CGI Programming with Perl

The Common Gateway Interface, or CGI, is a standard for accessing external programs through a Web server. It is commonly used in Web development for adding interactivity to Web pages and for linking to external data sources. CGI programs are most commonly developed using the Perl programming language. This module provides a solid introduction to both the Perl programming language and to writing CGI scripts using Perl.

Programming experience is helpful, but not required. Basic knowledge of HTML is required. If the course is run on Unix, experience using Unix and Unix-based text editors is also required.

Course Objectives
After completing this course, participants should be able to:
  • Explain the history and structure of the Perl programming language
  • Define CGI and explain its use in Web development
  • Describe Perl syntax
  • Write Perl programs
  • Explain the process flow for CGI Web applications
  • Write CGI scripts to handle HTML form processing
  • Use Server Side Includes (SSI) for server-side processing
  • Build complex CGI applications that require sessions, such as shopping carts

Intended Audience
This course may prove useful to people such as developers and system administrators who wish to develop programs or CGI scripts on either Unix or Windows 95/98/NT platforms using the Perl programming language.

5 days

Instructor-led course, with many practical computer-based exercises.

Course Outline
Getting Started Perl Basics - Operators and Flow Control
  • Operators
    • various operators
    • operator precedence
  • Flow Control
Working with Scalar Variables in Perl
  • Integer and Floating Point Scalars
  • String Scalars
Working with List Variables in Perl
  • Introduction to List Variables
  • Working with Lists
  • Manipulating Lists
Working with Hashes in Perl
  • Introduction to Hashes
  • Working with Hashes
Reading, Writing, and Manipulating Files in Perl Pattern Matching in Perl
  • Basic Pattern Matching
  • Advanced Pattern Matching
Coding Efficiently Using Subroutines CGI Basics
  • CGI Basics
  • Environment Variables
  • Input/Output
Form Processing
  • General Form processing
  • Debugging CGI Programs
Form Fields, SSI, OO-Perl
  • Detailed HTML Form Fields
  • SSI, URL Rewriting
  • Object Oriented Perl
Shopping Carts and Sessions
  • Reading/Writing Files
  • Sessions and Shopping Carts
  • Cookies
Appendix A: Advanced Topics
  • References
  • Packages

Hardware and Software Requirements
Perl 5 compiled and installed on the platform of choice. PCs or workstations capable of running a Perl 5 development environment. A CGI-capable Web server. The systems should be able to load a 3.5" DOS-formatted solution disk.

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