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  • 1. Web Programming CourseLecture 10 – Web Programming 2
  • 2. Server-side programming• In many cases, client-side applications will be insufficient – Heavy processing – Communication with other clients – Data available on server-side only• It may be useful to send the request to the server, and to process it there.• A number of technologies available: CGI, Servlets, JSP, ASP, PHP and others• We will look at CGI, Servlets and JSP.
  • 3. Static Pages Request file Retrieve file Send file
  • 4. Dynamic Pages Request service Do Computation Generate HTML page with results of computationReturn dynamicallygenerated HTML file
  • 5. Common Gateway Interface (CGI)• CGI stands for Common Gateway Interface• CGI is a standard programming interface to Web servers that allows building dynamic and interactive Web sites• CGI is not a programming language. – It is just a set of standards (protocols) – The standards specify how Web-applications can be executed on the server-side
  • 6. Common Gateway Interface (CGI)• CGI can be implemented – in an interpreted language such as PERL – in a compiled language such as C• Any program can be converted to a CGI program – It just has to follow the CGI rules• The rules define – How programs get and sends data (i.e., communication protocol) – How to make sure Web server knows that a program is a CGI program.
  • 7. CGI• A CGI program is – Stored on the server, – Executed on the server, – Executed in response to request from client.• By running a CGI program, rather than delivering a static HTML page, the server can: – Put dynamic and updated information on web page (e.g., weather forecast, stocks price, product availability, etc…). – Respond appropriately to user input. – Store user data on server-side in a file or DB.
  • 8. Dynamic PagesRequest service Run CGI program … … … print $resultReturn dynamicallygenerated HTML file <HEADER> <BODY </BODY>
  • 9. Calling CGI Program• CGI program can be called in the same way that static HTML pages. – For example, a link that when clicked, will run CGI program on the server-side <a href=“http://www.mysite/cgi-bin/myprog”> Run my CGI program </a>• It can be invoked by a form <form action=“cgi-prog.cgi” method=“POST”> . . . </form>• CGI programs are usually executed as processes
  • 10. How does it know its CGI?• How does the Web server know whether the request deals with static HTML page, or with invoking a CGI program? – The Web server is configured in a way that provides clear distinction between HTML and CGI files. – Unix servers usually put the CGI programs in a cgi- bin directory.• Access permissions are restricted, such that writing to this directory is allowed to super-users, while executing is allowed to everybody.
  • 11. CGI invocation• HTTP GET request: GET /webp/cgi-bin/printenv.pl HTTP/1.0• Looks like standard HTTP request, but actually will not return printenv.pl file, but rather the output of running it.• Different behaviors: – regular directory => returns the file – cgi-bin => returns output of the program• The behavior is determined by the server – E.g., if the path is cgi-bin, pass to CGI handler
  • 12. CGI Input Data• Input parameters can be passed to a CGI program• For example, HTML forms wrap and encode the form fields as a string looking like: var1=val1&var2=val2&var3=val3&…• This string is concatenated to the CGI URL, after the ? character• Example: GET /webp/cgi-bin/printenv.pl? var1=val1&var2=val2&var3=val3• The parameters can be extracted by the CGI through environment variables
  • 13. GET vs. POST• Above examples used the GET method to handle the data from the form.• The form data was concatenated to the CGI URL• In the POST method the data is sent to the CGI separately, in the request body.• GET method is not secure, the data is visible in URL.• GET is suitable for small amounts of data (limited to 1K), but not for larger amounts.• What about refreshing in GET and POST?
  • 14. Security issues with CGI• Publicly accessible CGI program allows anyone to run a program on the server.• Malicious users may be able to exploit security breaches, and harm to the server.• Because of this many Web hosts do not let ordinary users create CGI programs. – Where the use of CGI, is permitted special wrapper programs may be required that enhance security checks and to limit the CGI program permissions.
