Are you looking for the best application server to run your apps on? You’re in the right place.
I’ve compiled 7+ of the best available for 2022, so you can make an informed decision before bringing your wallet out. I’ve dabbed my hands around app projects once in a while, and these are the best ones worth checking out.
When it comes to application server software, you need something easy to configure and quick to deploy. You’ll also need one that’s flexible enough to handle any workload and large memory footprints.
While you keep those in mind, don’t forget to choose one with robust security features to drive out any risks your app development process might encounter.
This list will give you just that and some more details so you can make an informed decision on which tool to go for.
If you’re ready to find out the best application server software for this year, let’s get right to it.
- What Is The Best Application Server Software?
- 1. IBM WebSphere Application Server – Top Pick
- 2. Oracle WebLogic Server – Full Jakarta EE Implementation
- 3. Red Hat JBoss EAP – Easy Installation & Maintenance
- 4. Apache Tomcat – Best Open-Source App Server
- 5. Payara Server – Best For Modern App Development
- 6. Microsoft IIS – Most Complete Modular Architecture
- 7. TIBCO ActiveMatrix Service Grid – Fastest Deployment
- 8. JEUS – Best For Middleware Products
- 9. Bitnami Application Catalog – Simple To Navigate
What Is The Best Application Server Software?
If you need fast answers, check out my top 3 picks at a glance: IBM WebSphere Application Server, Oracle WebLogic Server, and Red Hat JBoss EAP.
|Best overall. Capable of handling large workloads efficiently and has intelligent management features.||Best value for money. Highly integrated and high-performance application server platform.||Fast deployment. Lightweight and extremely flexible platform for modern application environments.|
|Try IBM WebSphere||Try Oracle WebLogic||Try Red Hat JBoss EAP|
That’s just scratching the surface. If you need more information on each tool’s features and functionalities, here you go.
1. IBM WebSphere Application Server – Top Pick
Best Application Server Software For Enterprise Applications [Custom Pricing]
IBM WebSphere Application Server offers a speedy delivery in a reliable Java Enterprise Edition environment.
It supports standard-based programming models as well as microservices, helping you do the following:
- Modernize apps (advanced tools, better deployment model (DevOps), etc.)
- Gain workload visibility
- Analyze enterprise apps
All web applications created run inside a logical web container. Each web container can process related servlets, JSP (JavaServer Pages technology) files, and other types of server-side components.
It recently launched its 9.0.5 version that delivers enhancements so you can apply operational modernization at your own pace.
With it, you get real-time visibility across multi-cloud workloads. You also get an administrative console to analyze apps and generate reports.
Moreover, it comes with logging and monitoring functionality to get real-time cloud-ready log analysis with actionable insights.
Overall, the IBM WebSphere Application Server is a flexible and security-rich web application server best used for enterprise and Java applications. You can access all its tools on any device with an operating system of:
- IBM i
- Or, z/OS
Pros And Cons Of IBM WebSphere Application Server
|Well-designed management console||Needs better logging options|
|Handles large loads well||Could have better options for load balancing|
|Easy to scale|
|Extensive container support (session management, process requests for HTML and other static content, etc.)|
|Robust and stable|
IBM WebSphere Application Server Pricing Plan
IBM WebSphere has four pricing plans.
- WAS Liberty Core: This plan is best for the lightweight production runtime of cloud-based application development.
- WebSphere Application Server: This one is a flexible and secure Java server runtime environment for enterprise applications.
- WAS Network Deployment: The WAS Network Deployment plan is a runtime environment best for large-scale and mission-critical application deployments.
- WAS Family Edition: This plan includes the three products under one license best for multiple business models.
IBM WebSphere didn’t include the pricing for each plan. You have to contact the sales team to get more information on this.
2. Oracle WebLogic Server – Full Jakarta EE Implementation
Most Expandable Application Server Software For Development & Runtime [Custom Pricing]
Oracle WebLogic Server is one of the best for building enterprise applications using Java EE standards, on-premise, or cloud.
With that is a full Jakarta EE implementation. When combined, both Java EE and Jakarta EE offer superb technologies and APIs that make app development easier.
It lives up to its extensibility for developing, deploying, and running enterprise applications.
It’s designed to seamlessly integrate with all of Oracle’s products and cloud services. It integrates with all technologies of Oracle to provide optimal performance.
Creating the best application server environment may sound challenging. WebLogic Server’s programmers and designers make it effortless by creating sets of modules.
These modules work by implementing the application’s business and presentation logic.
A few of the modules included are listed as follows:
- WebLogic web services and diagnostic framework
- Enterprise JavaBean
- Web application
The web application modules allow you to include web pages (servlets or JSPs).
This applications server is flexible enough to be compatible with older versions while at the same time supporting new features for:
- High availability
- Developer productivity
It’s also designed to be fully supported on Kubernetes. It allows users to migrate and build container apps with Java services.
For this, it comes with a Kubernetes Toolkit, which is a set of open-source tools that simplify running on Kubernetes. This will enable you to get greater agility to run microservices in a portable manner.
