Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)
APIs are a newer Web server interface standard that is much more efficient
and faster than CGI scripts. APIs are implemented as shared code or as
dynamic-link libraries (DLLs). The code resides in memory and the
sample API serves all requests. A main advantage of an API is that it can
use a shared connection instead of creating a new one every time.
As efficient as APIs are, there are some disadvantages. An API
error could bring down a server, because they share the same memory.
Also, APIs are specific to the Web server and the OS. There are three
well-established Web server APIs:
- Netscape API (NSAPI) for Enterprise server
- Internet Server API (ISAPI) for Microsoft IIS
- Website API (WSAPI) for O'Reilly Website Professional
The middleware program must
be able to connect with the database using native SQL middleware provided by
a vendor (i.e., SQL*Net for Oracle) or use either the services of Open
Database Connectivity (ODBC) or the Object Linking and Embedding Database
(OLE DB) in a windows system.