  • 15. CGI Summary• CGI is a standard for interfacing Web client to the programs running on server-side.• Specifies location of files (so server knows to execute them!) and how input data is handled.• The output is displayed according to it.• Simple examples using shell script, but need more serious language for complex ones.• Security breaches of CGI should be handled
  • 16. Servlets vs. CGI• Servlet – Java-based CGI – Executed by servlets container• Golden goals: "performance, flexibility, portability, simplicity and security"• Faster and thinner – No fork-process execution like Perl – No need to initialize for each request – Only lightweight thread context switching – Built-in multithreading
  • 17. Servlets vs. CGI• Multi-threaded execution allows to: – share data across successive requests – share data between concurrent requests – use hidden fields, cookies, or sessions• Java supports “write once, run anywhere” paradigm – Easier than unportable Perl• Java provides enhanced security• Supports all HTTP request methods – GET, POST, PUT, DELETE, and others
  • 18. Servlet Architecture: 3-Tier system• Tier 1: Client – HTML browser – Java client• Tier 2: Servlets – embody business logic – secure, robust• Tier 3: Data Sources – Java can talk to SQL, JDBC, OODB, files, etc…
  • 19. Web Application model Enterprise InformationClient Tier Middle Tier System (EIS) Tier SQLapplication Web Container Servlet Database Servlet browser JSP … File system
  • 20. Servlet Name• Servlet is invoked using his name – Servlet should be located in appropriate directory• A servlet’s name is its class name• Name is usually a single word – Possibly with a package name and dots• Standard names: DateServlet (echoes current date/time), EchoServlet (bounces back CGI parameters), and many others• Refer the server documentation
  • 21. Servlet Invocation• Can be invoked directly using the <servlet> tag – pass servlet parameters in param tags – codebase of the servlet can be specified <servlet code=DateServlet.class codebase=http://servlets.foo.com/> <param name=serviceParam1 value=val3> <param name=serviceParam2 value=val4> </servlet>• Typically invoked by form’s action attribute
  • 22. The Servlet API• Defined in javax.servlet package• Independent of – Web protocol – server brand or platform – whether it is local or remote servlet• Provides core servlet functionality – just extend it• CGI-like functionality – generic interface – accepts query, returns response
  • 23. The Servlet API• javax.servlet – Basic servlet API definitions. – What are the inputs and outputs to/from Servlet – Not tied to any specific protocol (e.g., HTTP) – These low-level classes/interfaces usually are not used• javax.servlet.http – HTTP-related definitions – Extension of the basic interfaces to handle the HTTP protocol functionality – This package will be heavily used
  • 24. Servlet Architecture Overview Servlet GenericServlet• Servlet Interface Interface – methods to manage servlet Clas implements s• GenericServlet HttpServlet extends – implements Servlet doGet() Clas doPost()• HttpServlet s service() ... – extends GenericServlet extends UserServlet Override one or more of: – exposes HTTP-specific Class doGet() doPost() Class functionality service() ...
  • 25. Servlet Architecture Overview• ServletRequest – Request sent by the client to the server• ServletResponse – Response sent by the server to the client – Is being sent only after processing the request• HttpServletRequest, HttpServletResponse – HTTP-specific request and response – In addition to the regular request and response, tracking client information and manages the session
  • 26. The HelloWorld Servletimport javax.servlet.*;import java.io.*;public class HelloServlet extends GenericServlet{ public void service(ServletRequest req, ServletResponse res) throws IOException, ServletException{ res.setContentType("text/plain"); ServletOutputStream out = res.getOutputStream(); out.println("Hello, World!"); }}
  • 27. Servlet Lifecycle Overview• Server loads and instantiates servlet• Server calls init() method• Loop – Server receives request from client – Server calls service() method – service() calls doGet() or doPost() methods• Server calls destroy() method• More detail to come later...
  • 28. Servlet interface• Central abstraction in the Servlet API• All servlets implement this interface – Either directly, or – By extending another class that implements it• Defines abstract methods for managing the servlet and its communications with clients• Servlet writers provide these methods – While developing servlets – Implementing the interface
  • 29. Servlet classes• GenericServlet class – implements Servlet – also implements Serializable, ServletConfig – implements all Servlet methods• HttpServlet class – extends the GenericServlet class – provides a framework for handling the HTTP protocol – has its own subclasses of ServletRequest and ServletResponse that do HTTP things
  • 30. HttpServlet methods• HTTPServlet class provides helper methods for handling HTTP requests – doGet (GET and HEAD) – doPost (POST) – doPut, doDelete (rare) – doTrace, doOptions (not overridden)• The service() method dispatches the requests to the appropriate do* methods
  • 31. Generic Servlet vs. HTTP Servlet GenericServletClient request Server service ( ) response HTTPServletBrowser request doGet ( ) HTTP service ( ) Server response doPost ( )
  • 32. ServletRequest class• Encapsulates the clientserver communication• Allows the Servlet access to – Names of the parameters passed in by the client – The protocol being used by the client – The names of the remote host that made the request and the server that received it – The input stream, ServletInputStream, through which the servlet gets data from clients• Subclasses of ServletRequest allow the servlet to retrieve more protocol-specific data – HttpServletRequest for accessing HTTP-specific header information
  • 33. ServletRequest - Client Info• getRemoteAddr() – Returns the IP address of the client that sent the request• getRemoteHost() – Returns the fully qualified host name of the client that sent the request• getProtocol() – Returns the protocol and version of the request as a string <protocol>/<major version>.<minor version>.
