Server side development also commonly known as virtual development, a lot has been documented about it by both intermediate as well as experienced webmasters. Let’s discuss the basics of sever side development considering that readers do not have any idea about programming languages, different servers or any other technical knowledge. As website development has changed over time, so this piece of information will be very helpful in understanding every ifs and buts of development process.
What Are Servers?
One need to understand that all the codes that are used for building a website is remotely stores in a space known as server. In simple words we can say that server is a space where we can store soft copies of our files and other documents. These files are mainly comprised of the HTML codes used in the website creation and also some images of graphics of the website. For instance, suppose there is a website with six web pages and six corresponding files tutored in the server. Out of these six files one will always be the index.html and along with it there will be five more files. These can be anything related to content such as it could be about-us.html, contactus.html and so on.
Server is the heart of server side development, which are nothing more than the storage device and hardware connected to the personal system having internet access.
Server Is More Than A Storage
It is true that server act as a storage space for files but it’s function is not limited to only the storage purpose. There are many other many other functions that server can perform. Similar to the operating system present on personal computers, server can also access all the files and can also organised them as required. There are various other functions that can be performed by server, such as when the root repository is accessed, server can easily access all the index files and other .html files. This is what exactly happens in the server side.
Databases are different file formats in which files are stored. Databases can be broadly classified into two, rational database and non-rational database. Both to these have their own set of positive aspects as well as limitations. Some of the popular and frequently used databases are MongoDB, NoSQL server, DynamoDB, MySQL and so on.
Static And Dynamic Servers
Static servers as the name suggests are physical storage devices like a hard drive where all the files (CSS and HTML), images, application data, graphic details etc are stored. On the other hand, dynamic servers refer to a additional layer present between the server and browser. This is commonly known as the application server. Whenever the process of data fetching is initiated by the user, the application server starts processing the available data and also formats it to suit the web page. This way the process of data saving and processing becomes much easier.
The best example of the above discussion is Wikipedia, it’s server has vast amount of data but this data is not stored in the usual HTML format. Instead, the files are stored as raw data and when any query runs application server process the data converts it to HTML files and then forward it to the browser. This process not only saves data but also saves a lot of time. People who wish to make it more advance opt for to move the server on the cloud.
The protocol defined for transferring data from server side is know as HTTP i.e Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. When a website link is searched with http then server fetch the search request and display the result as either by opening the website or by displaying a message as web page not found. Whenever an HTML page is returned after executing a search query, it is then rendered by the browser. It is also a possibility that after process the response browser come across links from some other resources and create a separate http request for the same. Both static as well as the dynamic website follow the exact same communication protocol.
When compared with the earlier communication pattern or protocols, we have come a long way in terms of progress. May new technologies such as TLS(Transport Layer Security), IPv, SSL(Secure Sockets Layer) are ruling the communication domain.All these are cryptography patterns and provide secure network over computers. The prime reason behind why these protocols were introduced was to provide higher security of the use data and also ensue additional security against data breach.
In the late 90s as the number of Internet user started to increase drastically, new protocols were introduced. Protocols are nothing but unique identification numbers that helps in identifying the IP address of the computer system.
Frameworks And Languages
This is one of the most important pointer of server side development. Selection of programming language based on the added framework is very crucial to add different functionality to the application. Some of the highly used framework in sever side are Node.js, Laravel, Django and Spring. Use of these framework requires knowledge and experience in the defined programming language.