ServersGoAhead Web Server : Small, Sleek Web Server Offering a Very Respectable...

GoAhead Web Server : Small, Sleek Web Server Offering a Very Respectable Level of Service




With the goal of being the most ubiquitous Web server in the world, the GoAhead Web Server is designed as an embedded Web server – perhaps not to meet the needs of today, but to meet the needs of tomorrow, when you’ll find a pervasive use of embedded systems in both the home and the workplace.

The GoAhead Web Server is one part of GoAhead’s Embedded Management Framework 2.0, which attempts to address all issues of future embedded-systems development. As such, GoAhead is a sleek little Web server with a very small footprint (the compiled version on a Windows CE machine is under 60K) , and its output is typically on the smaller side. It can service 20 requests per second on a 24-MHz 68040 and 50 requests per second on a 266-MHz Pentium.
With the goal of being the most ubiquitous Web server in the world, the GoAhead Web Server is designed as an embedded Web server

Despite the small footprint, GoAhead Web Server still offers up a very respectable level of services, supporting Active Server Pages (ASP), Embedded JavaScript, and in-memory CGI processing. While one may question whether ASP is a good choice for an embedded system, the Embedded JavaScript is definitely a good – and, practically mandatory – choice. Embedded JavaScript can be used to create dynamic Web data and for use in an Active Server Pages, which can then be processed by the GoAhead Web Server, with the resulting page sent to the remote user.

At the present, the source code for GoAhead Web Server is free – both in terms of royalties and licensing fees – for hardware developers. The rationale is similar to the business plans promulgated by every other open-source developer under the sun: the hope is that GoAhead will become the standard Web server in the embedded-systems world, piggybacking onto the expected rise in the implementation of smarter embedded systems.

You could, in theory, use the GoAhead Web server in situations outside of the embedded-systems world (which we did when reviewing it), as the GoAhead Web Server distribution includes source code written in C, makefiles, and reference platforms for Windows CE, Wind River VxWorks, Linux, Lynx, QNX, and Windows 95/98/NT. It’s basically an HTTP 1.0 Web server (which includes support for basic encoding, the only security feature associated with the GoAhead Web Server), with some functionality borrowed from HTTP 1.1, including persistent connections.

The GoAhead Web Server is (admittedly) a niche product, and one that probably won’t garner a lot of interested outside of the embedded system world. But there are many analysts and computer-industry leaders – including Linux’s Linus Torvalds – who believe that an important part of the future of computing lies in embedded systems. And when that market reaches critical mass, the Go Ahead Web server will be ready to take advantage of that market momentum.

Pros: Free, Small footprint, Available on multiple platforms, Designed solely for embedded systems, Embedded JavaScript support enables dynamic data

Cons: Active Server Page support means a commitment to Microsoft technology, minimal security features

New: Ports to Windows CE, Linux, Lynx, and QNX; a ROM packaging system for Web pages; 7 Release Notes


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This article was originally published on Oct 6, 1999

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Version Reviewed: 2.0

Date of Review: 10/6/99

Reviewed by: Kevin Reichard

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