Web Development is a vast field and is much like an ocean which cannot be grasped as a single whole. The vast field of Web Development can be split into many areas and according to the hierarchy of basic web development, they consist of the following:
Client Side Coding
• Flash Adobe Flash Player: Flash Adobe Flash Player is an omnipresent client-side platform ready for RIAs. Flex 2 is also spread to the Flash Player (version 9+)
• Microsoft Silverlight Microsoft’s browser plugin: Microsoft Silverlight Microsoft’s browser plugin helps in enabling animation, vector graphics and high-definition video playback, and is programmed using XAML and .NET programming languages.
Server Side Coding
Apart from the client side coding, there are server side coding as well. The server side coding consists of the following:
• ASP (Microsoft proprietary): Active Server Pages (ASP), which is also called Classic ASP or ASP Classic, was Microsoft’s first server-side script engine which was used for dynamically-generated web pages. Initially it was regarded as an add-on to Internet Information Services (IIS) via the Windows NT 4.0 Option Pack, but then afterwards, it was subsequently included as a free component of Windows Server (since the initial release of Windows 2000 Server). It has now been outdated by ASP.NET.
• ColdFusion (Adobe proprietary, formerly Macromedia): ColdFusion is an application server and software language which is widely used for Internet application development basically for dynamically-generated web sites. In this regard, ColdFusion is a parallel product to Microsoft Active Server Pages, JavaServer Pages or PHP. Similar to the server-side scripting languages, ColdFusion enables developers to create dynamic webpage driven by database back-ends.
• CGI and/or Perl (open source): The Common Gateway Interface (CGI) is a standard protocol which is required for interfacing external application software with an information server, usually a web server. The task of this kind of server is to respond to requests (in the case of web servers, requests from client web browsers) by returning output. Each time the server gets a request; it analyzes what the request asks for, and returns the suitable output.
• Java, e.g. J2EE or WebObjects: Java is a programming language which had been originally developed by James Gosling at Sun Microsystems and released in 1995. The language is basically derived from the syntax from C and C++ but has a simpler object model and fewer low-level facilities. Java applications are characteristically compiled to bytecode that can run on any Java virtual machine (JVM) irrespective of computer architecture.
• Lotus Domino
• Python, e.g. Django (web framework) (open source)
• Ruby, e.g. Ruby on Rails (open source)
• Smalltalk e.g. Seaside, AIDA/Web
• Websphere (IBM proprietary)
• .NET (Microsoft proprietary)
Web development is usually split up into client side coding covering aspects such as the layout and design, then server side coding, that envelops the website’s functionality and back end systems. These are the typical areas of custom web development.