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Faster, Open Interface Frees Developers from Proprietary APIs

FastCGI is a new, open extension to CGI that provides high performance for all Internet applications without any of the limitations of existing Web server APIs.

"A large proportion of the Web has always been data from all kinds of systems made visible on the Web through gateway servers," said Tim Berners-Lee, Director of the World Wide Web Consortium. "The first simple method of connecting custom gateways into existing servers was known as CGI.

"CGI, whilst a common interface used by many servers, is intrinsically slow. The W3 Consortium is looking forward to the development of new open standards for this interface, and FastCGI is one promising proposal in the spirit of open standards."

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As Fast As Server APIs with All of CGI's Benefits

Web server APIs increase application performance compared to CGI, but are vendor-specific, complex, language-dependent, difficult to maintain, prone to security risks, and inherently unstable. FastCGI delivers performance increases that are as great as -- and often greater than -- APIs without these compromises. "CGI, which was developed here at NCSA, has become an important de facto standard on the Web," said Elizabeth Frank, httpd Technical Manager at NCSA. "But it also significantly impacts the performance of heavily accessed sites. One response has been the proliferation of Web server APIs. Unfortunately, applications produced to a specific server API are rarely usuable with a different server. Applications using FastCGI will not have this problem. This is why we are happy to announce support for FastCGI in our next server release."

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More About FastCGI

FastCGI is simple because it is actually CGI with only a few extensions.

Not only does FastCGI restore the strengths of CGI, it also adds two new benefits:

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This site, hosted by Open Market, will serve as a clearinghouse for FastCGI information of all kinds: FAQs, contributed code, email discussions, etc. As such it should always be under construction. Look for additions and improvements in the future.

Open Market's license terms for FastCGI -- when we say free, we mean free.

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