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Every IBM i system comes with a server program called the IBM HTTP Server for i (powered by Apache). An HTTP server is the TCP/IP application-level component that delivers HTML documents and other objects upon request to a browser or other client application. This course shows you how to configure the HTTP server to deliver both static and dynamic content to Internet users within your own organization or around the world.

The course begins with an introduction to HTTP. You will see the data flow in both static web requests (which retrieve existing objects) and dynamic requests (in which the resulting response is created by a server-side program). The Apache server and its relationship to the IBM HTTP Server for i is also discussed.

The course then shows you how to access the graphical control panel for the HTTP server and how to use it to create a new server instance. You will learn how to start the server and check your work. You will also see how to specify the location of your web documents and control access to them.

Dynamic web applications are covered next. First you will see how to configure the HTTP server to support server-side includes. These are commands for the server that can be embedded within HTML documents to perform such actions as including the current date or the contents of a specified HTML document. Then you will see how to configure a CGI program and control its use.

The course ends with a tour of other functions that are available from the HTTP server control panel. In particular, you will see how the wizards and forms of the control panel are used to create Apache server directives. You will see how to display and edit these directives directly and where you can find additional information about the options available.

Approximate Study Time: 4 hours


After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • Identify the three protocols used by basic web applications
  • Describe the major functions of an HTTP server
  • Describe how a web page invokes a CGI program and passes data to it
  • Interpret an HTTP message header
  • Identify the roles of server-side includes, Net.Data, and PHP in web applications
  • Describe the relationship between the IBM HTTP Server for i and Apache servers
  • Define Apache terms
  • Access the Web Administration control page
  • Create an HTTP server instance
  • Start or stop an HTTP server
  • Verify that a newly created HTTP server instance is working correctly
  • Identify the effect that a web application's structure will have on its performance
  • Describe the security options that are available when setting up a web application
  • Add a directory to a web application by associating the directory's physical name with an alias
  • Specify the action that the server should take when no index.html file is available
  • Configure the HTTP server to process server-side includes
  • Code server-side include commands
  • Identify important considerations when writing a CGI program
  • Configure the HTTP server to invoke CGI programs
  • Configure the HTTP server to support persistent CGI transactions
  • Identify optional server settings that control the behavior of a CGI program
  • Select the HTTP Web Administration wizard or form to change a specified server setting
  • Display and edit the HTTP server configuration file
  • Display the Web Administration form for a specified Apache server directive

Topic Outline

HTTP Concepts

Configuring a Server

Adding Your Web Documents

Server-Side Includes

Using CGI Programs

Exploring Apache


This course should be taken by individuals responsible for managing an organization's web site. This audience may include webmasters, developers, and system administrators.


This course assumes that you are familiar with the concepts and basic operations of both IBM i and personal computer systems. The IBM i prerequisites can be satisfied by completing the following Manta series:

It also assumes you are familiar with TCP/IP concepts and common applications, including FTP, DNS, and HTTP. This latter prerequisite can be satisfied by completing the following Manta courses: