Enter the Application Server

When it comes to the world of computers, the way terminology is used often makes it difficult to figure out what a certain technology should actually do.  Application server is one of those terms that fit the bill, as it has many different uses.  A major server developer, Oracle’s J2EE (Java Platform Enterprise Edition) server is a multi-purpose solution and one of the most widely used products on the market.  Relied on by companies around the world, the J2EE server has become synonymous with the term application server.

Common Uses

Its most common use is to act as a server that runs a single application or certain kinds of applications.  Let’s say your organization has a number of spreadsheet programs that reside on one type of server.  Everyone that needs to access those programs would log on to the application server to utilize Microsoft Excel, Quark XPress or any other relative software that might be installed.  An application server could also refer to a technology that runs on an operating system.  Computers that operate as terminals connect to an application server to access basic functions.  A perfect example of this would be the Windows NT Server.

The Wacky World of Computers

What it all boils down to is the computer world’s tendency to designate specific resources to perform specific tasks.  The same way that you would use a word processing application to compose a document and a photo editing program to touch up your vacation pictures, IT teams utilize application servers to divvy up the manner in which computers and their associated applications carry out certain functions.