WildFly vs. Tomcat: Choosing the Right Java Application Server

When it comes to hosting Java applications, selecting the appropriate application server is a critical decision. WildFly and Apache Tomcat are two popular choices, each with its strengths and use cases. In this blog post, we’ll delve into a comparison of WildFly vs. Tomcat, providing insights to help you make an informed decision.


WildFly, formerly known as JBoss, is an open-source Java EE application server developed by Red Hat. It is known for its robust features, enterprise-level capabilities, and support for the latest Java EE specifications. Here are some key aspects of WildFly:

  • Java EE Full Profile: WildFly supports the entire Java EE specification, making it suitable for complex enterprise applications.
  • Clustering and High Availability: It offers advanced clustering and high-availability features, ensuring your application remains accessible and reliable.
  • Management and Administration: WildFly provides a user-friendly management console for easy configuration and monitoring.
  • Modularity: The server is highly modular, allowing you to choose and load only the components you need, which can lead to efficient resource usage.
  • Enterprise Support: As it’s backed by Red Hat, WildFly offers enterprise-level support and certifications.

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Apache Tomcat, often referred to as Tomcat, is a lightweight, open-source servlet container developed by the Apache Software Foundation. It is designed to execute Java Servlets and JavaServer Pages (JSP). Here are some notable features of Tomcat:

  • Servlet and JSP Container: Tomcat is primarily used for running Java Servlets and JSPs. It’s lightweight and simple to set up.
  • Java EE Compatibility: While it’s not a full Java EE application server like WildFly, Tomcat can still be used in conjunction with other frameworks and libraries to support Java EE features.
  • Embeddability: Tomcat can be embedded in other applications, making it suitable for scenarios where you need to package your application and server together.
  • Community-Driven: Tomcat has a large and active community, with extensive documentation and a wide range of available extensions.

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Comparison Table

Let’s summarize the key differences between WildFly and Tomcat in a comparison table:

Aspect WildFly Tomcat
Full Java EE Support Yes (Java EE Full Profile) Limited (Primarily Servlets and JSP)
Clustering and HA Yes Limited
Modularity Highly modular Not as modular
Management Console Yes Basic manager app
Enterprise Support Yes (Red Hat support) Community support
Embeddability Not as suitable for embedding Highly suitable for embedding

Here are some FAQS based on WildFly and Tomcat

  1. Which Is Better: WildFly or Tomcat?
    • The choice between WildFly and Tomcat depends on your specific project requirements. WildFly offers comprehensive Java EE support and enterprise-level capabilities, making it suitable for complex applications. Tomcat, on the other hand, is lightweight and ideal for simpler deployments and Servlet/JSP container needs.
  2. What Is the Purpose of WildFly?
    • WildFly is an open-source Java EE application server designed to host and manage Java Enterprise Edition applications. Its purpose is to provide a robust platform for developing, deploying, and running enterprise-level Java applications.
  3. Is Tomcat Better Than JBoss (WildFly)?
    • It’s not a matter of one being universally better than the other. Tomcat and JBoss (WildFly) serve different purposes. Tomcat is a lightweight servlet container, while JBoss (WildFly) is a full Java EE application server. The choice depends on your project’s requirements and complexity.
  4. What Is the Advantage of WildFly?
    • The advantage of WildFly lies in its comprehensive Java EE support, advanced clustering and high-availability features, modularity, user-friendly management console, and enterprise-level backing by Red Hat. It’s a robust choice for complex enterprise applications that require Java EE capabilities.

The choice between WildFly and Tomcat depends on your specific requirements. If you need comprehensive Java EE support, advanced clustering, and enterprise-level capabilities, WildFly may be the better option. On the other hand, if you’re looking for simplicity, lightweight performance, and Servlet/JSP container functionality, Tomcat could be the right choice.

Ultimately, the decision should align with your project’s needs and scalability. Evaluate your requirements carefully to make an informed choice between these two excellent Java application servers.

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