Before learning Perl CGI and web programming in
bioinformatics, let us learn about the basics of CGI. CGI is commonly known as
Common Gateway Interface. It is a method used by web servers to run external
programs to generate web content dynamically.
CGI is simply a specification which defines
a standard way for web servers to run CGI scripts. Perl is a very popular
language for CGI scripting, due to its text handling ability, easy scripting,
and relative speed. Setting up CGI in Unix/Linux requires a web server called
Apache server. In order to set up CGI on Windows, one should install the
Internet Information Server.
Basic CGI scripts, in either Perl or any
other programming language, use two types of texts: plain text, and HTML text.
As Perl is a natural language it can be embedded in other programming
languages as well as using it to embed with web programming.
CGI is the main program to use when you are
going to create web pages. One can use the text editor of that operating system
for constructing CGI scripts. This CGI program is a program called by the web
server, in response to some action by the user. Perl offers a very powerful
feature of adding a module known as CGI.pm, which is used to run CGI programs.
This module is a collection of a pre-written code.
CGI can be sometimes defined as the
mechanism that connects between computer programs and the web server. It allows
you to provide a web interface to your program from a web browser, and to get
the output in a results page.
In bioinformatics, it is used to create
different kinds of online tools. One such online tool is ORF Finder, which
finds the ORFs present in a given query sequence. CGI programming may also be
used to perform a database search online.
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