What Is Server-Side Programming And What Are Its Most Commonly Used Languages?

What Is Server-Side Programming And What Are Its Most Commonly Used Languages?

One Of The Most Important Trends In Application Software Development Is Server-Side Programming. Server-Side Applications Are Specific Types Of Applications That Run On The Server And Are Related To The Construction Of Websites And Web Pages.

In different web programming paradigms, server-side programming is imperative because it ensures fast content delivery to the user and plays an influential role in the user experience.

Server-side market programming does an excellent job. However, people who want to enter the programming field do not have a thorough knowledge of how to use this programming model.

Therefore, in this article, we try to examine server-side programming and describe the topics and points you should pay attention to in server-side programming.

What is server-side programming?

Web browsers use HTTP and HTTPS protocols to communicate with web servers. When a user clicks on a link on a page or searches, an HTTP Request is sent from his browser to the target server. This request is the user-specified address (URL) to describe the requested source, a method for defining the strategy to fetch information, delete or post, and additional encryption information.

It’s in the URL parameters. When the server receives the Client Request message, it processes it and sends the result to the user’s browser using the HTTP Response message. The answer is a line expression that indicates the success or failure of the request processing. The phrase HTTP / 1.1 200 OK suggests that a request was successful.

Server-side programming refers to a set of codings used to build programs or execute scripts on a server. In other words, server-side programming means creating dynamic and custom data on a server through programming languages ​​and sending results to the user. Websites use server-side code to display various data dynamically.

These codes are taken from the server-side database and used to display the user codes in different languages, such as JavaScript. Server-side programming helps dynamic websites highlight and customize the content of each user based on their resources and interests.

The correct and intelligent use of stored resources and information is One of the great benefits of server-side programming. For example, reusing user-stored credit card information to facilitate subsequent payments is one of the applications of server-side programming. Not harmful to know that server-side programming increases user interaction by sending notifications and updates via email or other channels.

What is a static website?

Figure 1 shows the primary web server architecture for static websites. A static website is a particular website that returns the same Hard-Coded content from the server when a specific resource is requested. It does not change the content code and sends the requested item to the user’s browser. When the user tries to open a static page, the browser executes the HTTP Get request for the specified URL.

The requested document is retrieved from the repositories by the server, and a request containing information and the status of the processing success is sent to the browser. If for any reason, it is not possible to access the files on the server, it will restore the error status.

Figure 1

What is a dynamic website?

Dynamic sites are another type of website that shows interactive and dynamic content to the user. Dynamic websites prepare various data for the URL based on the information required by the user or stored resources, process the information, and send the result to the user’s browser. TML pages in dynamic websites are created in HTML formats by entering data from the database in their place. The above approach is the best way to store large volumes of content data.

Most dynamic website code must be server-side executed. Generating this code is called server-side programming. Figure 2 shows the architecture of a dynamic website. Here, the browser sends the HTTP request to the server; the server processes the request and sends the result as an HTTP response to the browser.

In Figure 2, in Section 2, dynamic resource requests are sent to a Web Application instead of to server-side code. Section 3, the server translates the request and retrieves the information from the database. In Section 4, the recovered data is combined with HTML templates, and Sections 5 and 6 send a response containing the generated data.

figure 2

Are our server-side and client-side programming the same?

Let us now answer the critical question, what are the differences between server-side and client-side programming?

The most important differences between these two programming styles are the following:
  • Typically, they do not use the same programming languages ​​(except JavaScript, which can operate on both the server and client-side).
  • They run in different operating system environments.
  •  The code running in the browser is known as client-side code and primarily refers to improving the appearance and behavior of a rendered web page. It includes selecting and styling UI components, designing, scrolling, and form validation. Server-side code manages tasks such as validating sent data and requests, using databases to store and retrieve data and sending the correct data to the client. In contrast, server-side programming mainly involves selecting content returned to the browser in response to requests. 
  •  Client-side code is written using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. It runs in a web browser and has little or no access to the main operating system (including limited access to the filesystem).
  •  Web developers cannot control which browser each user may use to view a website; therefore, a website or web pages may not display correctly on some browsers due to a lack of support for different technologies; Therefore, part of the client-side programming challenge is to solve the problem of incorrectly displaying pages in other browsers.
  • Can write Server-side code in a variety of programming languages. Popular server-side programming languages include PHP, Python, Ruby, C #, and JavaScript (NodeJS). Server-side code has full access to the server operating system, and the developer can choose which programming language and specific version to use for coding. 
  •  Typically, developers write their code using web frameworks. Web frameworks are a set of code functions, objects, rules, and structures designed to solve common problems, accelerate development, and simplify different types of tasks within a specific domain.
  •  While both client and server-side code use frameworks, there are significant differences. Client-side web frameworks simplify design and presentation tasks, while server-side web frameworks target many web server functions. If you do not use these frameworks, you must implement them yourself (such as session support, user authentication support, easy access to databases, templating libraries, etc.).
  •  Client-side frameworks are often used to speed up the process of developing client-side code, but there is no need to use them, and you can write all the code yourself. If your job is to design a user interface for a small, simple website, writing code is faster and more efficient; Because you no longer need to call frameworks, you will not have to worry about changes or inconsistencies in the future due to the release of a new version of the frameworks. This rule does not apply to server-side programming, and almost no web application developer designs without a framework. 

