A web application is a software or program that contains various functions and instructions that execute when a specific URL is visited by the client. There are many programming languages that can develop a web application, but developing one from scratch can be a tedious task. So developers generally use web frameworks to develop a web app rapidly.
A web Framework is a collection of modules, libraries, and APIs which allow developers to build web applications easily, quickly, and without worrying about the complex protocols and terminologies of web development.
A web framework is generally based on a specific programming language, so before using the web framework, the developer must have knowledge of the base programming language. There are various popular web frameworks such as Python’s Django, Flask, Web2Py, Pyramid, etc. PHP’s laravel, symphony, cake, etc. Java’s spring, spark, Vaadin, etc.
In this article, we will only be discussing the Web2Py framework, which is one of the most popular programming languages of Python.
What is Web2Py
Web2Py is a Full Stack Python web framework, full-stack because it contains all the tools, components, and APIs to build a fully functional web application. As a Python Framework Web2Py is written on Python and it is compatible with both the versions of Python 2.x and 3.x.
Like popular web frameworks, Django and Ruby on Rails, Web2Py also follow the Model View Controller (MVC) architecture. In which it provides separate modules for data representation(model) and data presentation(view), where both are controlled by logic(controller).
Security is the first concern for every web application, and Web2Py is built by keeping security in mind. It comes with many inbuilt tools that prevent the web application from various web threats and vulnerabilities like “Cross-Site Scripting(XSS)”, “Injection Flaws”, “Malicious File Execution” , “Insecure Data Object Reference”, “Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)”, “Information Leakage and Improper Error Handaline”, “Insecure communication”, etc.
As a Back-End framework web2py comes with a built-in Data Abstraction Layer, which allows developers to communicate with different SQL DataBases such as SQLite, MySQL, PostgreSQL, MSSQL, Oracle, IBM DB2, etc.
Features of Web2Py
1. Inspired by popular frameworks
Web2Py Python framework is inspired by 2 popular frameworks Ruby on Rails and Django. Like Django it comes with the Model Forms feature where web2py automatically generates Forms using model or database tables, however, the developer can also work with manual forms.
2. MVC Architecture
Mostly all the popular frameworks like Django, Ruby on Rails, Angular, etc all follow (Model View Controller) MVC architecture so does web2py. In an MVC pattern, the framework has different modules for Database(Model), Representation(view/logic), and communication between model and view( controller).
web2py is compatible with both the versions of Python 2.x and 3.x. And the web application that is built on web2py can be run on every operating system that can run Python. This means we can run or host the web2py app on any Virtual Private server and cloud platform, that supports Python.
Apart from the operating systems, web2py is also compatible with different databases including SQL and NoSQL.
4. Batteries Included
Like Django, web2py comes with many third-party packages for the rapid development of web applications. Batteries Included means web2py comes with some common built-in web features such as SQL Database, Database Abstraction Layer(DAL), Error logging, multi-thread web server, web-based admin interface, web-based management interface. and ticketing system for errors.
5. Web-Based IDE
Web2py comes with a web Integrated Development Environment(IDE). Although the web2py web IDE lacks many features provided by other IDEs, still it provides a simple tool to create, design, and manage the web app database and logic.
More than web-development purposes web2py is primarily used as a teaching tool. Here are some of the reasons why a Python developer should learn web2py.
- Because of its graphical interface and built-in web IDE, it makes it easy for the developer to learn server-side web development.
- It is a stable Python web framework, and all of its APIs are solid as rocks.
- A web application built on web2py is very secure.
- It comes batteries included, so developers do not have to worry about building common web components.
- It uses the Rocket WSGI to run its web app faster.
Get Started with Python web2py
1. Download web2py
Unlike other Python web frameworks, you might find difficulties or errors installing web2py using the Python pip install command.
So the easiest way to install web2py is by downloading it binary file from its official website and unzip it.
Download web2py from here
2. unzip the binary file
After downloading the web2py binary zip file unzip it, in a folder or directory.
3. Run web2py executable file
now run the web2py executable file. web2py.exe in my case
4. set password and start-server
Now it will open a web2py web framework window, where you need to set the password and click on the start server button, and it will run a localhost server on port number 8000.
After starting the server it will open the http://localhost:8000/welcome/default/index on your browser and you will see a similar screen.
Now you are all set with the web2py framework. To create a new app you can click on the admin button and start creating apps.
At the production level, we do not see many web applications built on web2py. Generally, web2py is used as a teaching tool to those students who are new to Python web development. With web2py easy GUI IDE interface, it becomes easier for the student or developer to learn the basic working of web frameworks and their components. Designing, creating, and managing web applications and its database is very easy on web2py, but it’s not a production-level web framework.
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