Fun with Application Servers


Ask someone for the 5-second definition of Zope, and you'll get "It's an application server." This is a true statement, but not a very helpful one if you're a manager charged with evaluating products that will become the framework of your company's web presence. If your web presence is small and fairly static, a web application server is likely not what you need ”you just need a plain ol' web server such as Apache.

The plain ol' web server performs one task, albeit a very important one: to serve web pages when requested by an end user . The pages are static HTML files, each of which must be manually modified when a content change is required. Think of the classic situation in which you have a few hundred static pages, all of which need their footer changed to reflect a new copyright date or link to a privacy policy. Each of those pages must be modified manually, and that's not a small task. It's more tedious than difficult, but it's still not among my list of favorite things in the world to do.

Suppose that you decide to get fancy and use an interpreted language such as PHP, JSP, or even ASP to dynamically add a footer to each of your HTML files. Now you have a dynamic page and a very basic sort of web application. The only real difference between a website and a web application is that the web application has this sense of dynamism to it. It might be only one line of footer information, or it might be a change in the entire navigation set or color scheme of the template, but dynamic is dynamic. When you have created this sort of dynamic site, the web server that answers requests for pages has now become a web application server. It might be only a simple web server with, for example, the PHP parser built into it, or it might be something like Zope, which provides a developer with an entire application framework, not just a web server with a few add-ons.

Plone Content Management Essentials
Plone Content Management Essentials
ISBN: 0672326876
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 107
Authors: Julie Meloni © 2008-2017.
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