Pros And Cons Of Oracle WebLogic Server
|Has built-in diagnostic modules||Inflexible domain template exporter|
|Easy to create and maintain multiple domains||Administration console can be complicated for beginners|
|Can create virtual hosts||Complex configuration|
|Offers powerful clustering for load balancing|
Oracle WebLogic Server Pricing Plan
Oracle WebLogic Server doesn’t provide a detailed pricing plan.
You have to get your personalized quote from their sales team. Visit their site for more details.
3. Red Hat JBoss EAP – Easy Installation & Maintenance
Best Application Server Software With Enterprise-Grade Security [Free Trial | Custom Pricing]
When it comes to security, performance, and scalability, Red Hat JBoss EAP is what you can rely on.
Whether on-premise or in the cloud, this application server software can help deliver fast-working apps.
It’s optimized for cloud and containers to provide easy deployment and full Jakarta EE performance.
This tool also features a modular architecture that starts service when required.
Moreover, it’s designed for performance and versatility.
And so, it’s built to be lightweight to reduce scale-out times. It’s also flexible enough to be deployed in different environments, as well as when it comes to the following:
Additionally, Red Hat JBoss EAP is easy to maintain and update. It even supports large-scale domain configurations.
With its expansion pack, developers can build and launch microservices-based applications with extensive support for deployment and security.
Pros And Cons Of Red Hat JBoss EAP
|Easy deployment and configuration||Comes with limitations in parsing applications|
|Offers flexibility with performance tuning options||User interface needs improvement|
|Modular and cloud-ready|
|Simple installation process|
|Easy to scale|
Red Hat JBoss EAP Pricing Plan
Red Hat JBoss EAP offers a 90-day free trial.
If you plan to use it for the long term after the trial period, you need to contact the sales team to get a quote. Visit their site to start your free trial.
4. Apache Tomcat – Best Open-Source App Server
Best Application Server Software With Cluster Component [Free]
Apache Tomcat is an open-source application server software that enables the following:
- Executes Java Servlets
- Serves Java EE Applications
- Renders and delivers (includes JavaServer Page code)
When released back in 1998, It was the most widely-used open-source Java app server.
This application server is developed and maintained by a community of developers under the care of the Apache Software Foundation. It was released under the Apache License 2.0.
It comes with a cluster component to manage large applications and load balancing.
This tool also has high-availability features to facilitate the scheduling of change requests, new releases, and other upgrades.
It dispatches traffic requests to a temporary server when the main port is upgrading the main server.
Lastly, it is equipped with system-based and user web application enhancements to support deployment in multiple environments.
Pros And Cons Of Apache Tomcat
|Easy-to-integrate data sources||Hard-to-trace memory leaks|
|Simple and fast Java app deployment||Poor log handling|
|Equipped with common capabilities for Java web deployments||Limited user interface|
|Built-in security features|
|Simple to configure and run|
Apache Tomcat Pricing Plan
Since Apache Tomcat is open-source, it can be downloaded for free.
5. Payara Server – Best For Modern App Development
Top-Tier Application Server Software With MicroProfile Compatibility [Free]
Payare Server is an open-source application server that’s built to cater to the needs of the modern app development dynamics.
It isn’t just Jakarta EE compatible, but MicroProfile as well. With this compatibility, it can modernize infrastructure and create microservice applications.
This application server software also comes with a cloud function so you can migrate existing Jakarta EE apps using the Payara Platforms.
It allows you to build new, cloud-native apps on the public cloud.
Furthermore, Payara Server has impressive container support, so you can reduce infrastructure and maintenance costs for existing apps.
With it, you can also deploy Kubernetes fast and easily because the Payara Platform is compatible with cloud-native services.
Pros And Cons Of Payara Server
|Good performance||Needs support for spring boot applications|
|Small memory footprint||Difficult clustering procedure|
|Exceptional administration control|
Payara Server Pricing Plan
Payara Server is open-source, so you can get started with it for free.
Just click on the Get Started button on the right upper-hand corner of the homepage, and you’ll be given installation and deployment guides.
6. Microsoft IIS – Most Complete Modular Architecture
Powerful Application Server Software With ASP.NET Integration [Custom Pricing]
For the recent version of this application server software which is IIS 7, we will highlight three key features and their benefit:
- ASP.NET Integration
With this tool, developers can leverage its modular architecture to build powerful server components. It can replace or extend existing server features and add value to web apps hosted on this platform.
It can also empower web apps, as well as increase component value by adding the following:
- Secure filtering
- Load balancing
- Content direction
- State management
- Monitoring and logging
- Custom authentication schemes
With it is a better development experience when it alleviates most problems encountered in the ISAPI development.
It introduces a simplified object-oriented API that’s more robust in writing server code.
Additionally, it has an improved Visual Studio Integration to enhance the developing experience in IIS.
As for componentization, this tool has standalone components that are easy to add, remove, or replace.
This app server software also allows the removal of all unused features to minimize the surface area as much as possible. With this, you’ll have a more secure server by reducing the attack surface.
The reduction of unused server features will also get you a reduced memory footprint which enhances the performance by reducing the amount of feature code to another level.
You can also build custom or specialized servers. You can add custom features or replace existing functionality with third-party components.
