Chapter 13 Intro to Server-Side Programming

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2 Ιουλ 2012 (πριν από 5 χρόνια και 10 μήνες)

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Chapter 13
Intro to Server-Side
Presented by Thomas Powell
Slides adopted from
HTML & XHTML: The Complete Reference, 4th Edition
©2003 Thomas A. Powell
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Web Programming Toolbox
Server-side scripting
* Active Server Pages (ASP)
* ColdFusion
Scripting Languages
* JavaScript
* VBScript
Java ServletsJava Applets
ActiveX Controls
Server API Programs
* Apache Modules
Netscape Plug-ins
CGI scripts and programsHelper Applications
Server SideClient Side
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Web Programming in Context
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Client-Server Overview
• Web is a client-server environment
• Web browser is typically the client
• Web server is obviously the server
• In some ways Web server is a file server, but it
could be more of an application server when
interactivity is added
• There is a question of where the computing in
the Web should run. Client side or Server side?
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Client v.s. Server
• Client side programming can be problematic because
you don’t have a great deal of control over what the user
– Screen size
– Java/JavaScript support
– Browser differences
– Hardware
• Server side programming can be problematic because it
puts all the responsibility on the server and can cause
performance problems
• The best approach is a balance with nothing being to
heavily relied on particularly client side wise. Everything
should be done in a defensive manner.
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CGI Basics
• The most basic server-side way to add interactivity to a Web site is
through a CGI (Common Gateway Interface) program.
• CGI = Common Gateway Interface
• CGI is not the program it is the way things are interfaced
• CGI specifies how data should passed in from a Web page and back
• CGI Process
1) User submits form
2) Form is sent to server and eventually CGI program
3) CGI program processes data and responds back
4) Web server passes CGI response to client
• The important part is step 2 and the end of step 3 where data goes
back and forth.
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CGI Up Close
• 2.1 Server determines if request is a document or program
• 2.2 Server locates the program and determines if the program can
be executed
• 2.3 Server starts program (expensive) and sends it the data from
form and environment
• 2.4 Program runs
• 2.5 Server waits for program to finish and takes the result and
passes it back to client
• Understanding CGI requires an understanding of HTTP and forms
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How the Web Works
• Pretend to be a Web browser
– Telnet 80
– Eventually at the prompt type in
• GET / HTTP/1.0
• Hit return twice
– Watch server respond back with headers and then HTML markup
• Key to interaction is the MIME type as indicated by the
response header
– Content-type: text/html
– This header tells the browser what it is “reading”
• To “dynamically make HTML” from a server program just
stamp the output with the appropriate MIME type.
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CGI Example
• Try
This file is a short Perl program like this
print "Content-type: text/html\n\n";
print"<HTML>\n<HEAD><TITLE>From CGI</TITLE></HEAD>\n";
print"<BODY BGCOLOR=red>\n<H1>Wow! I was created from a
CGI program!!</H1>\n<HR>
<P>More Stuff</P>";
• The key to making this “CGI” was literally the first print
statement and the fact it was run on the Web
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Reading Data In
• The output half of CGI is just printing the appropriate
HTML markup and headers, the input is slightly harder.
• There are two primary ways of getting data into a CGI
– Environment variables
– Forms
• When a request takes place headers from the browser
and server are combined to create the “environment”
This is easily accessible from a programming language.
• Demo
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<title>CGI Form Example</title>
<h1 align="center">Registration Form</h1>
<form action="" method= "get" >
<table border="1">
<td align="left"><b>Name: </b></td>
<td><input type="text" name="username" size="30" maxlength="40"></td>
<td align="left"><b>E-mail: </b></td>
<td><input type="text" name="email" size="25" maxlength="30"></td>
<td align="center" >
<input type="submit" value="Send"> <input type="reset" value="Reset">
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CGI Form Example
require ("");
$name = $in{"username"};
$email = $in{"email"};
print "Content-type: text/html\n\n";
print "<H1>Hello $name. Nice to meet you!\n</H1><BR>";
print "Email: $email";
On the server you have a program like this called
Notice the use of a library to do much of the parsing work
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Writing CGI
• What language do you write your CGI program
– Whatever you want
– C, Java, Pascal, Fortran, Cobol, PERL, Python, etc.
– PERL is common because portable and good at text
– Take a look at the numerous libraries and example
CGI code online at sites like
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The Joy of Server Side Programming
• Your main problem with writing CGI programs will be
– 1) Parsing data sent in via forms and environment
– Let the Library do it!
– 2) Dealing with state management
