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Server-side scripting

  • Server-side scripting is a server technology for creating the behavior of a Web application on the server-side.
  • Unlike client-side scripting where scripts are run by the browser, server-side scripts are executed solely on the server through a server-side scripting enviornment (Web application server or Web server extension) and the output is returned to the browser as plain HTML. 
  • A web application server is a software framework dedicated to the efficient execution of procedures (programs, routines, scripts) for supporting the construction of Web applications. The server acts as a set of components accessible to the web developer through an API defined by the framework itself.
  • The Web application server integrates with a Web server which send the generated HTML to the browser. Sometimes the application server and web server are integrated within a single piece of software.

Functions of Server-side Scripts

  • Configure Web application enviornment
  • Manage site design
  • Generate dynamic web pages
  • Process business logics
  • Connect to databases
  • Control user interactions
  • Provide Web application security

Web server

  • A Web server handles the HTTP requests and responses. 
  • When the Web server receives an HTTP request for an HTML page, it responds with an HTTP response with the HTML page. 
  • When the Web server receives an HTTP request for an scripting page, it will delegate the processing to a corresponding Web application server.
  • The Web server doesn't provide such functionalities as transaction processing, database connectivity, and messaging.

Server-side Scripting Enviornment

  • Server-side scripts used to be done through CGI (Common Gateway Interface).  Today there are many scripting enviornments available for faster and more robust server-side scripting.
  • There has been a widespread debate among Web developers as to which scripting enviornment is better.
  • The server-side scripting enviornments can be compared by development features. However, these features and benchmarks can change, as these scripting enviornments evolve and improve over time.
  • The following is a list of common factors to be used in comparison:
    • Platform 
      • single or cross platforms
      • performance issues
      • security issues
    • Database connectivity 
      • database connectivity 
      • database interoperabillity
    • Scripting language
      • general vs. special purpose
      • simplicity vs. flexibility
      • open source vs. closed source
    • Development tools
      • Asp.net has strong IDE visual studio with lot of controls which gives privilege to programmers to work with ease and faster as compared to other programming languages. (See Microsoft Web Platform)
      • There are number of different IDE availables for PHP, developers have to look for the best one.
    • Separation 
      • behavior (business logic and scripting language), structure (HTML), and presentation (CSS)
    • Security
      • built-in security
      • known security issues