Feeds

The Apache Modules Book

Is this the missing Apache manual?

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Review Subtitled Application Development With Apache, this is a book for web developers who want to take their web applications to the next level – running them inside their web servers.

Apache's modular architecture makes it possible to build applications into server modules, but there's a catch: there's not much documentation, and most of that is out of date.

Starting with a look at Apache and the history and philosophy of the Apache project, this book takes a good look at the Apache API. If you're going to build your own modules, you'll need to be familiar with the API and how you can use it to interact with the web server.

Apache development isn't just for the web server. The Apache Portable Runtime is also at the heart of tools like Subversion, so there's also plenty of information on how to work with APR, including how it can be used to access databases.

The APIs are only part of the story, and there's a lot of information about Apache coding conventions and about how modules work with data and communicate with each other. One key issue is working with callbacks and how Apache works around C's restrictions. There's also information on how to manage persistent data, something that's becoming more and more important with Web 2.0 style applications.

The first module the book shows you how to build is a simple Content Generator. It's a useful place to start, as the worked example shows how you can use an Apache module to deliver content to a web browser – which you'll need to do in nearly every module you'll write. The exercise also walks you through adding inputs and processing the HTTP data delivered to your module. Handling requests is an important piece of any web application, and module request handling gets it own chapter.

You'll also find one on access control – something that's critical if you're aiming to build a set of modules to deliver a secure web application. Apache lets you chain modules together, using them as data filters. This can be a complex process, but the book simplifies the design and development process, and clarifies much of the rationale for filter implementation.

There's a lot here – with the book covering everything from module configuration, to deployment, to extending the Apache API yourself. And, of course, any self-respecting development title wouldn't be the same without a chapter on debugging, and this book isn't an exception to the rule...

You don't need to be a C programmer to work with this book either. While many Apache modules are written in C, there's a lot of scope for working with any high level language, including dynamic languages like Ruby. Worked examples show how to develop modules, and API calls are clearly documented.

The Apache Modules Book

apache modules bookVerdict: There's a line of consumer IT books called the Missing Manuals. This clear, well-written and, above all, helpful book is, effectively, one of Apache's Missing Manuals. It plugs a well known hole in the online documentation, and gives you the tools you need to go out and build your own custom Apache modules.

Author: Nick Kew

Publisher: Prentice Hall

ISBN: 0-13-240967-4

Media: Book

List Price: £35.99

Current Reg price: £23.75 (inc VAT) Buy this book at Register Books at Reg Developer's special discounted price (subject to change). ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.