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Beyond CGI

Basic CGI and Perl scripts have been used since the beginnings of the Web, but CGI is being superseded by application servers. Application servers, such as ASP, JSP, ColdFusion, and PHP (also known as middleware), have overcome some of the performance problems associated with CGI. They are also written in languages that are easier to understand for HTML developers (in the case of ColdFusion) or for Windows programmers (in the case of ASP). Almost anything you can do with CGI you can also do using an application server. Many Web servers have the application server built in, or the application server is easily installed, making the Web server simpler to administer than the early Unix machines.

You can think of application servers as CGI scripts with bells on. Most of the processes described here for CGI apply to application servers, and the principles are the same.


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