7+ Best Application Server Software [2022 Honest Review]

Application Server Software

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?

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.


IBM Logo

4.8

Oracle

4.5

Red Hat Logo

4.2
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 WebSphereTry Oracle WebLogicTry 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

ibm websphere homepage

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:

  • AIX
  • HP-UX
  • IBM i
  • Linux
  • Solaris
  • Windows
  • Or, z/OS

Pros And Cons Of IBM WebSphere Application Server

ProsCons
Well-designed management consoleNeeds better logging options
Handles large loads wellCould 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 prcing contact sales

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

oracle weblogic homepage

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
  • Connector
  • 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:

  • Manageability
  • 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

ProsCons
Has built-in diagnostic modulesInflexible domain template exporter
Easy to create and maintain multiple domainsAdministration console can be complicated for beginners
Can create virtual hostsComplex configuration
Offers powerful clustering for load balancing
Incredibly secure

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

red hat jboss eap homepage

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:

  • Management
  • Configuration
  • Administration

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

ProsCons
Easy deployment and configurationComes with limitations in parsing applications
Offers flexibility with performance tuning optionsUser interface needs improvement
Modular and cloud-ready
Simple installation process
Easy to scale

Red Hat JBoss EAP Pricing Plan

red hat jboss eap contact sales to get pricing

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

apache tomcat homepage

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

ProsCons
Easy-to-integrate data sourcesHard-to-trace memory leaks
Simple and fast Java app deploymentPoor log handling
Equipped with common capabilities for Java web deploymentsLimited 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

payara server homepage

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

ProsCons
Good performanceNeeds support for spring boot applications
Small memory footprintDifficult clustering procedure
Exceptional administration control
JEE compliant

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

microsoft iis homepage

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:

  • Extensibility
  • Componentization
  • 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

ProsCons
Easy to set upOccasional memory leaks
Simple to maintainHeavy usage causes random restarts
Great admin tool centerBetter 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

tibco activematrix service grid homepage

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:

  • OpenShift
  • Kubernetes
  • 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:

  • Bindings
  • 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

ProsCons
Simplified binding connectionHealth check feature has bugs
Fast deploymentSteep 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

jeus homepage

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

ProsCons
Provides interoperable productsEncounters glitches
Quick implementationLimited support
Competitive data security
High deliverability
Stable

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

bitnami application catalog homepage

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:

  • VMs
  • 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:

  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Oracle
  • Docker
  • Google
  • Kubernetes

Pros And Cons Of Bitnami Application Catalog

ProsCons
Easy worldwide distributionNeeds better access on the mobile device
Seamless implementationCould have clearer explanation on issue notifications
Simple to deployConfusing 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. 

Conclusion

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. 

Check out IBM WebSphere Application Server here

In This Article

Burkhard Berger

Burkhard Berger

Follow me on my journey from $0 to $100,000 per month. I'm sharing everything I've learned in my income reports here on Novum™ so you can pick up on my mistakes and wins.

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