Description of Web Server and Internet as a Client/Server Technology | Web Technologies

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web serverWeb Server and Internet as a Client/Server Technology,
Web Technologies Notes| Sixth Semester,
BSc.CSIT | Tribhuvan University (TU)

Web Server
A web server is a computer system that processes requests via HTTP, the basic network protocol used to distribute information on the World Wide Web. The term can refer to the entire system, or specifically to the software that accepts and supervises the HTTP requests. The primary function of a web server is to store, process and deliver web pages to clients. The communication between client and server takes place using the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)

Basic functionality of web server are as follows;

  • It accepts the HTTP request via TCP.
  • It maps Host header to specific virtual host (one of many host names sharing an IP address)
  • It maps Request-URI to specific resource associated with the virtual host
    • File: Return file in HTTP response
    • Program: Run program and return output in HTTP response
  • It maps type of resource to appropriate MIME type and use to set Content-Type header in HTTP response
  • It Logs information about the request and response
  • All e-commerce site require basic Web server software to answer requests from customers like Apache and IIS.

Web servers often come as part of a larger package of internet and intranet related programs for serving email, downloading requests for File Transfer Protocol (FTP) files and building and publishing web pages. Considerations in choosing a web server includes how well it works with the operating system and other servers, it’s ability to handle server side programming, security characteristics and the particular publishing, search engine and site building tools that come with it.

Internet as client/server technology
Internet is massive network of networks and world wide web is a system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via the internet. To complete the flow of accessing information over the web there is need of client/server architecture. And client/server describes the flow of information between two computer programs in which one computer program (client) makes a service request to another computer program (the server), which provide service requested by the client. Clients rely on servers for required resources. It is network architecture in which each computer or process on the network is either a client or a server. Hence we could describe internet as client/server technology.

For example; When you check your bank account from a computer, a client program forward a request to a server program at the bank. That program may in turn forward a request to it’s own client program which then sends a request to a database server at another bank computer. Once the account balance is retrieved from database, it is returned back to the client which in turn serves it back to the client in your computer, which then displays the information.

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