Web servers

Web Servers

Although most if not all of the technical aspects of the development will be defined by the developer, the client may stipulate certain constraints, such as server location, type and operating system which must follow corporate IT policy. There may be an in-house post-development team ready to take up the reigns upon delivery, people whose skillsets embrace specific server-side scripting such as PHP rather than ASP, or the criticality of operation may mean that JavaScript on the client browser is ruled out.

Assuming little or no constraints or with clients possessing little or no IT knowledge, the developer must assume responsibility and determine the better hosting platform for the site, suitable to meet functionality, uptime reliability, anticipated bandwidth and, on tightly tendered projects, hosting costs.

Types of servers

There are currently four major platforms – web servers – available: Apache, Internet Information Services (IIS), Sun and Zeus, with Apache responsible for nearly 70% of all website delivery (Netcraft web server survey). IIS – claiming 20% of the market – is ideally suited for server-side scripting when using ASP (Active Server Pages) since both products originate from Microsoft. PHP also will happily run under IIS and is popular with developers because of the number of hooks it has for database development (for ecommerce and the like) using SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle among others. Yet either scripting language will run on a variety of servers since enabling products like Chili!Soft (in this instance for ASP) run under various operating systems.

Apart form selecting a hosting company with appropriate web servers, a developer may be expected to organise a domain name and ensure it points to the name servers (on which the site resides) so the DNS (Domain Name System) knows where to find the site on the millions of web servers on the World Wide Web.

Web Servers (Part.3) by