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eXtended CGI (XCGI) Service at U-M

Web Services offers groups, departments, and schools the ability to run custom CGI scripts on a server maintained by Web Services. You will also have access to a full-featured development server where you can develop and test your CGI scripts before they are run on the full production server.

Before you decide if you need the XCGI service, check out the CGI programs freely available on the www.umich.edu and www-personal.umich.edu hosts.

What's Supported on XCGI Server
Some CGI scripts already on the server include:

  • Oracle databases
  • OraPerl programming language
  • Perl 5.004
  • C, C++, Pascal compilers
  • Standard shell scripts (All standard shells (csh, sh, ksh, tcsh) are supported.)
  • SSI support
  • Real Audio support
  • Counters, discussion forums
We're open to suggestions. If you need something installed on the web servers, often we can install it, or perhaps we already have it installed for another customer. For more information, check out the "What's Supported" section of the XCGI FAQ.

Advantages of XCGI

  • Web Services maintains the hardware and software, ensuring that the XCGI Service is up to the task. To accomplish this, we have regularly scheduled upgrades, we install security patches, and we ensure that the software on the servers is both up-to-date and functional.

  • The XCGI servers are monitored by software and personnel 7 days a week, 24 hours per day, including holidays. If something goes wrong, a knowledgeable system administrator is on call to address with the problem. The security of the servers are also monitored. All important files on the servers are automatically checked once per day for tampering.

  • Backups of both your data in IFS and the Web servers are done daily.

  • Kerberos authentication and authorization services provide secure data space capabilities.

  • Secure Socket Layer (SSL) service allows for secure transmission of information such as ballot data and private Web conferencing.

Disadvantages of XCGI
While the service offers tremendous advantages, there are some considerations to keep in mind:

  • Turnaround time on moving CGI scripts from development to production server is not immediate.

  • Dependencies on AFS are built into the service.

  • There is less direct control over data and scripts that are maintained on the Extended CGI service machines.

  • Currently this service is completely UNIX-based, though we are investigating the practicality of providing a similar service on NT and/or Mac platforms.

Cost
Access to the service is $70 per month.

More Information
Please contact webservices@umich.edu for additional information or to set up an appointment.


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