• This is not unique to CGI as the bane of all server-side
development on the Web
• Why? HTTP is stateless! It doesn’t know you from request to
• Three approaches to state problem
1) HIDDEN form data
2) Extended Path info
3) Cookies!
– Again hopefully you’ll rely on libraries to deal with this pain
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CGI Speed Complaints
• CGI has speed issues
– Launch
– Language
• Solve some of this by simply writing in a
compiled language or using a special CGI
engine to speed up execution related to launch
• Real speed improvement comes with server
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Server Modules
• Server modules are special programs written to
the API of a particular Web server that generally
run within the task space of the server
– ISAPI – Microsoft IIS API
– NSAPI – Netscape Server API
– Apache Module – Apache Server API
– Java Servlets – Trying to be cross server module
format but you need an engine to deal with it
• Server modules are of course much more
difficult to write than CGI programs and have
server stability downsides if they crash
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Server Module Resources
• Apache Modules
• Java Servlets
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Server Side Scripting Intro
• Server-side scripting often dubbed “parsed
HTML” solutions offer a third solution to server-
side programming
• Consider the idea of writing a special BozoScript
server module that looks to see if a file is being
requested with an extension .bozo If it sees this
it parses the page, if not it passes it on. If you
get this idea you understand how all parsed
HTML style server-side scripting languages work
as shown in the next slide
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Parsed Script Intro
• Basic parsed HTML is Server Side Includes (SSI)
•.shtml files
• In the form of a comment
– <!--#include file=“footer.html”-->
• Some basic ones are common to all servers, but some
others are unique to a particular Web platform
• Common Server Side Script languages
– ColdFusion ( [.cfm]
– Active Server Pages from Microsoft [.asp]
– PHP [.php]
– JSP [.jsp]
– On and on.
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ColdFusion Markup Overview
• ColdFusion (
) is a simple server-
parsed tag based scripting language that is very focused
on connecting databases to Web pages
– ColdFusion requires a special Application Server and it runs on NT,
Linux, and Solaris
– Like other server parsed scripting solutions the app server is
engaged when a file of a particular extension (.cfm) is requested
• Cold Fusion markup looks like basic HTML tags and thus is
popular with people who are new to programming
• Main purpose of CF is to connect to a database
– Either using ODBC or native database drivers
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ColdFusion Markup Overview
• You need to specify basic SQL (Structured Query
Language) statements to use CF
• Given a DB table called Positions with the fields Position-
Num, JobTitle, Location, Description, Hiring Manager, and
PostDate. It is easy to query the table using statements like
– SELECT * FROM Positions
– SELECT * FROM Positions WHERE Location="Austin"
FROM Positions
WHERE ((Location="Austin" OR
(Location="Los Angeles") AND
(Position="Game Tester"))
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SELECT * FROM Positions
Note: The DATASOURCE attribute is set equal to
CompanyDataBase, which is the ODBC data source that
contains a database called Company, which contains the
Positions table from which data is pulled.
<CFQUERY> supports attributes like NAME,
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• Once you have data for example from variables,
calculations or a from a database query you can output it
<hr noshade><br>
Position Number: <b>#PositionNum#</b><br><br>
Title: #JobTitle#<br><br>
Location: #Location#<br><br>
Description: #Description#
• Notice the use of # symbols to relate the fields of
the database with output “slots” Also notice how
HTML and database fields are intermixed.
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<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">
<CFQUERY NAME="ListJobs" DATASOURCE="CompanyDataBase">
SELECT * from Positions
<head><title>Demo Company Job Listings</title></head>
<body bgcolor="#FFFFFF">
<h2 align="center">Job Listings</h2>
<hr noshade><br>
Position Number: #PositionNum#<br><br>
Title: #JobTitle#<br><br>
Location: #Location#<br><br>
Description: #Description#
Demo Company, Inc.
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Common CFML Elements
• <CFIF>
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CFM Summary
• Database specific
• Very high level (like a 4GL)
• Tag like so integrates well with HTML
• Some programmers find clumsy because
not script like
• However, functionally equivalent to any
other script language
• Still NT oriented despite appearing cross
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ASP Intro
• Microsoft’s Active Server Pages (ASP) is probably
the most popular server parsed scripting
technology used today and is indicated by files
ending in .asp
– Likely because it is free and Microsoft oriented
– VB or JavaScript oriented
– Reality is script neutral
• You can use any script language in an ASP page but most
people do not
– Tends to be bulkier to do similar tasks than CF but
offers a more “programmer” friendly syntax
• NT specific though there are UNIX ports without
COM object support.
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ASP Example