Lastly, with its ASP.NET Integration, you can take full advantage of the powerful features of its newest version.
Pros And Cons Of Microsoft IIS
|Easy to set up||Occasional memory leaks|
|Simple to maintain||Heavy usage causes random restarts|
|Great admin tool center||Better UX for diagnostic tools|
|Scalable web infrastructure|
|Delegated remote management|
Microsoft IIS Pricing Plan
Microsoft IIS didn’t lay out a detailed pricing plan for their application server software.
You have to get in touch with the sales team to get more information. Visit their site to get started with Microsoft IIS.
7. TIBCO ActiveMatrix Service Grid – Fastest Deployment
Scalable Application Server Software With Easy App Migration [Free]
When it comes to TIBCO ActiveMatrix Service Grid, you can expect ease of deployment.
It simplifies heterogeneous Service Oriented Architecture by letting developers turn C++, Java, .NET/WCF, or Spring business logic into services not requiring the writing of wrapper code.
With it, you can graphically assemble, deploy, manage, and host all these services as a composite app.
You can deploy apps on container-based PaaS platforms like:
- Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS)
- Or other similar OCI-compliant runtime platforms for apps
It comes with web-based tools for application configuration. With this applications server software, you can configure entities like:
- JVM arguments
- Resource templates
- Substitution variables
- Logging configuration
- And other application containerization requirements
Application extraction is also easy with this software. You can easily migrate applications running under one ActiveMatrix version to another.
You also get advanced dashboards to monitor and manage applications. This tool has TIBCO Hawk monitoring capabilities to keep track of apps deployed on various cloud platforms.
With this tool, you can also take advantage of:
- Application health checks
- Enterprise-wide search support
- UI-based diagnostic capabilities
- Seamless upgrade or downgrade
- Optimization for large-scale environments
- Support for Single Sign-On using OpenID Connect
Pros And Cons Of TIBCO ActiveMatrix Service Grid
|Simplified binding connection||Health check feature has bugs|
|Fast deployment||Steep learning curve for security policy|
|High scalability of applications|
|Reduced HTTP port required|
TIBCO ActiveMatrix Service Grid Pricing Plan
TIBCO ActiveMatrix Service Grid is free to use from their site.
Just head to the Overview tab and choose which service grid version suits your machine.
8. JEUS – Best For Middleware Products
Centralized, Secure, & High-Performance Application Server Software [Free Trial | Custom Pricing]
JEUS provides freedom from the limitations of conventional middleware. It delivers a complete suite of interoperable products to level up your standards.
With this tool, you can develop, execute, and manage applications in the web environment fast and easily.
It quickly implements cloud environments and large transactions.
JEUS increases data security by removing open firewall ports. It also improves performance by using its built-in clustering and dynamic scaling.
With this application server software, you get superior service based on proprietary technology while meeting full Java EE 7 specifications.
It has high deliverability and stability with dynamic clustering and domain architecture.
It also enables reverse connection pooling and allows for round-robin, rule-based, and dynamic load balancing.
Lastly, it provides centralized system management so you can streamline all activities in one place.
Pros And Cons Of JEUS
|Provides interoperable products||Encounters glitches|
|Quick implementation||Limited support|
|Competitive data security|
JEUS Pricing Plan
JEUS comes with a 30-day free trial. If you want to use the platform for long-term use then you need to consult with their sales team. Visit their site to learn more.
9. Bitnami Application Catalog – Simple To Navigate
Trusted Application Server Software With The Largest Catalog Of Click-To-Deploy Apps [Custom Pricing]
Bitnami Application Catalog provides the largest catalog of development stacks and click-to-deploy applications.
With it, you can quickly launch apps on your server or deploy them to major cloud environments.
You can choose from:
- Multi-tier VMs
- Local installers
- Container images
- Kubernetes Helm charts
It’s a trusted and secure application server software in any format on any major cloud.
This tool is safe and up-to-date.
Their expertise led them to build internal tooling required to automate the maintaining and publishing of a catalog of applications and development environments.
It continuously updates and monitors all applications in its catalog, together with their components, for every development stack and application.
It’s also easy to use since stacks and applications are pre-configured to be utilized on any preferred platform.
Lastly, it delivers applications in the formats you require. It’s optimized to run as VMs and click-to-deploy images in the cloud for:
Pros And Cons Of Bitnami Application Catalog
|Easy worldwide distribution||Needs better access on the mobile device|
|Seamless implementation||Could have clearer explanation on issue notifications|
|Simple to deploy||Confusing description of applications|
|Supports many applications|
|Secure and up-to-date|
Bitnami Application Catalog Pricing Plan
Bitnami Application Catalog doesn’t offer a defined pricing package. You have to contact the support team on their website to get more information.
My top pick for the best application software would be IBM WebSphere Application Server.
It delivers fast in a Java EE environment and supports standard-based programming models and microservices.
Plus with it, you get real-time visibility on multi-cloud workloads and analyze everything in an easy-to-navigate administrative console.
It’s well-designed, easy to scale, and robust enough to handle large loads.
Overall, it offers the best functionality for any general needs of an application creation and deployment project.
It even has rich security features to drive out any risk posed by your app.