Intag White papers
Programming Corner
Number: 007
Date: 08 01 2002
Author: Intag
Source: Intag

Server Languages to Web operation and management

  • Perl
  • Php
  • Jsp
  • Cf
  • Asp
Perl: You may find a complete description of this language and of its uses in PerlAbout. You may go to its specific home where it's presented like an Open Source language. Also recommended the Perl Foundation and PerlFaq.

Php It's also a free use Hypertext pre processor and more powerful than Cold Fusion, a well-known Commercial Hypertext pre processor. Recently its creators meet in Tel Aviv with the creators of MySQL to propitiate a PHP/MySQL version as a joint effort, allowing then the integral Web development including databases as web.

CF Which stands for Cold Fusion, is commercial Hypertext pre processor software provided by Allaire. This firm was also the creator of the web known and extensively used HTML editor HomeSite, that in its last versions HomeSite 4.5 y ColdFusion 4.5 facilitate the development of rather complex Websites by non experts.

JSP stands for Java Server Pages, is a SUN product belonging to its Java line, to generate dynamic Web content. Basically it allows the updating and/or modifying the format and/or style of thousand of pages without altering their content. Sun announced its last 1.1 version to be XML compatible.

ASP, which stands for Active Server Pages is a Microsoft product. You may get access to an ASP demo and to an ASP Faq as web. It's a programming context that permits the combination of HTML, scripting and components to the generation of applications to be run by a server.

How It operates: the user calls to a site that by default has an asp extension page; the browser then calls the asp folder hosted in the server; the scripts at the server side start to run with asp; the processing proceeds from up down executing any script command found in the file with the asp extension, generating an HTML page that is sent to the browser. The user sees only the generated page but is not permitted to see the source that remains in the server, keeping source form being copied.

CGI, which stand for Common Gateway Interface, is thoroughly explained in this site associated to the W3C Project. A CGI is a program that is executed in real time providing dynamic information. If we Intend., for instance, to connect a database to answer queries directly from Internet users we could program a cgi. This type of connection is risky because it could be extremely time-consuming due either to user's ignorance or delinquency intentions. Permitting the use of these cgi, you, as Website administrator, open your resources leaving them exposed, so you must be extremely cautious in their use, for instance forbidding the access to non-registered and controlled users.

In the cgi-bin folder are hosted all the enabled programs plus some other added by permitted server users. The cgi could be written in any language that permits its direct execution by the system, namely:
  • C/C++
  • Fortran
  • PERL
  • TCL
  • Any Unx Shell
  • Visual Basic
  • AppleScript
You must take into account that in order to execute them properly you must compile them first if they are coded in full systems languages such as C/C++ and Fortran. Usually you will find those compilers installed in the cgi-src folder by your Internet Service Provider. If you chose to use scripts, you will have to locate them within cgi-bin and to get the corresponding permissions. These scripts are executed step-by-step, relatively slower than the compiled programs but facilitating the debugging process and the maintenance.

ISAPI, which stand for Internet Server API, being API Application program Interface, a joint effort of Progress Software and Microsoft, and sponsored by W3C. ISAPI could be analyzed in its two components: ISAP Applications and ISAPI filters. The firsts are similar to cgi but differing in functionality meanwhile the seconds are located in between the http server and the http socket, that is, operating within the TCP/IP protocol, but supporting processes of filtering, encrypting, data compression and other logical operations.

C++, is one of the best, web known and more extensively used programming languages all over the world, created by Bjarne Stroustrup in the Bell Labs in the 1986 year. Actually Microsoft have developed advanced versions of a Visual C++, discussed in Westin Santa Clara, California

VB Visual BASIC, it's a visual programming system triggered by events, created by Microsoft for Windows context. It brings up certain fragments of BASIC language when users handle certain operations over graphics in screens. It's widely used for in house applications, and particularly for prototypes settings.

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