  • 34. ServletRequest - URL Info• getScheme() – Returns the scheme of the URL used in this request, for example "http", "https", or "ftp".• getServerName() – Returns the host name of the server receiving the request• getServerPort() – Returns the port number on which this request was received• getServletPath() – Returns the URL path that got to this script, e.g. “/servlet/com.foo.MyServlet” – Useful for putting in a <FORM> tag
  • 35. ServletRequest - Contents• getContentLength() – Returns the size of the request data• getContentType() – Returns the MIME type of the request data• getInputStream() – Returns an input stream for reading binary data in the request body.• getReader() – Returns a buffered reader for reading the request body.
  • 36. ServletRequest - Parameters• String getParameter(String) – Returns a string containing one value of the specified parameter, or null if the parameter does not exist.• String[] getParameterValues(String) – Returns the values of the specified parameter as an array of strings, or null if the named parameter does not exist. – Useful for parameters with multiple values, like lists• Enumeration getParameterNames() – Returns the parameter names as an enumeration of strings, or an empty enumeration if there are no parameters or the input stream is empty.
  • 37. ServletResponse class• Encapsulates the serverclient communication – Gives the servlet methods for replying to the client – Allows the servlet to set the content length and MIME type of the reply – Provides an output stream, ServletOutputStream through which the servlet can send the reply data• Subclasses of ServletResponse give the servlet more protocol-specific capabilities. – HttpServletResponse for manipulating HTTP-specific header information
  • 38. ServletResponse• Embodies the response• Basic use: response.setContentType("text/html"); PrintWriter out = response.getWriter(); out.println( "<HTML><BODY>Hello</BODY></HTML>");• setContentType() is usually called before calling getWriter() or getOutputStream()
  • 39. ServletResponse - Output• getWriter() – for writing text data• getOutputStream() – for writing binary data – or for writing multipart MIME• And many other methods, similarly to the methods of ServletRequest• Refer the documentation
  • 40. Servlet Example Servlets are not part of the standard SDK,import java.io.*; they are part of the J2EEimport javax.servlet.*;import javax.servlet.http.*; Servlets normally extend HttpServletpublic class ServWelcome extends HttpServlet The response to be sent to the client{ public void doGet(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response) throws IOException, ServletException { Details of the HTTP request from the client response.setContentType("text/html"); PrintWriter out = response.getWriter(); Set the response type to text/html (this is normal) out.println("<HTML>"); out.println("<HEAD><TITLE>First Servlet Program</TITLE></HEAD>"); out.println("<BODY>"); out.println("<H1>Welcome to Servlets</H1>"); out.println("</BODY>"); out.println("</HTML>"); out.close(); Do not forget to close the This HTML text is } connection with the client sent to the client}
  • 41. Date Servlet Examplepublic class DateServlet extends HttpServlet { public void service(HttpServletRequest req, HttpServletResponse res) throws ServletException, IOException { Date today = new Date(); res.setContentType("text/plain"); ServletOutputStream out = res.getOutputStream(); out.println(today.toString()); } public String getServletInfo() { return "Returns a string representation of the current time"; }}
  • 42. Hello Servletpublic class HelloHttpServlet extends HttpServlet{ public void doGet(HttpServletRequest req, HttpServletResponse res) throws IOException, ServletException{ String name = req.getParameter("name"); if (name == null) name = “guest"; res.setContentType("text/plain"); ServletOutputStream out = res.getOutputStream(); out.println("Hello, " + name + "!"); }}
  • 43. Hello Servlet• Reads in a single input parameter• Can be used from a form <FORM METHOD=GET ACTION=”/servlet/HelloHttpServlet”> <INPUT NAME=name> </FORM>• Can use right in a URL http://localhost/servlet/HelloHttpServlet? name=Fred• Generates HTML output
  • 44. Servlet Lifecycle: init()• public void init(ServerConfig cfg)• Is called only once – when servlet loads – upon clients request• Do not worry about synchronization• Perform costly setup here, rather than for each request – open database connection – load in persistent data – spawn background threads
  • 45. init() details• init() should be completed before starting to handle requests• If init() fails, UnavailableException is thrown• Invocation process allows to look-up for the initialization parameters from a configuration file – getInitParameter(paramName) method is used to read the parameters – init() parameters are set by the administrator – servlet parameters are set by the invocation
  • 46. Servlet Lifecycle: service()• After the service loads and initializes the servlet, the servlet is able to handle client requests• public void service(ServletRequest req, ServletResponse res) – takes Request and Response objects – called many times, once per request• Each request calls the service() method – service() receives the clients request, invokes appropriate handling method (doPost(), doGet() etc…) and sends the response to the client
  • 47. service() and concurrency• Servlets can run multiple instances of service() method concurrently – service() must be written in a thread-safe manner – it is developer’s responsibility to handle synchronized access to shared resources• It is possible to declare a servlet as single-threaded – implement SingleThreadModel (empty) interface – guarantees that no two threads will execute the service() method concurrently – performance will suffer as multiple simultaneous can not be processed
