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Web Application Programming. Carol Wolf Computer Science. Three tiers and their languages. Client Server Database Html Java, Ruby SQL JSP, ERB Visual Basic JavaScript PHP, Perl Python. MVC Model, View, Controller. Model - Database

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web application programming

Web Application Programming

Carol Wolf

Computer Science

three tiers and their languages
Three tiers and their languages


Html Java, Ruby SQL

JSP, ERB Visual Basic

JavaScript PHP, Perl


mvc model view controller
MVCModel, View, Controller
  • Model - Database
    • Requests sent using SQL, Structured Query Language.
    • Response is either an array of data or a confirmation.
  • View – Web page
    • Requests sent using Html or embedded programming code (JSP, ERB, ASP)
  • Controller – Program on server
    • Sits between the model and view.
    • Receives requests from the view, sends them on to the model and sends a response back to the view.
    • Most critical software and trickiest to write.
http hypertext transfer protocol
HTTPHypertext Transfer Protocol
  • Http is a stateless protocol.
    • Stateless means that nothing is remembered.
    • Once a response has been sent, the server forgets where it went.
  • Request
    • Requests are sent by the client to the server.
    • They can either be requests for a new page or involve a form with parameters.
  • Response
    • The server sends a response page in return.
    • It might be a linked page or data retrieved from a database.
  • Get
    • Used for simple requests.
    • Parameters are sent in the URL string.
    • http://localhost:3000/library/find? title ="Oliver Twist"
  • Post
    • Parameters are sent within the packet.
    • Used when there are many parameters or when security is an issue.
    • Rails uses only post when there are parameters.
  • The action contains the URL of the server and the server program to be executed.
  • The URL comes before the question mark and the parameters after.
  • Example of a URL string:
    • http://localhost:3000/library/find? title ="Oliver Twist“
    • http is the connection protocol.
    • localhost:3000 is the name of the server and the access port on the server.
    • library/find gives the directory (library) for the server program and the program (find) to use in that directory.
html forms
HTML Forms
  • Forms consist of data fields and a submit button. They can also have links to JavaScript code and formatting tags.

<form method="post" action="http://localhost:3000/library/find">


<b>Book Title:</b>

<input type = "text" name="title" value = "" size = 20 />


<p><input type= "submit" value="Find a Book“ /></p>


This shows an html table containing three forms. The form in the center is the one on the previous slide.
programming languages
Programming Languages
  • Java – uses Java servlets, Java Server Pages (JSP) and Java beans.
  • Ruby on Rails – uses ruby programs and Embedded Ruby (ERB).
  • Visual Basic – Uses VB programs and Active Server Pages (ASP).
  • Others
    • PHP (Personal Home Page – originally)
    • CGI (Common Gateway Interface)
    • Perl (Named after the parable of the pearl)
    • Python (Named for the Monty Python skits)
    • Tcl (Tool Command Language)
  • Developed by James Gosling at Sun Microsystems in 1991.
  • Java servlets on the server control the flow between the client and the database.
  • JSP (Java Server Pages) can be embedded in the html on the web page. They are compiled into servlets before they are executed.
  • Java server pages are connected to Java beans on the server. The beans handle the requests and responses.
ruby on rails
Ruby on Rails
  • Ruby was developed by Yukihiro Matsumoto in 1993 and publically released in 1995.
  • It is a scripting language and is fully object oriented.
  • It combines Perl syntax with Smalltalk-like features.
  • It is said to follow the ‘principle of least surprise.’
ruby on rails1
Ruby on Rails
  • Rails was developed by David Heinemeier Hansson and released as open source in July 2004.
  • It is based on the MVC (model, view, controller) pattern.
  • Programmers work on a higher level than with Java servlets.
  • Rails relies on a number of conventions.
    • JSP and Java beans have some conventions, but rails has a lot more.
  • Rails translates commands into SQL, saving programmers many hassles.
  • Some ‘boiler plate’ is stored separately and added to web pages when required.
    • This includes web page headers, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and JavaScript.
  • Database modifications are systematically handled by ‘migrations.’ These are ruby programs that when executed change the database.
  • The principal open-source server is Apache, hosting 49% (June 2008) of all web sites.
    • There are many modified versions.
      • Apache Tomcat – used for JSP and Java beans.
      • Google Web Server (GWS)
      • IBM WebSphere
  • Microsoft Internet Information Services (ISS) is the main proprietary server, hosting 35.4% of all web sites.
  • Most databases use the relational model, developed by E. F. Codd in the 1960s and ‘70s.
    • Data is stored in tables with rows and columns.
    • Queries are usually made with SQL.
  • Microsoft has Access for Windows computers.
  • MySQL is open source and has more than 11 million installations world-wide.
  • Oracle is a widely used proprietary database developed by the Oracle Corporation.
  • Rails comes with sqlite3.
  • There are many more.
connecting to a database
Connecting to a database
  • Most databases are standalone programs and so require that each time they are accessed, you must set up a new connection.
  • For Java, the connection is sun.jdbc.odbc.JdbcOdbcDriver
  • Odbc stands for open database connection, and the ‘J’ in Jdbc is for Java.
    • Odbc is a protocol from Microsoft that is based on the X/Open SQL specification.
  • InstantRails comes with SQLite3. It is part of the application and does not require a new connection for each query.
web browsers
Web Browsers
  • The first web browser was Mosaic, released in 1993. It was developed by the NCSA, National Center for Supercomputing Applications. It turned into the Netscape Navigator and was discontinued by AOL in 2007.
  • Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is the most widely installed browser with around 73% of market share world-wide.
  • Firefox from the Mozilla Foundation has around 19% of the usage share (August 2008).
  • There are a number of other browsers, including Safari for Macs with a market share around 6%.