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Glassfish vs. Tomcat: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on October 16, 2023
GlassFish is a full Java EE application server, while Tomcat is a servlet container and web server for Java applications.

Key Differences

GlassFish and Tomcat serve different purposes within the Java ecosystem. GlassFish is a fully featured Java EE (Enterprise Edition) application server, offering robust capabilities for enterprise applications. It comes with a variety of enterprise-level features and tools which cater to large-scale applications and services.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 16, 2023
Tomcat, on the other hand, is primarily a servlet container and a web server for Java web applications. It's designed to run Java servlets and JavaServer Pages (JSP) but does not offer the full suite of Java EE features that GlassFish does. Tomcat is lightweight, and its focus is on simplicity and speed, making it a popular choice for web-based applications.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 16, 2023
In terms of functionality, GlassFish offers a comprehensive platform for building enterprise Java applications. It encompasses functionalities beyond web services, such as Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB), messaging, and more. GlassFish has tools and features tailored for scalability and large-scale deployment, which are essential for enterprise projects.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 16, 2023
Tomcat, in its essence, is leaner than GlassFish, focusing on the web component of Java EE. Developers often use Tomcat for projects where the full Java EE stack is not required. Its lightweight nature allows for faster deployment and a more straightforward setup, especially for simpler applications that only need servlets or JSPs.
Harlon Moss
Oct 16, 2023
In summary, while both GlassFish and Tomcat facilitate Java-based web applications, their capabilities and purposes vary. GlassFish is comprehensive, catering to enterprise needs with a broad feature set. Tomcat is streamlined, primarily serving web applications without the additional Java EE features.
Janet White
Oct 16, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Type

Java EE application server
Servlet container & web server
Sumera Saeed
Oct 16, 2023

Features

Full Java EE suite (EJB, JPA, JMS, etc.)
Primarily Java servlets and JSP
Sumera Saeed
Oct 16, 2023

Use Case

Enterprise applications requiring full Java EE capabilities
Web applications not requiring the full Java EE stack
Sumera Saeed
Oct 16, 2023

Performance

Optimized for larger enterprise applications with more overhead
Lightweight and fast for smaller web applications
Sara Rehman
Oct 16, 2023

Extensibility

Comprehensive tooling and extension capabilities for large-scale projects
Simplified extension for web-focused tasks
Janet White
Oct 16, 2023
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Glassfish and Tomcat Definitions

Glassfish

GlassFish offers a platform for scalable enterprise applications.
Developers praised GlassFish for its robust scalability options.
Sara Rehman
Oct 16, 2023

Tomcat

Tomcat is lightweight and suited for web applications.
They chose Tomcat for its swift performance in web hosting.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 16, 2023

Glassfish

GlassFish is an open-source Java EE application server.
The company migrated their services to GlassFish to leverage its enterprise features.
Huma Saeed
Oct 16, 2023

Tomcat

Tomcat focuses on Java servlets and JSP.
For their servlet-based project, Tomcat was a perfect fit.
Harlon Moss
Oct 16, 2023

Glassfish

GlassFish supports features like EJB, JMS, and JPA.
With GlassFish, the team could integrate JMS messaging seamlessly.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 16, 2023

Tomcat

Tomcat is a web server and servlet container for Java.
The new web app was hosted on a Tomcat server.
Huma Saeed
Oct 16, 2023

Glassfish

GlassFish offers tools tailored for large-scale deployment.
GlassFish's deployment tools ensured a smooth rollout of the new app.
Janet White
Oct 16, 2023

Tomcat

Tomcat offers fast deployment for simpler Java applications.
The developers appreciated Tomcat's quick setup for their app.
Harlon Moss
Oct 16, 2023

Glassfish

GlassFish is designed for comprehensive Java applications.
. GlassFish was their top choice for the complex Java project.
Janet White
Oct 16, 2023

Tomcat

Tomcat is a subset of Java EE functionalities.
While GlassFish had more features, Tomcat met their web-specific needs.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 16, 2023

Glassfish

Any of various small, semitransparent fishes of the family Ambassidae, found in marine and freshwater habitats of Africa, Asia, and Oceania and often kept in home aquariums.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 03, 2016

Tomcat

A male cat.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 03, 2016

Glassfish

Any of several not closely related small fish that have almost transparent bodies, especially those of the genera Ambassis or Chanda
Sumera Saeed
Jan 03, 2016

Tomcat

To be sexually active with more than one partner. Used of men.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 03, 2016

FAQs

How is Tomcat different from GlassFish?

Tomcat is a servlet container and web server, while GlassFish offers a full Java EE suite.
Huma Saeed
Oct 16, 2023

How does the performance of GlassFish compare with Tomcat?

Tomcat is optimized for speed in web applications, while GlassFish is tailored for comprehensive enterprise applications.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 16, 2023

What is the primary function of GlassFish?

GlassFish is a fully featured Java EE application server.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 16, 2023

Which is more lightweight, GlassFish or Tomcat?

Tomcat is more lightweight than GlassFish.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 16, 2023

Which is better for a simple web application, GlassFish or Tomcat?

For a simple web application, Tomcat is often preferred due to its lightweight nature.
Janet White
Oct 16, 2023

Can Tomcat and GlassFish be integrated?

While both serve different purposes, it's possible to use them together in a larger system architecture.
Janet White
Oct 16, 2023

Is Tomcat open-source?

Yes, Tomcat is an open-source servlet container and web server.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 16, 2023

Do GlassFish and Tomcat have good documentation?

Both GlassFish and Tomcat have extensive documentation and community support.
Sara Rehman
Oct 16, 2023

Is GlassFish open-source?

Yes, GlassFish is an open-source application server.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 16, 2023

Which is more secure, GlassFish or Tomcat?

Both offer security features, but the security robustness depends on configurations and how they are maintained.
Harlon Moss
Oct 16, 2023

Can I use EJB with Tomcat?

By default, Tomcat doesn't support EJB; it's primarily for servlets and JSP.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 16, 2023

Can Tomcat handle large-scale enterprise applications?

While Tomcat can handle various applications, for full-fledged enterprise features, GlassFish or other Java EE servers are recommended.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 16, 2023

Can I migrate from Tomcat to GlassFish?

Yes, but it may require adjustments depending on the application's dependencies and configurations.
Harlon Moss
Oct 16, 2023

Does Tomcat support JavaServer Faces (JSF)?

Tomcat can run JSF applications, but additional libraries might be needed.
Sara Rehman
Oct 16, 2023

Is GlassFish suitable for microservices?

While GlassFish can be used for microservices, there are other lightweight options designed specifically for that purpose.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 16, 2023

Which has a larger community, GlassFish or Tomcat?

Tomcat has a larger and more active community.
Harlon Moss
Oct 16, 2023

Can I use JMS with GlassFish?

Yes, GlassFish supports JMS as part of its Java EE features.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 16, 2023

What is the primary use case for Tomcat?

Tomcat is primarily used for hosting Java web applications using servlets and JSP.
Sara Rehman
Oct 16, 2023

Can GlassFish run servlet-based applications?

Yes, GlassFish can run servlet-based applications and more.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 16, 2023

Can I run web applications on GlassFish?

Yes, GlassFish can run web applications and offers broader Java EE features.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 16, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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