9. Server Side Includes

Server Side Includes (SSI), are a special type of HTML comment that tells the web server to dynamically generate data and place it in a web page when requested. The general format of an SSI is shown below.

<!--#command tag="value">

The #command can be various commands that are supported by the Web server. The simplest command is #include, which inserts the contents of another file at that point in the document. This is especially useful for ensuring that headers, footers and even navigation systems are the same on all pages throughout a Web site. To change a header or footer element, you need only modify the include file, instead of updating each individual Web page.

Web pages that contain SSIs often end with a '.shtml'. This is a requirement for the OUCS web servers. The filename extension enables the Web server to differentiate those pages that need to be processed before they are sent to the browser.

A general tutorial on SSI can be found at the following site:

http://www.webreference.com/

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