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 • Our Articles: Introduction To Cgi

Ever thought of how to increase the activity of your website without coding? Well, Cgi is here to help. Cgi or the Common Gateway Interface is a very powerful protocol that opens up the prospect of increasing the functionality of your website without the aid of programming!
  Prior to beginning our journey, it is better to know about the Cgi script. Any script is a Cgi script if it is installed on the server side. Cgi is a two way exchange where in information can be routed through the client side and the server side. The client side is the user who is viewing a website on the net or the browser like Internet Explorer, while the server side is the host machine that creates and sends the web pages from another location.  
  The Common Gateway Interface or Cgi is a used as a standard mode for combining interactive external applications with information servers, such as HTTP or Web servers. A plain HTML document that the Web asks for is static in nature, which simply means that it will be a static page. Cgi programs execute the application in real time, thus making the text dynamic in nature. For example, you want to put a put a questionnaire on the net, in which when a user asks a query, it gets answered. For this creation, you will have to rely on Cgi. This Cgi program will get executed to transmit the query to the host and then the result generated back to the client.  
  This is an example of a gateway, and this is where Cgi has got its origin from.  
  The database example is a simple idea given to you about the use of Cgi, but most of the time it's rather difficult to implement this as there are many other applications which are very difficult and Cgi makes them easier. There really is no limit as to what you can hook up to the Web.  
  To make a Cgi script work on a server, the server should be Cgi enabled. The script first processes the requests that are made to it, and then delivers the results of the request back to the client. All the Cgi requests made from the client side are sent to a particular folder which holds the main Cgi script on the server side. These requests are then served by the host server and the processing is done accordingly and the result sent to the client server.  
  The Cgi scripts and programs can be written in any computer language but the most accepted and admired languages used for the formation of Cgi scripts and programs are Perl, C++, Apple Script, UNIX, and Visual basic. Among these, Perl is the most common language to be used for Cgi applications.  
  In case the form tag is defined for post then, a POST method request header is used to communicate with your Cgi program.  
  Cgi scripts have the ability to increase your web page activity to a great extent. Cgi programming is used for many tasks like creation of dynamic pages like search engines, creation of landing pages, form submission pages, guest sign book, display and rotate dynamic content and images on a web page.  
  The requirements of a server to work on Cgi platform is that it should support Cgi and has the suitable language installed for Cgi - which is usually Perl. And of course to support Perl, it must have a Perl Supporting module as well. The host should be able to use a FTP program for uploading of files, creation of directories and changing options if that is allowed. The setting up of a Cgi program will depend on the care and attention the programmer has given to the installation processes. The best programs will be self installing in nature but this is not the condition always.  
  There are two tools required in addition to by the host server to carry out the full implementation of Cgi:
  . an FTP program like Smart FTP which is available for free on the internet
  . a basic text editor (Windows users can use Notepad, MacOS users can try Mactext or BBEdit, and UNIX users can try vi or emacs).
  The FTP (File Transfer Protocol) program is an application to transfer files from a local folder to your server) while the text editor allows you to configure the Cgi program which is a text file ending with .pl (Perl) or .cgi.  
  This was a small introduction to Cgi. Browse through other articles available to get more information.  
  Written by Goran Kusnjer,
E-Topbiz.com owner 
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