What is the use of server-side programming?

Server-side programming is beneficial because it allows us to show the information to each user in a customized way and create a good user experience. Companies like Amazon use server-side programming to generate search results, provide targeted product offers based on customer interests and previous purchases, simplify buying, and more.

Banks use server-side programming to store account information, allowing users to view and execute transactions. Other companies, such as Twitter, Instagram, and Wikipedia, use server-side programming to highlight, share, and control access to compelling content. In the following, we will review some typical applications and benefits of server-side programming.

Efficient storage and delivery of information

Server-side programming allows us to store information in a database, dynamically generate email codes and other types of files (such as PDFs, images, etc.), and show the result to the user. It reduces the processing load on the server and speeds up the viewing of information. It is also possible to return data in standard formats such as JSON, XML, etc., for rendering by client-side web frameworks.

However, note that server tasks are not limited to retrieving information from databases and sending it to users; sometimes, the results are provided to the software. Because knowledge is in a database, it can be shared and updated with other business systems (for example, when products are sold online or in a store, the store may update its inventory database).

Customized user experience

Servers can store customer information and use it to provide a more targeted user experience. For example, most sites store credit card information so that users do not have to enter credit card details on subsequent visits. Sites like Google Maps can use saved or current locations to provide navigation information, searches, and information about routes or even local businesses close to the user.

A deeper analysis of user habits can be used to anticipate their interests further and customize responses and notifications. For example, a list of places you have already visited or places of interest that you may see on the map can be made through server-side programming.

Controlled access to content

Server-side programming allows websites to restrict user access and only allow authenticated users access to specific and required information.

For example, social networks allow users to have complete control over their data but only allow their friends to view it or comment on it. The user determines who can see his data or what user data appears in his feed. In organizations and companies, not all users have the same access to site information.

In such a way, the site administrator determines the access to resources and information based on the job position of the individuals. For example, some can view and edit their knowledge but cannot delete it, and others can view, edit and delete information, but do not have access to other sections such as user comments registered on the site. All of this is done through server-side coding.

Save meeting information

Server-side programming allows developers to use sessions. Sessions are a mechanism that will enable the server to store the information of the site’s current user and send various responses based on the knowledge of that session. Session information storage has many benefits, including showing the user’s previous entry to a website, order history, saving game steps, and the like.

These features are used when the user leaves the website or application, and when they re-enter it, they intend to continue working from the previous section and not repeat the steps from the beginning. This process is done through server-side programming.

Announcements and communications

Servers can send public or private notifications to any user through the website or via email, text message, instant messaging, video calling, or other communication services.

data analysis

A website may collect many user data, including user searches, products it buys, and how long it stays on a page. For example, Amazon and Google advertise products based on their pages’ previous searches and user purchase history. Server-side programming can play an influential role in data analysis.

Server-side programming languages

Now that we have a complete understanding of the benefits of server-side programming, it’s time to look at investing in learning which server-side programming languages have a good return on investment in the short and long term. When a user requests a web page, the request is sent to the user’s browser in the processing and response server in the form of a set of commands contained within a file. This file can contain formats such as HTML, PHP, ASP, Perl, SSI, XML DHTML and XHTML. Scripts that manage this process are written using server-side programming languages.

These scripts are directly related to database management systems. It should note that front-end code is first processed to improve the design and behavior of the website on the web page, and then the process of processing information and displaying it to the user. The most crucial server-side programming languages ​​include:

Java language

Java is a universal programming language that can use to build various applications. Java is not a standard programming language but rather a complete platform and ecosystem that uses multiple technologies in multiple applications, including building desktop applications and large portals. It is also used to develop various software for PCs, tablets, smartphones, home appliances, and more. In a report on January 5, 2022, the Statista website stated that 35% of the world’s developers used Java last year. Among the advantages of the Java language index are the following:

  • Scalable and easy: Java is the best choice if you plan to work on a project in which scalability plays a vital role. You can write great, flexible, scalable web applications with excellent object orientation in Java. This language allows the server to run multiple programs simultaneously. 
  • Multithreading: Java, like CiplusPlus, manages requests in the form of multithreading on a controller server. It has made the Java language more widely used in applications that require high processing power. Due to the open-source nature of the Java programming language, a large community of developers uses this language. Free libraries and good frameworks can be created using this language. Security is another strength of Java that allows you to write more secure programs against cyber threats. For example, the Java Virtual Machine checks Java bytecodes to prevent malware from spreading. 

