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Introduction to Web Servers and Server Products

Website servers process network requests and provide files to clients in order to serve them with web pages.
Website servers process network requests and provide files to clients in order to serve them with web pages. Web servers communicate with clients using HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol). Computers that host websites store the HTTP files that make up a website and deliver that website to clients when they request it.

In the search window of Google, enter the URL of Facebook as an example. The laptop will now send an HTTP request to another computer known as the webserver in order to view the Facebook webpage. Normally, the computer that hosts your website (the webserver) includes all the files (often in HTTP format) that make up your website, such as text, images, graphics, etc.

Your computer will receive the requested website-related files from the web server after it processes your request and then you will be able to visit the website. Even though the same website may be stored on multiple web servers, what you see on your computer remains the same. Any software or hardware can be used as a web server, but is usually a computer program.

Considering the current world population, it is nearly impossible to have a server for every single user, so it is necessary to have one web server that can handle multiple users at the same time. Web servers are never disconnected from the Internet since if they were, they would no longer be able to receive requests and, therefore, would not be able to process them.

Web servers are available for free and for a fee in the market.
Example -
  • IIS
  • Apache

Server Products

AOL Server Products are those components of a Licensed Product which are executed on a computer hosting one of AOL's Services. AOL Server provides these services through which information is exchanged with the Client Product, information is stored and exchanged with third party services via gateways, and information is administered for such services.

Web-server Architecture

  • Client tier – application user interface. In order to access information from the information tier, the client interacts with the middle tier
  • Middle tier - Interacts with application clients and application data on behalf of the application. Apply rules to the application. Displays presentation logic. Website servers typically support this layer.
  • Information tier - Data is maintained for the application. Database systems (RDBMS) are typically used to store data

Web server Functionality

HTTP server
In addition to this function, it may also include:
  • Security functions
  • Provide support for specific server-side technologies, for example, SSIs, JSP, etc.
  • Publishing functionality and web development.
  • Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) server (for email).
  • File transfer protocol (FTP) server
  • And much more.

Client-server Model and HTTP

  • It is a client who generates a request (usually by using browser software) - The most common requests are "Get" and "Post"
  • A web-server receives the request
  • A web server processes a request
  • It is the web server that formulates the response and sends it back to the client (such as the contents of the web page).
  • Documents on the World Wide Web are typically transferred using HTTP, the de facto standard
  • Port 80 is usually used
  • There is a human readable HTTP message (request and response) between a client and a server

HTTP response status code

  • 1XX - Provide the client with information
  • 2XX - It has been correctly responded to.
  • 3XX - There is one more step the browser must take to complete the request. The code 301 indicates, for instance, that the requested resource has been permanently relocated.
  • 4XX - A 404 status code, for example, indicates that the resource requested is not found when something has gone wrong.
  • 5XX - An error has occurred on the server. An example of this would be the status code 503, which indicates that the requested service was not feasible.
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Ankur Choudhary is India's first professional pharmaceutical blogger, author and founder of Pharmaceutical Guidelines, a widely-read pharmaceutical blog since 2008. Sign-up for the free email updates for your daily dose of pharmaceutical tips.
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