An application server, in simple words, is a software framework that executes routines, scripts, programs and other procedures. When you talk about servers, you are presented with two basic types of them, which are Application Servers and Web Servers. Application Servers are also called middleware application servers which handle the database servers and the end user. They serve as the connecting link between the two.
However, it is important to mention that there are further classifications of application servers. The list of the three most important kinds of Application Servers is:
1 Audio and Video Servers
These are the servers that allow websites to have and broadcast streaming multimedia videos. The importance of these types of servers is on an upsurge, as video marketing is now growing in popularity.
2 Chat Servers
These allow several users to be able to exchange information such as for newsgroups and have the added facilities of real-time discussion. If you have an account on certain social networks like Facebook or Orkut, you should know that you can perform many tasks due to chat servers.
3. Fax Servers are one of the oldest, and enable the safe and secure transfer of your files from one computer to another. The files transferred are organized according to the actual documents sent across.
Choosing the right kind of application server is extremely important for your website as that is what will decide the speed at which the customer is able to view it. If it is not fast enough, the customer might very well lose interest and hence take business elsewhere.
A good application server must be able to:
- Download files and applications without any bottleneck
- The time taken between the entire process of request and send must be not more than a few seconds
- It must take into account different ways that your clients will be able to view and download the site in different parts of the world
Before you decide on which application server to opt for, you must consider the needs of the website and business, the time and technical expertise that you have at your disposal to set it up and maintain it. You really need to consider the prices.
The Prices of a few popular Application Servers are:
- Microsoft Windows server 2008 at a Standard Edition of $1000 and the Enterprise Edition at 4000
- Solaris – can be downloaded free and support bought at $720 annually.
- Linux which offers Red Hat and Novell. The code used can be modified and used for different kinds of hardware