Chapter 5. Web Technologies

Web technology powers the Internet, and databases provide the underlying content and the ability to access, display, and manipulate that content. Although the fundamental relationship between databases and the Web is straightforward, building a web site that has an Oracle backend database is no simple matter. There are a great many interactions between a variety of different programming languages, protocols, and components. This chapter tries to demystify these interactions by examining the main technologies used to power the Web, paying particular attention to how these technologies relate to Oracle. We’ll discuss the various layers of magic operating between the web server and the database, and we’ll touch on the advantages and disadvantages of each approach to building your site. We’ll take a little extra time on these basics because they are so crucial to building modern, web-based applications.

Once we’ve given you a feel for some basic web technologies and concepts, we’ll introduce the various open source implementations on which most of the Oracle applications described in this book are based. Here’s a brief overview:


The web server is the heart of your web application. In this chapter, we’ll describe Apache, the most popular web server in use today. Apache is open source, but even large corporations like Oracle are now using it.

Perl and the Web

Your web applications themselves get served via the web server. The programming can be done in ...

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