Writing web applications without a fundamental understanding of the underlying technologies is an unwise task. By having a solid foundation for the workings of the Internet and the various technologies we use in our programs, we can help design them for optimal functioning, security, and performance. While it is not necessary to become an expert in these areas, we should at least have a passing familiarity with how they work.
In this chapter, we discussed the various Internet technologies, such as the TCP/IP protocol, HTTP, and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), and we have defined web applications. We then looked at how we might go about implementing web applications, specifically looking at 3-tiered and n-tiered application architectures. By dividing our applications into presentation, business logic, and database layers, we can organize our code and reduce the chance of bugs when we make modifications later.
With this basic understanding of technologies and our web applications, the next chapter will discuss how to design and implement the user interface portions of our web application. We will see that this is more than simply writing HTML pages and adding flashy graphics.