What is scripting?

"Scripting" generally refers to writing programs for the Web's Common Gateway Interface (CGI) interface. These programs run on a remote computer, usually the same one as the web server, and return dynamically generated information back to the Web browser. CGI programs are usually written in Perl, but they can be written in almost any programming language. CGI emerged as the first way to present dynamic content on the Web, and remains the most stable and well-understood method for creating such pages.

At first glance, CGI seems astoundingly simple. Anyone with an iota of programming knowledge can write rudimentary Perl scripts that work. It's only when your needs are more demanding that you have to master the complex workings of software design and development.

In the 1990's, many of our clients were "do it yourselfers" who had reached the limits of their abilities and needed professional software development help. Since that time, a large number of premade open-source and commercial CGI programs have become available to handle the commonest tasks, but many businesses still have unique needs that require custom CGI programs.

Chesapeake Software Systems specializes in adding CGI-based functionality to your website. We can handle tasks of all sizes, from just setting up and configuring an available script, up to developing custom database-driven applications for your unique requirements. Contact us to discuss your requirements and get a free, no-obligation estimate.


Sample E-Commerce

E-Commerce has emerged as one of the largest and most important uses of CGI programs. Due to this, a number of both free and commercial E-Commerce packages have been developed. If your business model is a fairly straightforward one, many of these packages allow a relatively inexperienced user to configure one of the online store templates for their products with a minimum amount of effort. But once your needs go beyond the capabilities of the templates, the effort required goes up dramatically. And some of the packages are insufficiently flexible to accomodate requirements beyond that which the templates provide.

Chesapeake Software Systems recommends the E-Commerce package Interchange for demanding applications. This open-source package has both a generic online-store template and almost infinite reprogrammability that allows it to handle tasks as varied as sales, order processing, content management, customer service, reporting and analysis, personalization, traditional retail sales, digital goods delivery, B2B parts re-ordering, non-commerce content management, and much more. Contact us to discuss your requirements and get a free, no-obligation estimate.