Sharp language

Sharp (#C)It is a high-level all-purpose programming language that combines the capabilities of Java and CiplusPlus. C # is one of the main languages ​​in the Microsoft .NET Framework, and its syntax is very similar to C ++ and Java. Developers can use C # to write programs independent of the processor architecture of specific computers.

C # features include Dynamic Binding, Asynchronous Methods, and Lambda expressions. One of the main reasons why C# has come to the attention of developers is Microsoft’s Support for this all-purpose language.

For example, the company bought the Xamarin framework so developers could easily use C # to develop mobile applications. Syntactic Sugar feature in C # provides a structure for easy writing and comprehension of code so that you do not have any problems compiling the code. Due to its simple syntactic composition, learning C # is easy, so if you have experience working with C, C ++, or Java languages, you can quickly learn C #.

PHP programming language

PHP programming language is the main server-side programming option, as over 80% of websites are written using this language. This language has been used to program different sections of these sites on prominent websites such as Wikipedia, Slack, WordPress, Tumblr, and similar examples. Startups and large companies produce various products using PHP because of the wide range of functions in the programming language. For example, this language in data collection, and server-side programming, Generates dynamic content and other master applications.

One of the great features of this programming language is it’s open-source and versatility. Phoenix is ​​compatible with all operating systems, including Windows, Linux, Mac, and most versions of UNIX. It also supports most servers and databases.

Many free libraries make web development faster. They allow programmers to use implemented and pre-tested functions instead of writing all the code manually.

The next significant feature of this language is that it is constantly updating.

New versions of the Phoenix programming language are released regularly to improve performance and provide new features.

The following important feature of this language is the existence of automation functions. Phoenix scripting features are suitable for automating processes such as authentication, URL mapping, session management, and more. Finally, code written in print is very secure and reduces server-side vulnerabilities.

Python language

python is one of the most widely used and popular programming languages ​​in various fields. Statistics show that there are more than eight million active Python developers worldwide. Python is a language with a simple syntax that supports the paradigms of object-oriented programming and functional programming, and aspect-oriented programming.

Python programming language is used for web development, building desktop applications, working with databases, machine learning programming, data analysis, and the like. In the web domain, the Django Python framework is well known. Django is a high-level framework for web programming in Python that enables rapid development and pragmatic design for web applications.

One of the advantages of Django in development should be the Support Support modeling mapping to Object-Relational Mapping, which acts as a bridge between the Data Model, the Database Engine, and a large set of database management systems. Supports Database Management Systems such as MySQL, Oracle, Postgres, etc.

Multilingual Support, the developer, to develop websites that inherently support multiple languages SupSupportpportious web development platforms and frameworks.

He mentioned Ajax, RSS, Caching, efficient management graphical user interface, efficient development environment, etc. Today, the Python language server-side programming is widely used.

Node.js

The critical thing to note about Node.js is that Node.js is not a programming language. Node.js is a Google Chrome V8-based programming environment that allows developers to use JavaScript as the server-side programming language.

This programming environment is widely used in advertising services, gaming platforms, forums, content management systems, peer-to-peer programming, and e-commerce platforms.

Node.Js works well for chatbots and real-time applications and is an excellent choice for splitting applications into a microservice architecture.

Ruby language

Web-side technologies. The Ruby programming language is very similar to Python; however, if you want to script for the web, you should use the Ruby on Rails framework, as Ruby on Rails is a robust, highly reliable framework for development.

Ruby on Rails was one of the first web-based frameworks to revolutionize server-side programming. One of the reasons for Ruby’s popularity is the readability of this programming language. In other words, the simple combination of this language allows novice developers to learn the basics of this language in a short time.

last word

Technically, there is no limit to the choice of server-side programming language. Every language has its strengths and weaknesses. In general, there is no complete programming language to complete a project.

However, choosing the correct language to do a project for the company you intend to work with depends on the technical background and labor market demand. All in all, the languages ​​mentioned are some of the best on the market in this area, and investing in learning them will pay off.