CGI - Common Gateway Interface

CGI - Common Gateway Interface, The Common Gateway Interface is a specification defined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), defining how a program interacts with a HyperText Transfer protocol (HTTP) server

The Common Gateway Interface is a specification defined by the World Wide  Web Consortium (W3C), defining how a program interacts with a HyperText Transfer protocol (HTTP) server. The Common Gateway Interface provides the middleware between WWW servers and external databases and information sources. CGI applications perform specific information processing, retrieval and formatting tasks on the behalf of WWW servers. 

These programs are called gateways because they typically act as a medium between the web server and an external source of information, such as a database.Gateway programs exchange information with the Web server using standard known as the Common Gateway Interface. CGI programs are used to describe the task of writing computer programs that handle client requests for information. Gateway describes the relationship between the WWW server and external application that handle data access and manipulation chores on its behalf. 

A gateway interface handles information requests in an orderly fashion and then returns an appropriate response. For example, HTML documents generated on the fly, which contains the results of a query, applied against an external database. In other words, CGI allows a WWW server to provide information to WWW clients that would otherwise not be available to those clients. 

Uses of CGI

  1. Gathering user feedback about a product line through an HTML form. 
  2. Querying a database and rendering the results as HTML documents.

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