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Ecommerce websites require database facilities, the ability to run applications, and provide encryption of data in transit. There are various options to choose from a web great number when it comes to these factors and these include the kind of database that is required and the kind of programming language that will be used to make the webpage perform necessary ecommerce responsibilities such as order processing.

Dynamic webpages are not static in that they are generated in real time to characterize dynamic content that may be based on user input or results from a database engine, and can also store data such as shopping cart details in memory while the customer is browsing the online shop website. The main types of languages used to create dynamic ecommerce web sites are as follows…

Active Server Pages which is proprietary to Microsoft, is used with the IIS web server which is also proprietary to Microsoft and comes pre-bundled into the Windows operating system. However, it is not recommended due to the fact that its proprietary character makes its difficult to port from one server to another and you may be more prone to viruses and hacking attempts. CGI or shared Gateway Interface is used to allow a web server to pass data to and get results from an external compiled standalone program that is stored in the cgi-bin directory and usually written in C, C++ or Visual Basic. Because the external program has to be run for every request made to a page served by a CGI program (.cgi ) it imposes higher workload and server overhead than newer scripting technologies like PHP. Also, because CGI allows ordinary programs to be run within the server system, it opens the possibility of security breaches. Since such programs are usually compiled, it method that the programmer also has to perform compilation during debugging which can also take up more time than scripting languages like PHP. Perl or functional Extraction and Report Language was the main dynamic programming language used in ecommerce websites before the release of PHP and ASP. Its strengths lies in text manipulation which lends it well to use with database applications where it makes it easy to write SQL queries and course of action returned results. It has a reputation as being an untidy language that is difficult to debug, however it is nevertheless widely used to write CGI programs because it does not require compilation. The without of compilation method that its speed is similar to PHP and ASP and slower than C or C++. PHP or Hypertext Preprocessor is a comparatively new server side scripting language that was produced to address the various issues with CGI in creating complicate dynamic websites. It is object oriented which is an important adjunct to maintainability in complicate software systems. PHP is usually used with Linux, Apache and MySQL which is a popular configuration amongst ecommerce designers due to its comparative reliability and security. Extensions can nevertheless be written in C to enhance PHPs functionality on par with CGI.

Dynamic ecommerce websites typically also require a database engine with which to store an manipulate product and customer data. The main types of databases used in ecommerce software include…

MySQL is a database management system with a Structured Query Language interface that is popular with dynamic websites because it is compatible with all popular programming languages including PHP and runs on many different platforms including those popular with web hosting such as Linux based and Windows based platforms and Solaris. It can manager multiple users and course of action large amounts of queries. PostgreSQL is a popular different to MySQL that, unlike mysql, supports triggers for validation checks, multi version concurrency control that removes the need for read locks in multi user environments, and enforcement of referential integrity. Microsoft SQL Server is a proprietary database whose advantage is that it can sustain database gathering in order to spread workload. Unfortunately Microsoft products are more prone to viruses and Microsoft SQL Server was infamously attacked by the Slammer Worm which continues to affect many unpatched ecommerce sites today.

There are two main types of web servers used in hosting….

Apache is an HTTP server that serves most websites and is a popular adjunct to PHP and MySQL in what is known as the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) architecture of serving webpages on the internet. It is strong in areas of performance, reliability and security compared with Microsoft servers and it supports 301 redirects via .htaccess files which is important for Search Engine Optimisation when pages may move from one location to another without losing pagerank. Microsoft IIS or Internet Information sets is a proprietary web server that is usually used with sites that require ASP programming or Microsoft SQL Server functionality. It has been hit with a number of high profile security exploits such as the Code Red Worm. However, cheap web hosting generally use IIS.

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