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Web programmingeCommerce has taken off and dot-com startups abound. Several technologies have been fundamental to this progress, and Perl CGI programming is certainly one of the most important.

The Common Gateway Interface (CGI) is an essential tool for creating and managing comprehensive Web sites. With CGI, we can write scripts that create interactive, user-driven applications. By supporting dynamic content, Perl allows Web servers to provide online applications that users from around the world on various platforms can all access via a standard client: a Web browser.

CGI allows the Web server to communicate with other programs that are running on the server. For example, with CGI, the Web server can invoke an external program, while passing user-specific data to the program (such as what host the user is connecting from, or input the user has supplied through an HTML form). The program then processes that data, and the server passes the program's response back to the Web browser.

CGI Web Applications

Rather than limiting the Web to documents written ahead of time, CGI thus enables Web pages to be created on the fly, based upon the input of your users.

  • If you perform a search on a Web site, a Perl script is probably processing your information.
  • If you view a chart online that dynamically displays information graphically, chances are that a Perl application created the chart.
  • If you fill out a registration form on the Web, a CGI script is likely processing the information.
  • If you make an online purchase, a Perl application is probably validating your credit card information and logging the transaction.
  • If you receive a newsletter, a Perl script probably processed the mail message and sent it to you.
  • If you are asked to provide a user name and password to gain access to a site, chances are that a CGI application implements the security process.

You can use scripts to create a wide range of applications, from surveys to search tools, from Internet service gateways to quizzes and games. You can count the number of users who access a document or let them sign an electronic guest book. You can provide users with all types of information, collect their comments and respond.

This list only scratches the surface of the Perl applications we can create for you. Our Perl programs allow you to accomplish these objectives and many more.