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Difference Between IIS and Tomcat

tomcatDeploying an internet server isn’t a one step deal. You would need to install a couple of servers that handle different aspects of a web server. The first one that you would need to install is the HTTP server. IIS (Internet Information Services) is a web server developed by Microsoft and a good choice for most people who are already comfortable with using Windows. Tomcat is another server, but it isn’t meant to process HTML documents, it is intended to run Java and JSP applications. The tomcat was developed by Apache as a Java/JSP server. It is developed primarily to communicate with Apache’s own web server but it is also compatible with IIS or any other web server available.

IIS was developed by Microsoft for use in its NT OS that is intended for mainframes and web servers. It is currently considered as the second most popular web server in use today; second only to Apache. Despite being behind in standings, Microsoft has been gradually developing IIS along with its companion programs SQL Server and Silverlight which are both from Microsoft. These programs along with Microsoft’s .Net Framework and the familiarity of most people to the Windows operating system makes IIS a very compelling web server choice. But in order to run Java and JSP programs on their server, users would need to install server program from its competitor; the Tomcat.

Tomcat was the name given to the open source Java/JSP server that was developed by Apache to work in tandem with their own web server. Tomcat is undoubtedly the best in what it does partly because its only competition, JRun, has been problematic to most users. It is also very popular with most developers due to the simple fact that it is free and there is a lot of support from the open source community.

Choosing a web server for your own site is usually up to the user. Although it is better for most users to stick to a single source of programs to ensure that they work together flawlessly, it is sometimes necessary to cross into the competing software provider for support with certain languages. This is the case with IIS and Tomcat. Most users of IIS choose to use it because they are already accustomed to the Windows environment and they prefer to have the proper customer support that a large company can provide. But Tomcat is the only program that can easily and reliably execute JSP and Java applications, leaving the user no option. It might be a little bit trickier to implement due to minor glitches, but IIS and Tomcat can work together.

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  1. There is a connector that makes it easy to connect IIS and tomcat so that they can work together. IIS can, then, be the frontend for Tomcat.

    Open source project can be downloaded from RiaForge:


  2. I don’t agree with “Tomcat is the only program that can easily and reliably execute JSP and Java applications”. Tomcat is just one implementation of the web related Java specifications. There are other implementations as well.


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