source Java Application Servers

Let’s explore the 9 Java application servers. For each program we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, together with links to relevant resources.

Java Application Servers
TomEEJakarta EE 9.1 certified application server extends Apache Tomcat
TomcatJava Servlet container, or web container (technically not an application server)
JettyProvides a web server and servlet container (technically not an application server)
WildflyPowerful, modular and lightweight application server
GeronimoProvides JavaEE/JakartaEE libraries and Microprofile implementations
JonASJava EE 6 web profile certified enterprise server
LuceeLightweight dynamic CFML scripting language with a solid foundation
GlassFishJakarta EE platform application server
PayaraMiddleware platform supporting deployments of Java EE and MicroProfile apps
Best Free and Open Source SoftwareRead our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. Our curated compilation covers all categories of software.

The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There are hundreds of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, and Autodesk.

There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.
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