Web Technologies, particularly the Internet, have become an important part of the business
world over the past few years. People have become accustomed to searching the Internet for
data, sending e mails, or making simple purchases electronically. Web browsers, such as
Microsoft's Internet Explorer, or Netscape's Navigator, played an important part in the rapid
development of the Internet. Designed to present a simple and easy to operate front end
interface to the user, Web browsers are today's standard way of accessing the vast amount of
information available through the Internet.
More recently, with more and more people being connected and the steadily increasing
connection speed to the Internet, a new wave of more sophisticated web applications emerged.
In order to make these applications possible, the browser's original functionality of browsing ,
i.e. navigating through the contents of web sites via hyperlinks, needed to be extended
DHTML, or XML are some of the technologies that are part of today's browsers to provide the
means for the development of real world applications such as on line bookstores, on line travel
agencies, or banking services, which are some of the most well known examples for modern
Web usage. The technologies mentioned above served to enhance the mostly static contents
(e.g. text or images) of Web pages with dynamic elements, such as event handling for error
checking of forms prior to submittal, or performing of calculations. But not only browsers needed
to be improved. More importantly, Web servers needed to be able to respond to client requests
in a more flexible way than presenting the same content to all users. Server side programming
is the key technology that allows developers to make Web applications fit for a specific purpose,
so incoming requests can be processed by the server on the fly (e.g. presenting filtered
information of a database according to search criteria provided by the client).
Server side programming is today's way of choice to develop Web applications. A Web server
can be completely controlled by the application provider, eliminating uncertainties regarding the
capabilities of the client's Web browser. With server side programming, Web pages are
prepared by the application considering the client's request. This preparation happens on the
server, so that the information submitted to the client can be in HTML format, the Internet's
basic, standardized language of communication.