  • 48. Servlet Lifecycle: destroy()• Servlets run until they are removed• When a servlet is removed, it runs the destroy() method• The destroy() method is run only once – the servlet will not run again unless it is reinitialized• public void destroy() – takes no parameters – afterwards, servlet may be garbage collected
  • 49. Servlet Lifecycle: destroy() details• Releasing the resources is the developer’s responsibility – close database connections – stop threads• Other threads might be running service requests, so be sure to synchronize, and/or wait for them to quit• Destroy can not throw an exception – use server-side logging with meaningful message to identify the problem
  • 50. Technical details• getServletInfo() method overrides the method inherited from Servlet class – Returns a string containing information about the servlet: author, version, etc…• Servlet can be dynamically reloaded by the server at the run-time – HttpServlet.getLastModified returns the time the servlet was last modified – Improves performance on browser/proxy caching• Debugging servlets through printing to HTML
  • 51. Scalability of servlets• The servlet is only recompiled if it was changed otherwise the already compiled class is loaded – Faster response times because the servlet does not need to be recompiled• The servlet can be kept in memory for a long time to service many sequential requests – Faster response times because the servlet does not need to be reloaded• Only one copy of the servlet is held in memory even if there are multiple concurrent requests – Less memory usage for concurrent requests and no need to load another copy of the servlet and create a new process to run it.
  • 52. Java Server Pages – JSP• Java Servlets can be awkward to use. – Servlets often consist mostly of statements to write out HTML (with just a few dynamic calculations, database access etc…). – It may be difficult to write servlets to produce attractive well “styled” pages.• JSP allows to mix standard static HTML pages with dynamically generated HTML.• Hybrid of HTML and servlets
  • 53. Java Server Pages – JSP• JSP technically can not do anything that servlets can not do• Following example illustrates how we to get JSP code embedded in the HTML <html> <head> … </head> <body> <h1> Todays date is:</h1> <%= new java.util.Date() %> </body> </html>
  • 54. Java Server Pages – JSP• JSPs execute as part of a Web server by special JSP container• Basically, on first access to JSP code – it is automatically converted into servlet code – stored as servlets on the server – will be invoked on fouture requests• Notice the “first invocation delay”• JSP errors – Translation-time errors - occur when JSP is translated into servlets – Request-time errors - occur during request processing
  • 55. JSP example<body> <% // begin JSP String name = request.getParameter("firstName"); if ( name != null ) { %> <%-- end of JSP --%> <h1> Hello <%= name %>, <br /> Welcome to JavaServer Pages! </h1> <% // continue JSP } else { %> <%-- end of JSP --%> <form action = "welcome.jsp" method = "get"> <p>Type your name and press Submit</p> <p><input type = "text" name = "firstName" /> <input type = "submit" value = "Submit" /> </p> </form> <% // continue JSP } // end else %> <%-- end scriptlet --%></body>
  • 56. JSP vs. Servlets• JSP – Look like standard HTML • Normally include HTML markup tags • HTML codes can be written easily – Used when content is mostly fixed-template data • Small amounts of content generated dynamically• Servlets – HTML codes have to be written to the PrintWriter or OutputStream – Used when small amount of content is fixed-template data • Most content generated dynamically
  • 57. Tomcat• Tomcat is the Servlet Engine than handles servlet requests for Apache application server – It is best to think of Tomcat as a “servlet container” – Tomcat can handle Web pages, Servlets, and JSPs• Apache can handle many types of Web services – Apache can be installed without Tomcat – Tomcat can be installed without Apache• It is easier to install Tomcat standalone than as part of Apache• Apache and Tomcat are open source (free)• One of the coming classes will focus on Tomcat
  • 58. Which Should I Use? Client- or Server-Side?• If you want to have dynamic client forms with client-side validation, you must use client-side programming.• If you want your site to have highly interactive pages, you should use client-side programming.• If you need to provide your client with advanced functionality that can be created only using ActiveX controls (or Flash, or …), you must use client-side programming.
  • 59. Which Should I Use? Client- or Server-Side?• If you want to control the users browser (i.e., to turn off the menus or place the browser in kiosk mode), you must use client-side programming.• If your Web site must work with every browser on the market, and you do not want to create several different versions for different browsers, you should avoid client-side programming.• If you want to protect your source code, you must use only server-side programming. Client-side source code is transferred to the browser.
  • 60. Which Should I Use? Client- or Server-Side?• If you need to track user information across several Web pages to create a "Web application“, you must use server-side programming.• If you need to interact with server-side databases, you must use server-side programming.• If you need to use server variables or check the capabilities of the users browser, you must use server-side programming.