A Web Server is the main hub through which all Internet services are accessed.  An end user connects to dynamically query a database using a Web browser, and the browser requests a Web page.  When the Web server receives the page request, it looks for the page on the hard disk and, when it finds the target page (a stock quote, product catalog information, an airfare listing), the server sends it back to the client.

     A server-side extension is a program that interacts directly with the Web server to handle specific types of requests.  The server-side extension makes it possible to retrieve and present the query results, all of this being transparent to the user.  A database server-side extension program is also known as Web-to-database middleware.

     The interaction between the Web server and the Web-to-database middleware is crucial to the development of a successful Internet database implementation.  Which means that the middleware must be well integrated with the other Internet services and the components that are involved in its use.