The Web Server inside Lion Server - dummies

The Web Server inside Lion Server

By John Rizzo

Lion Server’s web server is really a package of technology, starting with the Apache web server, the most popular web server on the Internet. The web server also includes the PostgreSQL database (replacing MySQL in previous editions of the Mac OS X Server).

A Perl plug-in comes loaded with the web server. The Perl programming language is used for Common Gateway Interface (CGI) scripts for creating dynamic web pages and for functions, such as taking data that a user enters in a web-based form and moving it to the database.

But you don’t need to be a programmer to take advantage of these features, as a lot of this technology is under the hood. For example, enabling users to access their e-mail from a web browser requires only a single mouse click in the web pane of the Server app.


Part of the web server functionality is the automatic creation of a full-featured wiki — a website that users can edit from their web browser. In your organization, you can use wikis as a group collaboration tool for projects or brainstorming.

Users can edit text, add hyperlinks to web pages, upload photos and documents to share, and then review the history of the changes that have been made and revert to earlier versions. Wikis automatically update to tell readers what changes other users have made.

The Wiki Server is also blogging software. Blogs in your organization are great for posting status updates and reports. Like blogs on the Internet, the Lion Server blog feature has a space at the bottom for users to post comments.

Wiki Server 3 in Lion Server has a new look and some new features, including e-mail notification, which tells a user when a page has been updated.