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Chapter 18. Using Internet Information S... > What Does a Web Server Do?

What Does a Web Server Do?

You're probably familiar by now with using a Web browser to view documents over the World Wide Web (WWW or Web), but you might not have seen what happens on the other side, from the server's point of view. We'll take you on a brief tour here. (If you already are familiar with the function of Web servers, you can skip on down to "Reviewing Components of IIS.")

In the most basic sense, a Web server works like a call desk librarian: When you request a book by name, the librarian looks up the book's location, fetches the desired tome, passes it across the counter, and goes on to the next patron as quickly as possible. If the desired book is not in the shelves, the librarian will say so and again go on to the next client. The interactions are brief and involve no interpretation of the content—that is, the content of the book—passing back and forth.


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