UCT CS Research Document Archive

Universal Web Application Server

Nyirenda, Mayumbo (2008) Universal Web Application Server. MSc, Department of Computer Science, University of Cape Town.

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The growth of the World Wide Web has in large part been made possible by the technologies that power it. These are the Web servers and Web browsers that many take for granted. Each has evolved to support the changing needs of users of the WWW from simple static text to highly interactive and dynamic multimedia. The Web servers, in particular, have evolved into a spectrum of different technologies to support what are now known as Web applications. These are usually installed and accessed through a Web server.
Security is a problem in Web server environments and therefore the Web servers are usually run as an un-privileged user. Performance is another problem as some of these technologies require re-initialization of the execution environment with every subsequent request. These security and performance shortcomings have been dealt with by numerous Web application technologies. Most of these technologies are language-centric and seek solutions to the security and performance shortcomings independently of each other.
The universal Web application server is proposed as an alternative solution addressing the security, language dependence and performance shortcomings of existing technologies. It has support for multiple authors in a secure environment with support for multiple implementation technologies (languages) using persistent interpreters to enhance performance.
Test results from the performance evaluation show that the introduction of the layers of processing contributes a small percentage to the total request processing time and that the universal Web application server can perform comparably to other Web application servers. Tests with twenty users also showed that packaging and deploying Web applications in the universal Web application server is an easy and viable approach. Moreover, the installation of PhpBB2 in the universal Web application server demonstrates that it can be used with realistic Web applications.
A universal Web application server that provides an efficient, secure and language independent environment has been developed and thoroughly evaluated demonstrating that a Web application server that addresses the shortcomings of existing technologies is feasible.

EPrint Type:Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
C Computer Systems Organization: C.2 COMPUTER-COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
ID Code:458
Deposited By:Suleman, Hussein
Deposited On:06 June 2008