Note <script> tag showing location of execution and language and
script is delimited by <% %>
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">
<script language="VBScript" runat="Server"></script>
<title>ASP Example</title>
<h1>Breaking News</h1>
<% = date() %>
<p>Today the stock of a major software company <br>
reached an all time high, making the Demo Company CEO<br>
the world's first and only trillionaire.</p>
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ASP Summary
• ASP syntax can get more involved than CFM, for example
consider a similar database example
• <%
Set Conn = Server.CreateObject("ADODB.Connection")
Conn.Open ODBCPositions
SQL = "SELECT JobTitle, Location, Description, HiringManager,
PostDate FROM Positions"
Set RS = Conn.Execute(SQL)
Do While Not RS.EOF
• Yet is it correct to want to get more complicated with
script? Instead should we do simple tasks with scripts and
do heavy lifting with objects?
• Script + objects makes sense and in this respect you would
find that CFM and ASP are more similar than they are
• See
for ASP info
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PHP Intro
• PHP is a free server parsed scripting environment
gaining popularity
• See
for the best PHP info
• Mostly Linux oriented though ports exist
• Does have some limitations that have only be recently
– Performance
– Session management
– Database integration
• On the upside it provides numerous useful features and
is somewhat between CFM and ASP in complexity
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First PHP
• PHP files end generally in .php
• Within the file scripts are denoted in PHP in numerous
• Most common <?php?>
– Always suggested like this
– A shorter form is just <? ?>
• Also use <script>
– <script language="php">
echo ("some editors (like FrontPage) don't like processing
• Also use ASP style syntax
– <% echo ("You may optionally use ASP-style tags"); %>
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PHP Hello World
<title>Hello PHP world</title>
print("Hello world from PHP!");
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PHP Intro
• PHP syntax is similar to C
• PHP doesn’t care about white space so
• $result = 2 =+ 2; is the same as
• $result = 2
• Statements are ended by semi-colons ;
• PHP is somewhat case sensitive
– Variable names are case sensitive
– Function names both defined and built-in are not
– In short you should make sure to pretend the language is case
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PHP Comments
• Comments in PHP should be indicated in the
standard C fashion.
/* This is a comment */
// Single line comment
As well as a UNIX shell style comment
–# Hi I’m a comment
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Types in PHP
• Simple Types
– Integers Doubles
– Strings Arrays
– Objects Booleans (somewhat)
• Variables are declared with a leading $
– Contain a mixture of letters, digits, and the underscore after the $,
but don’t start with a number so $x5 is a legal variable while $5x is
– Variables do not have to be declared before use
– Variables have no intrinsic type beyond the type of their current
value (read PHP is loosely typed)
– PHP puts some default value in a variable if it is not set before it is
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PHP Variable Demo
$align = center;
$footer = "&copy; 2000, Demo Company, Inc.";
<title>Simple Variables Example</title>
<h1 align="<?php print("$align");?>">HTML and PHP</h1>
print("<i>Hello world from PHP!</i>");
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PHP Type Issues
• PHP provides a function called IsSet that tests a variable
to see if it has been defined already
• Be careful with type conversion in PHP
• It is even looser than JavaScript and variables
tend to take on the type of whatever context they
are being used within
• Always assume that PHP will try to forgive you.
– Actually this is what makes it difficult at times to
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PHP Variables
• Easy to define variables
– $today = “Thursday”;
$num = 5;
• All the environment variables for a page
request should be made available in PHP,
for example
$   
  
 
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PHP Variables
• You can also pass data from page to page and
have it available as a variable.
• For example if you had
<form action=“page2.php” method=“post”>
<input type=“text” name=“username”>
<input type=“submit” value=“send”>
On the next page called page2.php a variable
called $username would have the value the user
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Common Operators
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 !"
 #"
 $"
 %"
 &"

 
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 ''"
()*+ *,) -"
 '''"./01* -2
()*+ *,) -"3 10 (+ 45
 6'"
 6''".*01* -2
()*+ *1,) -"3(1+ 45
 7"
 8"
 7'"
 8'"

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(expr1) ? (expr2) :
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Include Example
<title>Hello PHP world</title>
include ("templates/");
<p>Fill in document contents here</p>
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Common Operators
    
!! (#*1(1
 !!#*1(1
## (#0(1
 ###0(1

 

  10"10
 ("(
 9("9-)*:(
6 
 "10
 ;;"(
String Operators
$a = "Hello ";
$b = $a."World!"; // now $b contains "Hello World!“
$a = "Hello ";
$a.="World!"; // now $a contains "Hello World!"
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Control statements in PHP are similar to nearly any
procedural language like C, JavaScript, etc.