ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Server side coding options - AJAX and the graphing calculator - Part 4 in a series

Updated on July 27, 2011

Javascript on the server

It exists, but doesn't seem to have been widely adopted.
It exists, but doesn't seem to have been widely adopted.

The What and Why of Server Side Scripting

In the previous hubs in this series, I introduced how to retrieve data from a Web server using AJAX, and a simple application for charting personal geographies. In order to take this application further, I will need to start developing code on the server side. Basically, fetching already prepared data files from a server, is not very flexible and limits how feature rich the application can be. Using code running on the server to prepare custom data in response to a request opens up many more possibilities.

Let's call the application that I want to develop Geo-match, users will log their daily travels into the application. In return for this effort, they will be able to chart how their daily routes compare with geo-friends and maybe find some new people to meet or new places to go.

First, we need to pick the the programming language(s) we want to use on the server side. The basic requirement is that the language is integrated into a Web server in such a way that an HTTP request can cause code in that language to execute and produce output that is the response to the HTTP request. That is not a very restrictive requirement. So, there are a lot of possibilities. We could even use Javascript on the server side. More common choices would be to use Ruby, Python, Java, Perl, PHP, or if you are a Microsoft affectionado, C#. One can have many technical debates about the merits, or lack thereof, for all these choices, but in the end, they are all capable of doing what is required to implement Geo-match. So, I will pick PHP, because it is convenient for me.

I will also pick one other mechanism that will be helpful in developing Geo-match; a database. There are many options here, as well. I could construct my own database out of plain files. I could use some No-SQL option, such as, Cassandra. Or, I could use a traditional, relational database. I will pick MySQL, because it is a common choice, it will meet the immediate needs of Geo-match, I don't have to pay anything to use it, and it is convenient for me.

There are lots of tutorial materials on both PHP and MySQL that are available on the Web. I won't endevour to replicate those in this series. Rather, I will just cover enough to carry on with the development of my Javascript application. If you want to follow along in this series of Hubs, you might want to install these two technologies on your system. They are both easily available on either Windows, or Linux.

In order to implement Geo-match, I will have users enter route entries that contain places they visited: who? where? when?

My server side code will translate requests for user routes based on a user name and a period of time. The output will be the XML format for describing a person's route that I introduced in a previous Hub. This output will be charted by the same Javascript based graphing calculator application that I have used to illustrate my programming points through out this series of Hubs.

Potentially, I would need to develop a lot of infrastructure before Geo-match could go live. I would need ways for users to setup accounts, and login, convenient ways to enter location data, etc. However, I am going to ignore all that. My objective is to illustrate how server side programming can be used to enhance a Javascript application.

In my next Hub on this topic, I will start laying code. In this Hub, I just wanted to motivate why server side code is useful and cover some of the choices of technology that is available to use.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)