Zope is an Open Source application server and portal toolkit supplied and supported by Digital Creations. While a quick look at Zope may give you the impression it’s yet another web server, it’s actually far more.
Most web servers earn their living by serving static HTML text, or possibly executing code using the CGI interface. Instead of serving HTML pages, Zope publishes “objects” stored in the integrated object database, a relational database, or other content systems such as LDAP servers. Zope maps these requests to Python objects, which are retrieved from the object database and queried. Whenever you display a page using Zope, you are actually calling some Python object. You can easily create new types of publishable objects and use any Python facilities including Windows-specific Python extensions. At the time of this writing a Zope extension to facilitate the use of COM objects is in development.
This provides a natural way of developing content for the Web. You design your web page as a combination of HTML templates and a set of objects. The templates can reference your objects to obtain the final HTML sent to the user.
While Zope’s HTML templates may resemble IIS ASP files, they operate quite differently. Rather than being bound to web pages like ASP files, Zope templates are associated with Python objects. A Zope template builds a web representation of an object by calling the object’s methods and/or calling other objects and their templates. In this way web pages ...