Chapter 15. What is Netscape Server API?

Read this chapter to gain a basic understanding of the Netscape Server API (NSAPI).
NSAPI is a programming interface that allows developers to extend the functionality of web server software by creating applications (referred to as plug-ins) that run inside the server process itself.
The goal of NSAPI, and its plug-ins, is to provide a method of creating different functional interfaces between the web server and the back-end applications which run on it.
The NSAPI plug-ins are designed to implement Server Application Functions (SAFs). SAFs consume a HTTP request and take input from a server configuration database, and return a response to the client based on the inputs. Each SAF is linked to a particular class, which directly relates to the request-response step it helps implement.
The request-response steps (classes) are summarized in the following list:
  1. Authorization translation;
  2. Name translation;
  3. Path checks;
  4. Object type;
  5. Request response;
  6. Log transaction.
You are not required to provide a SAF for each request-response step: NSAPI allows you to substitute your own custom functionality to the core request-response steps. You also have the choice of applying the SAF globally, or constraining the SAF to a directory, file group, or individual file.