An introduction to e-commerce and distributed applications
An introduction to e-commerce and distributed applications

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

4.1.3 No dynamic web pages

Another example of a problem with web servers which arises from their original functionality is the fact that web pages were designed to be static: they were files which were stored on a computer and delivered in their stored form to anyone using a browser to access them. Many e-commerce and e-business applications require something much more dynamic, for example there are a number of financial service sites on the web which provide customers with up-to-date stock and share prices. These prices are stored on web pages and need to change very frequently – often every few seconds. There have been a number of add-on technologies that have been developed in order to cope with this problem.

Saloman Smith Barney and paying for education

Saloman Smith Barney is one of the largest and innovative financial companies in the United States. Its website is an excellent example of a feature-packed site. One part of the site which requires dynamic pages allows the visitor to plan the funding of their son or daughter's education; it prompts the visitor with a number of financial questions and constructs web pages which provide details of the investment needed to pay college fees.

One early solution is something known as a Server Side Include in which parts of a web page are marked as being dynamic and, prior to their being sent to the browser, they are updated with data that has changed. Servlets are also used to produce dynamic pages, for example they can be programmed to return specific web pages to a browser containing content loaded in from a database. Another technology which has become very prominent over the last two years is known generically as dynamic pages. This is a more fiexible version of Server Side Includes which allows the Java programmer to insert data into a web page at specified points on a real-time basis. There is also a Microsoft implementation of dynamic pages known as active server pages. There are a number of other technologies such as mod_perl and php.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371