What is the difference between an application server and a web server?
A Web server handles the HTTP protocol. When the Web server receives an HTTP request, it responds with an HTTP response, such as sending back an HTML page. it doesnt do any operations. that means franckly seaking it can serve only html files, if u ask for ASP/Servlets/Jsp page then the request will be redirected to the particular engine(incase of ASP-ASPEngine, Servlet-ServletEngine, no idea abt JSP but it should be like this only) then the engine will process the file then it gives a htm output that will be returned to the client thats what abt the webserver.
An application server exposes business logic to client applications through various protocols. While a Web server mainly deals with sending HTML for display in a Web browser, an application server provides access to business logic for use by client application programs. The application server exposes the business logic through a component API, such as the EJB (Enterprise JavaBean) component model found on J2EE (Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition) application servers. Application Server usually refers to a server that is able to handle the entire J2EE specification (JSP, Servlets, EJBs, etc). Most Application Servers also contain web servers.