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Can someone update a 'geezer' re. app. server?

By shiny_topadm ·
I have been running a UniVerse database on AIX for as long as that technology has been around. My setup has been that the desktops are the thinnest of clients, basically terminals to the RISC box, like we used to use mini-computers ["back-in-the-day"]. We are now exploring other software to be deployed on our network (and possibly outside, too). Some vendors have been strongly promoting "Application Server" software (like Websphere A.S.). Can someone tell me what that does that can't already be done with a complete OS or within our own code? What does this middleware add?

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